Short-term Visitor

Paleontological and phylogenetic approaches to the study of diversification and extinction

PI(s): Jonathan D Marcot (University of Illinois)
Start Date: 18-Jun-2012
End Date: 30-Jun-2012
Keywords: biodiversity, macroevolution, paleontology, phylogenetics

During the proposed visit, I will continue my participation in two distinct ongoing projects with related topics: the fossil record and taxonomic diversification of Coleoptera and the relationship between current extinction risk among living species and their susceptibility to extinction as inferred from the fossil record. In the first project, we will quantitatively document the fossil record and large-scale taxonomic evolution (i.e., origination and extinction) of beetles in the Northern Hemisphere throughout the Cenozoic. In the second project, we are estimating past extinction rates of various tetrapod groups using fossil occurrence data, then comparing these rates to the modern extinction susceptibility of the same groups. The correspondence of these two bears on the factors imperiling modern species, and our ability to predict future species extinction.