College of William and Mary
Paleoecology: An Evolutionary Arms Race part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
In this activity, students divide into groups of 4-5, fine-tune a hypothesis relating to escalation, collect data to test this hypothesis using mollusks from local Yorktown deposits (Pliocene), analyze these data, and write-up their results individually.
Going to the Dogs: Exploring Allometry and Heterochrony part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
This activity explores the relationship between developmental biology and macroevolution by focusing on how evolutionary changes in ontogeny can produce small-scale (within species) and large-scale (between species or major lineages) evolution of morphology.
Grant Proposal Project part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
This grant proposal assignment is the final project for my paleontology course, requiring students to apply the hands-on research skills they've developed throughout the semester.
Paleontology part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Courses
Paleontology is the study of the history of life and ancient environments. Historically, the practice of paleontology has focused on the description and classification of fossil species. This approach has undergone a fundamental shift in the last two decades as paleontologists have sought to apply more rigorous, quantitative techniques to the fossil record and have recognized the relevance of fossil data to evolutionary, plate tectonic, developmental, environmental, and ecological questions. Fossils are now frequently used in interdisciplinary studies to determine the nature and tempo of biological evolution, to recognize ancient environments and climates, to subdivide geologic time, to reconstruct the motions of tectonic plates, and to answer a host of other geological and biological questions. This course will focus on both traditional and more modern techniques in paleontology, demonstrating the importance of a quantitative, interdisciplinary approach to this fascinating subject.