Earth and Environmental Sciences/Michigan Society of Fellows
My research focuses on understanding the macroevolutionary patterns associated with mammals returning to a marine environment. My lab studies the evolutionary origins of key innovations, such as echolocation in toothed whales and filter feeding in baleen whales. These key innovations represent ecological shifts marked by morphological transformations akin to the transition from scales to feathers in dinosaurs and fins to limbs in tetrapods. My research program uses high resolution CT scanning and 3D modeling of fossils to understand how the return to a marine environment broadly shapes mammalian evolution overall, and to understand the origins of modern groups and their ecologies.