My Research in Brief

My research is focused on two areas: paleontology and stratigraphy. I specialize in a group of fossils called ostracodes, which are bivalved crustaceans (related to shrimp) that have a fossil record extending back to the Cambrian, some 500 million years ago. Adult ostracodes are typically about 1 millimeter in length. Ostracodes are among the most useful groups of fossils for paleobiogeography and for paleoenvironmental analysis because of their low potential for dispersal and particular attributes of their carapaces. For example, some ostracodes have eyes, and thus are known to inhabit shallow water environments (within the photic zone). I also use planktonic foraminifera (forams) for age control. Planktonic forams are among the best groups of fossils for biostratigraphy because they evolved relatively rapidly and are widely dispersed. The provinciality of ostracodes and the cosmopolitan distribution of the planktonic forams is a powerful combination for unraveling evolving paleogeographies. It is also an excellent combination to study rates of evolution and the relationship between plate tectonics and biological evolution.

My research with these two groups of fossils has focused on the Late Cretaceous of the U.S. Gulf Coastal Plain, and I am now applying their use to study Earth-life relations in the Caribbean, and so far have collected from Cuba and Puerto Rico. For more information about my research and publications, you can go to publications or my curriculum vitae.

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