I am a computational evolutionary paleobiologist. My research is focused on harnessing large-scale datasets to address fundamental paleontological and evolutionary questions by developing and using new computational approaches. I am particularly interested in understanding the general patterns and higher-level processes underlying the emergence of novel phenotypic traits. This involves incorporating organismal complexity from the developmental to the ecological levels better understand both the external contexts and underlying constraints that guide phenotypic innovation. Although my research sometimes brings me across vertebrates, I use fossil and living primates as my primary study system to address these questions, focusing most heavily on the Hominoidea (apes). By bringing novel computational approaches that accommodate complexity in morphological function, I am interested in both harnassing the primate fossil record to illuminate broader issues in evolutionary theory and contributing to a stronger understanding of the evolutionary processes that shaped the vast diversity of living primates. I am currently TC Chamberlin Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago.
Spoke at two great symposia this month: “Phylogenetic Paleobiology: Exploring Macroevolutionary Trends with Evolutionary Trees” at GSA 2018 in Indianapolis, and “Evolutionary and Phylogenetic Morphology” at Entomology 2018 in Vancouver. Good stuff! GSA slides are here: https://github.com/carolinetomo/GSA2018