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Graduate Program

We have a well-rounded program in paleontology and related areas of evolutionary biology, and ecology. Faculty and graduate students involved in paleontology are associated with the Museum of Paleontology, where the collections and paleontology faculty (and some student) offices are located. Through the Museum, there are opportunities for interaction with people in the Museum of Zoology, the Museum of Anthropology, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and the Herbarium. We have a diverse and helpful group of colleagues in Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Anthropology.

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and the Museum of Paleontology share five faculty with professorial/curatorial appointments in paleontology (Baumiller, Burnham, Fisher, Friedman, and Wilson). In addition, we have five faculty members with research scientist appointments (Badgley, MacLatchy, Sanders, Smith, and Zelditch).

Catherine Badgley works in the area of taphonomy/paleoecology and is concerned both with general issues such as the completeness of the geologic record, and with specific questions relating to the context of late Cenozoic hominoid evolution.

Learn more about Dr. Badgley's research.

Tomasz Baumiller is an invertebrate paleontologist with interests in taphonomy, functional morphology, and macroevolution. His work focuses largely on echinoderms and involves a variety of experimental, theoretical, and specimen-based approaches, in the lab and in the field, dealing with both fossil and recent material.

Learn more about Dr. Baumiller's research.

Robyn Burnham is a paleobotanist whose interests focus on comparative plant taphonomy and reconstruction of paleoenvironments, particularly angiosperm-dominated environments of the Late Cretaceous and Early Tertiary of western North America. Her work in modern forested environments has included temperate forests of eastern North America and tropical rainforests of the western Amazon Basin.

Learn more about Dr. Burnham's research.

Daniel Fisher is interested in functional morphology, taphonomy, and use of stratigraphic data in phylogenetic inference. He has worked with various groups, including arthropods and echinoderms, but he currently directs much of his attention toward proboscidean paleobiology and determining the causes of the late Pleistocene extinction of mastodons and mammoths.

Learn more about Dr. Fisher's research.

Matt Friedman is a vertebrate paleontologist whose research focuses on using fossils to inform our understanding of the evolution of modern biological diversity. My own studies target the paleontological record of fishes, which spans the better part of half a billion years and is represented in a variety of depositional settings by relatively complete fossils rich in anatomical data with a bearing in ecology and evolutionary relationships. Current research spans this long history, with projects in the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic that are complemented by molecular genetic studies of the living relatives of the fossil groups under study.

Learn more about Dr. Friedman's research.

Jeff Wilson is a vertebrate paleontologist whose research focuses on dinosaur (especially sauropod) evolution, distribution, and paleobiology. He is interested in the palebiogeography of continental vertebrates of the Indian subcontinent, and he conducts field work in central and western India.

Learn more about Dr. Wilson's research.