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College of Arts & Sciences

Alycia L. Stigall


Associate Professor & Graduate Chair

Geological Sciences
210 Clippinger Laboratories

Recent News


PhD, 2004, University of Kansas

MS, 2001, University of Kansas

BS, 1999, The Ohio State University (Geological Sciences)

BS, 1999, The Ohio State University (Biology)



  • Macroevolution, speciation, and invasive species
  • Quantitative paleobiogeography
  • Phylogenetic systematics of brachiopods and crustaceans
  • Late Devonian Biodiversity Crisis
  • Late Ordovician Richmondian Invasion
  • Jurassic lakes of Gondwana

Research Interests

Paleobiology in the Stigall Lab

An In Depth Look at My Research Program

My research interests lie in the area of evolutionary paleobiology. In particular, I am interested in determining the impact of paleobiogeographic and paleoecological controls of macroevolutionary phenomena, principally speciation and cladogenesis. Several current research projects focus on the interplay between biogeographic changes and faunal dynamics of brachiopod and bivalve species during the Late Ordovician Richmondian Invasion, the Late Devonian Biodiveristy Crisis, and the Permo-Triassic Mass Extinction.

Papers recently published in GSA Today and PLoS ONE demonstrated that rampant species invasions during the Late Devonian "mass extinction" were one of the primary causes of biodiversity decline during this interval. This article was covered by various media outlets. A few of these articles are online here: Science, NSF, MSNBC, Discovery News, Columbus Dispatch.

A major NSF supported research initiative in my lab at this time is examining the stability of species' niches over evolutionary time using ecological niche modeling methods to examine biogeographic change in articulate brachiopod species preserved in the Late Ordovician rocks around Cincinnati, Ohio. This work combines phylogenetics and GIS methods to examine invasive species phenomenon during key intervals in the history of life. Investigating the role of species invasions in mediating long term ecological and evolutionary processes such as speciation and biodiversity crises in the geologic past provides a framework within which to assess the long term impact of modern invasive species. A second NSF funded initiative focuses on digitizing and georeferencing Cincinnatian museum collections for outreach and research purposes.

Additional research interests center on development of quantitative methods for paleobiogeography and arthropod paleobiology, phylogeny, and evolutionary history, particularly of crustaceans. Current projects involve the taphonomy, ontogeny, and evolution of conchostraca (clam shrimp) of Jurassic freshwater lakes from Antarctica, Namibia, and similar deposits.

Courses Taught

  • GEOL 2210: Earth and Life History
  • GEOL 3/5410: Principles of Paleontology
  • GEOL 4/5430: Paleobiogeography
  • GEOL 4/5480: Paleoecology
  • GEOL 4/5540 Carbonate Depositional Systems


2009-present, Associate Professor

2004-2009, Assistant Professor

Selected Publications

  • Stigall, A.L. 2012. Invasive species and evolution. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 5:526-533.
  • Walls, B.J., and Stigall, A.L. 2012. A field based analysis of the accuracy of niche models applied to the fossil record. Paleontological Contributions, 6:12 p., 3 fig., 4 tables, 3 appendices. Link.
  • Stigall, A.L. 2012. Using ecological niche modeling to evaluate niche stability in deep time. Journal of Biogeography, 39: 772-781.
  • Stigall, A.L. 2012. Speciation collapse and invasive species dynamics during the Late Devonian "Mass Extinction." GSA Today, 22 (1): 4-9. Link.
  • Malizia, R.W., and Stigall, A.L. 2011. Niche stability in Late Ordovician articulated brachiopod species before, during, and after the Richmondian Invasion. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 311:154-170.
  • Stigall, A.L. 2011. Application of niche modeling to analyze biogeographic patterns in Palaeozoic brachiopods: Evaluating niche stability in deep time. Memoirs of the Association of Australasian Palaeontologists. 41:229-255.
  • Walls, B.J., and Stigall, A.L. 2011. Analyzing niche stability and biogeography of Late Ordovician brachiopod species using ecological niche modeling. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 299:15-29.
  • Stigall, A.L. 2010. Invasive species and biodiversity crises: Testing the link in the Late Devonian. PLoS ONE, 5(12): e15584. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015584. Link.
  • Stigall, A.L. 2010. Using GIS to assess the biogeographic impact of species invasions on native brachiopods during the Richmondian Invasion in the Type-Cincinnatian (Late Ordovician, Cincinnati region). Palaeontologia Electronica, 13: 5A, 19 p.
  • Maguire, K.C., and Stigall, A.L. 2009. Distribution of fossil horses in the Great Plains during the Miocene and Pliocene: An ecological niche modeling approach. Paleobiology, 35: 587-611.
  • Stigall, A.L., and Hartman, J.H. 2008. A new spinicaudatan genus (Crustacea: "Conchostraca") from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar. Palaeontology, 51(5): 1053-1067.
  • Stigall, A.L., Babcock, L.E., Briggs, D.E.G., and Leslie, S.A. 2008. Taphonomy of lacustrine interbeds in the Kirkpatrick Basalt (Jurassic), Antarctica. Palaios, 23(4): 344-355.
  • Stigall, A.L., and Lieberman, B.S. 2006. Quantitative Paleobiogeography: GIS, Phylogenetic Biogeographic Analysis, and Conservation Insights. Journal of Biogeography, 33 (12): 2051-2060.
  • Lieberman, B.S., and Stigall Rode, A.L., editors. 2005. Paleobiogeography: Generating New Insights into the Coevolution of the Earth and Its Biota. The Paleontological Society Papers, volume 11, 158 p.
  • Rode, A.L., and Lieberman, B.S. 2004. Using GIS to unlock the interactions between biogeography, environment, and evolution in Middle and Late Devonian brachiopods and bivalves. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeogeography, 211(3-4): 345-359.

Sampling of Recent Advisee Masters Theses

  • Bauer, J.E., expected 2014. Phylogenetic systematics and biogeography of Ordovician brachiopods: Clues to dispersal pathways in the Richmondian Invasion.
  • Brame, H.R., expected 2013. Analyzing niche stability levels among Late Ordovician taxa of the Type Cincinnatian using ecological niche modeling.
  • Wright, D.F., 2012. Macroevolution and Paleobiogeography of Middle to Late Ordovician Brachiopods: A Phylogenetic Biogeographic Approach.
  • Malizia, R.M., 2011. Analyzing niche stability in Late Ordovician articulated brachiopods during the Richmondian Invasion.
  • Swisher, R.E., 2009. Paleobiogeographical and evolutionary analysis of Late Ordovician C5 sequence brachiopod species with special reference to rhynchonellid taxa; MS thesis.
  • Walls, B.J., 2009. Quantitative paleobiogeography of Maysvillian (Late Ordovician) brachiopod species on the Cincinnati Arch: A test of niche modeling methods for paleobiogeographic reconstruction; MS thesis.
  • Maguire, K.C., 2008. Paleobiogeography of Miocene to Pliocene Equinae of North America: A phylogenetic biogeographic and niche modeling approach; MS thesis.



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