As a PhD candidate at the American Museum of Natural History, I use high resolution CT and synchrotron scanning to elucidate internal anatomical features of fossils, without damaging valuable specimens. In particular, new fossils from the Mississippian (320 Ma) Fayetteville Shale of Arkansas are providing valuable insight into the ‘stem group’ of chondrichthyans, and this assemblage serves as a window into post-extinction diversification, as it falls right after the end-Devonian mass extinction. I study the morphology and anatomy of these cartilaginous fishes to better understand the chondrichthyan Tree of Life, and I use the paleoenvironment and community dynamics of the Fayetteville Shale to draw conclusions about the diversification of early sharks.

 

Institution

Richard Gilder Graduate School

Proposed graduation

Summer 2018

Committee members

John G. Maisey, Melanie Stiassny, Neil Landman

Related Dissertation Chapters

1.

Redescription of Platylithophycus cretaceum as a filter feeding chondrichthyan (Cretaceous, Niobrara Chalk of KS)

2.

Jaw articulation of Orthacanthus texensis (Permian, TX) and reconstruction of adductor musculature

3.

The first described basicranium of Carcharopsis From the Fayetteville Shale (Mississippian, AR)

4.

A new operculate chondrichthyan from the Fayetteville Shale (Mississippian, AR)