Lauren Cole Sallan
- Assistant Professor
- Ph.D. Integrative Biology, University of Chicago, 2012
- University of Michigan
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
1076 Ruthven Museums Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1079
- Phone: (734) 764-7797
- Fax: (734) 763-0544
My research interests focus on explaining biodiversity and ecosystem change over geological timescales, using the records of ray-finned fishes (half of standing vertebrate biodiversity) and Paleozoic vertebrates (half of vertebrate evolutionary history). I compile new morphological and taxonomic databases, the latter contributed to the open Paleobiology Database. I use approaches from fields ranging between quantitative paleobiology, community ecology, biomechanics, systematics, phylogenetic comparative methods, taxonomic classification, geometric morphometrics and mathematical modeling. I operate at the species and global level and at local and geological timescales.
This research has already revealed the origins, and near-death, of the modern vertebrate fauna around the end-Devonian Hangenberg extinction (the source of “Romer’s Gap” following the origin of tetrapods), laid out the mode and timing of vertebrate recovery from climactic and global events, tracked predator-prey dynamics over geological timescales, supported a new ecological model for adaptive radiations in which diet outweighs habitat, challenged patterns of divergence between major clades and expanded our knowledge of vertebrate evolutionary processes and biodiversity past and present.