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Personal profile

Research interests

I'm a paleontologist and evolutionary biologist, originally from Kodiak, Alaska; I study dinosaurs among other things- birds, pterosaurs, snakes, lizards, humans.

I'm interested in understanding large scale patterns in evolution- macroevolution. I study the evolution of complex adaptations like bird flight and the evolution of snakes from lizards, and large-scale changes to the biosphere like the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs, and the recovery afterward. I'm especially interested in the idea that macroevolution is more than just lots of microevolution. Over geologic timescales, low-probability, high-impact events play a role in evolution. These include catastrophes like asteroid impacts, volcanic eruptions, and ice ages, but also positive events like long-distance oceanic dispersal and the evolution of complex, improbable adaptations. I suspect intelligence probably exists elsewhere in the universe, but it's too far away to talk to.


Willing to supervise doctoral students

Always happy to talk with students and postdocs in need of advice.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


  • paleontology
  • dinosauria
  • evolution
  • extinction
  • biogeography
  • phylogenetics
  • palaeontology
  • mass extinction
  • complexity
  • macroevolution


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