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College of Arts & Sciences

Alycia L. Stigall



Geological Sciences
210 Clippinger Laboratories

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Ph.D., 2004, University of Kansas

M.S., 2001, University of Kansas

B.S., 1999, The Ohio State University (Geological Sciences)

B.S., 1999, The Ohio State University (Biology)



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

Research Interests

Paleobiology in the Stigall Lab

My research explores the influence of biogeography and paleoecology on macroevolutionary phenomena, principally speciation and cladogensis. I am particularly interested in elucidating the long-term impacts of species invasions and the relationship between speciation mode and biodiversity expansions and declines. I utilize a variety of quantitative approaches, such as phylogenetic reconstruction and ecological niche modeling, to integrate previously disparate areas of paleontological investigation within a comprehensive evolutionary framework. Articulated brachiopods are the most commonly employed model taxa within this work.

A secondary line of research involves taxonomic and paleoecological analyses of spinicaudatan crustaceans, a group restricted to freshwater lake environments.

Recent projects have focused on the the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event, the Late Ordovician Richmondian Invasion, the Late Devonian Biodiversity Crisis, the Permo-Triassic Mass Extinction, and Jurassic lakes of Gondwana. Primary field locations range from Ohio and adjacent states, to Oklahoma, Estonia, Namibia, and Antarctica.  This research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, National Geographic, and the American Chemical Society’s Petroleum Research Fund.

I also contribute to paleontological database development through iDigBio and collaborate with faculty in the Ohio University Department of Teacher Education to develop workshops, lesson plans, and outreach activities to promote STEM education in the rural Appalachian region and underrepresented groups more broadly.  Outreach and educational resources developed are available via the Ordovician Atlas website and the free  Digital Atlas of Ancient Life app developed for the iPhone/iPad platform.

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


2015-present, Professor

2009-2015, Associate Professor

2004-2009, Assistant Professor

2004, Post-doctoral Researcher, The Ohio State University

Selected Publications

Google Scholar Page

  • Hendricks, J.R., Stigall, A.L., and Lieberman, B.S. 2015.  The Digital Atlas of Ancient Life: delivering information on paleontology and biogeography via the web. Palaeontologia Electronica 18.2.3E: 1–9. Link.
  • Myers, C.E., Stigall, A.L., and Lieberman, B.S. 2015.  PaleoENM: applying ecological niche modeling to the fossil record.  Paleobiology, 41: 226-244. Link.
  • Stigall, A.L. 2014.  When and how do species achieve niche stability over long time scales?  Ecography, 37: 1123-1132. Link.
  • Plotnick, R., Stigall, A.L., and Stefanescu, I. 2014.  Evolution of Paleontology: Long-term gender trends in an Earth Science discipline.  GSA Today, 24(11): 44-45. Link.
  • Stigall, A.L., Hembree, D.I., Gierlowski-Kordesch, E.H., and Weismiller, H.C. 2014. Evidence for a dioecious mating system in Early Jurassic Hardapestheria maxwelli gen. et sp. nov. (Crustacea, Branchiopoda, Spinicaudata) from the Kalkrand Formation of Namibia. Palaeontology, 57:127-140. Link.
  • Brame, H-M.R., and Stigall, A.L. 2014. Controls on niche stability in geologic time: Congruent responses to biotic and abiotic environmental changes among Cincinnatian (Late Ordovician) marine invertebrates. Paleobiology, 40(1): 70-90. Link.
  • Wright, D.F., and Stigall, A.L. 2013. Phylogenetic revision of the Late Ordovician orthid brachiopod genera Plaesiomys and Hebertella from North America. Journal of Paleontology, 87(6):1107-1128. Link.
  • Stigall, A.L. 2013. Analyzing links between biogeography, niche stability, and speciation: The impact of complex feedbacks on macroevolutionary patterns. Palaeontology, 56(6):1225-1238. Link.
  • Wright, D.F., and Stigall, A.L. 2013. Geologic drivers of Late Ordovician faunal change in Laurentia: investigating links between tectonics, speciation, and biotic invasions. PLoS One, 8(7):e68353. Link.
  • Stigall, A.L. 2012. Invasive species and evolution. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 5:526-533. Link.
  • Stigall, A.L. 2012. Using ecological niche modeling to evaluate niche stability in deep time. Journal of Biogeography, 39: 772-781. Link.
  • Stigall, A.L. 2012. Speciation collapse and invasive species dynamics during the Late Devonian "Mass Extinction." GSA Today, 22 (1): 4-9. Link.
  • Stigall, A.L. 2010. Invasive species and biodiversity crises: Testing the link in the Late Devonian. PLoS ONE, 5(12): e15584. Link.

Recent Advisee's Masters Theses

  • Lam, A.R., 2015. Paleobiogeographic analysis of a Late Ordovician faunal migration: Assessing regional and continental pathways and mechanisms.
  • Bauer, J.E., 2014. A phylogenetic and biogeographic analysis of the Ordovician brachiopod Eochonetes.  
  • Brame, H.R., 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.



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