Research

Our research: Using anatomy to understand ecology
and evolution

We use the zoological and paleontological data to investigate changes in mammalian morphology over millions of years during the later part of the Cenozoic, starting ~30 million years ago. Our goal is to understand the evolution of diversity and ecology in mammals with a particular attention on rodents. We combine comparative anatomy, museum work, phylogenetic systematics and comparative methods, as well as biostatistics to infer the taxonomic and ecological affinities of extinct taxa and shed light on the tempo and mode of mammalian evolution.

Much of our work recently has been focusing on the study of fossil geomorph rodents (pocket gophers, kangaroo rats, pocket mice, and their relatives).

We currently seek to answer three main questions:

1. What was the ROLE OF ADAPTIVE RADIATION in the evolution of geomorphs during the Oligo-Miocene?

2. how did ENVIRONMENTAL change affect the evolution of BURROWING rodents during the cenozoic?

3. are there evidence for coevolution of different phenotypic modules in rodents?

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