EEB Michigan Fellow Lauren Sallan was recently interviewed about the early record of vertebrates, especially fishes, by Palaeocast, an online radio show supported by the Paleontological Society. The podcast, “Episode 6: Early vertebrate evolution and extinction” was published online November 1, 2012.

Sallan, an assistant professor in EEB, discusses what vertebrates are, when they originated, why jawed fishes came to dominance 400 million years ago and how the severe end-Devonian extinction affected vertebrate biodiversity.

According to the Paleocast website, “Vertebrates are one of the most diverse and successful groups of animals on the planet. Modern vertebrates come in an astounding array of sizes and shapes and can be found anywhere from the deepest oceans to the highest mountains. Yet vertebrates did not attain such success from the outset; their rise to dominance was gradual. The early evolution of vertebrates was a dynamic and, at times, a turbulent interval which, through studying the fossil record, we are able to understand in increasing detail.”

Sallan studies early vertebrate evolution, biodiversity and ecology. The 49-minute podcast is accompanied by several related photos and diagrams on the website.

As seen in the Record Update in Michigan in the News, November 2, 2012