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Research topics


Macroevolution and Paleobiology

Evolutionary processes can take millions of years. Therefore, Paleontology plays an important role in Evolutionary Biology by providing essential data from extinct organisms. One of the main goals of the lab is to characterize large-scale evolutionary patterns, mostly using paleontological data. These include either phenotypic or diversification patterns, that is, either understanding how a certain morphological trait evolved in a clade or the diversification dynamics of the clade over time. 

Taxonomy and Systematics

In order to accurately document the deep-time evolutionary patterns, we first need to know the diversity of the past. For that, traditional paleontological research is crucial, discovering, describing and phylogenetically positioning new extinct species. The lab is involved in the description (or the redescription) of fossil materials, as well as in field work to unearth new material. Most of past research has been done on crocodylomorphs, but the lab is currently expanding the focus to all vertebrates. 

Ongoing projects


Conservation Paleobiology

Conservation Paleobiology is a relatively new field of research, which aims to use data from extinct organism to better inform conservation policies. In our lab, Ana Clara is currently applying some Conservation Paleobiology approaches to crocodylians.

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Crocodylomorph taxonomy and systematics

Crocodylomorpha is a once diverse group of archosaur reptiles, which included some very morphologically disparate subclades. Among the ongoing projects of the lab, different lab members are working on the description, taxonomy and systematics of crocodylomorph taxa, including Daniel and Pedro, which are studying notosuchian crocodylomorphs.


Megafauna extinction

The Late Pleistocene extinctions, which predominantly affected megafaunal mammals, is a largely studied subject. Nevertheless, many open questions remain. In our lab, Fernanda is currently studying extinction patters of sloths and Thayara's project aims to estimate functional diversity of different Pleistocene and Holocene paleoecosystems from South America. Image credit: Julio Lacerda.

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