Welcome! I am an Associate Professor of Paleontology in the Department of Geological Sciences at Ohio University.
My research focuses on the interplay between biogeographic changes and faunal dynamics during the Late Devonian Biodiversity Crisis and Late Ordovician Richmondian Invasion. This work involves developing and implementing GIS methods to examine invasive species phenomenon during key intervals in the history of life. Currently, I my students and I are undertaking a large NSF funded GIS-based paleobigeographic study of the Late Ordovician brachiopods of the Cincinnati Arch before, during, and after the Richmondian Invasion. Other biogeographic projects involve Miocene horses of North America and Mesozoic vertebrates of Gondwana.
I am also involved in several other projects including a project examining exceptional preservation of a non-mineralizing arthropod fauna from Jurassic lacustrine deposits from Gondwana and the systematics and taphonomy of crustaceans in general, with a particular emphasis on conchostracans.
My lab is also actively pursing efforts to improve digitization and deployment of data preserved in museum collections, including the Ohio University Jack Kallmeyer Collection through the NSF-funded PaleoNICHES project. In collaboration with several institutions, we are facilitating distribution of "dark data" via the iDigBio web interface. We are also constructing a Digitial Atlas of Ordovician (=Cincinnatian) fossils website eventual app for public use.
I consider education and outreach to be an important component of my career. I routinely participate in efforts to promote science to K-12 girls and provide presentations to school, public organizations, and amateur fossil groups. I believe it is important as a scientist to educate the public, particularly K-12 students, about the nature of scientific inquiry, geologic processes, and the evidence of biotic evolution through fossils.
I also incorporate interactions with local Bahamians into my Carbonates of the Bahamas field course.
I am originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, home to spectacular Upper Ordovician shallow marine deposits. I spent many hours collecting and identifying fossils in the local streams growing up which helped foster my interest in invertebrate paleontology.
I attended the Ohio State University as an undergraduate and majored in Biology and Geological Sciences, focusing my studies on the interplay between these fields, especially within arthropod paleobiology where I worked with Loren Babcock on crayfish phylognetics. I completed my MS and PhD in the Department of Geology at the University of Kansas with Bruce Lieberman. During my graduate work, I focused on developing GIS methods for paleobiogeography, phylogenetics of Devonian brachiopods, bivalves, and crustaceans, and implementing methods to assess and analyze speciation decline during the Late Devonian Biodiversity Crisis.
When not busy with teaching and research, I enjoy traveling with my husband, Dan, and our children, Max and Josie-- preferably to places with amazing geology, hiking, and new cultures...and occasionally great paleontology as well. I have traveled to all 50 States and studied geology on all 7 continents.
Favorite trips have included: the Canary Islands-a chain of volcanic islands off the coast of Africa; the south Pacific islands of New Caledonia; Peru--including both the Andes and Amazon Rainforest; the Burgess Shale in the Cadadian Rockies; Alaska--including both the spectacular Alaska Range and the retreating coastal glaciers; the southeast coast of Australia; the tracking mammals in the Etosha Pan in Namibia; hiking around the Norwegian fjords; and hiking in both the Shenandoah and Smoky Mountain ranges of the Appalachian Mountain Belt.
Thank you for visiting my website. If you have any questions about my research, are interested in joining my lab, or would like reprints of any of my papers, send
me an email.