Research

My current research revolves around two main themes.

The first is investigating the interplay of geology, palaeontology, and the environment, in order to gain a better understanding of the patterns of biodiversity and extinction we see through time. This involves compensating for uneven sampling that we see in the fossil record, and using this to gain a better understanding of the diversity of different animal groups through time. Thorough this, we are then better placed to understand the environmental and biological or ecological factors that have shaped major patterns in biotic evolution.

In particular, my research focuses on dynamics across the Jurassic/Cretaceous boundary, around 145 million years ago. Initially regarded as a mass extinction, more recent evidence suggests that the story is much more complicated. Around this time, we see the origin of numerous modern classes, which suggests that major events were occurring around this time that were important for our understanding of modern animal groups.

In addition to this, I study the taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships of the ancestors of crocodiles, a group called crocodyliforms. In particular, my work has focused in the evolutionary relationships of a cool but poorly understood group of extinct crocodyliforms known as atoposaurids. These little cuties seemed to be fairly abundant throughout the Jurassic and Cretaceous, and might have played an important role in the ascent of modern crocodiles.