Lab Members

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PI - Postdoctoral Researchers - Graduate Students - Undergraduate Researchers - External Collaborators - Former Members

 

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CV - October 2019

Javier Ortega-Hernández  mexican_flag

Assistant Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology in the
Museum of Comparative Zoology

 

Short Bio: I am an invertebrate paleobiologist interested in the evolution of major animal groups during the Paleozoic, with particular emphasis on the Cambrian Explosion and the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event. Originally from Mexico City, I obtained my undergraduate degree in Biology from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and in 2008 completed the MSc in Palaeobiology at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. I then moved to the University of Cambridge from 2009 to 2018, first as a PhD student at the Department of Earth Sciences, and then as a Research Fellow of Emmanuel College and the Department of Zoology. I have been part of the faculty at the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and curator at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University since January 2019.

Keywords: Paleozoic | Cambrian Explosion | exceptional preservation | phylogeny | evo-devo | Ecdysozoa

Email: jortegahernandez@fas.harvard.edu

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PI - Postdoctoral Researchers - Graduate Students - Undergraduate Researchers - External Collaborators - Former Members

Postdoctoral Researchers

 

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Rudy Lerosey-Aubril  france_flag

Research Associate - Spring '19

 

Short Bio: I am an invertebrate paleontologist investigating the evolution of early animals and their organization into modern-type ecosystems. To do so, I travel the world to study Konservat-Lagerstätten – exceptional deposits preserving the remains of both biomineralizing and soft-bodied organisms. These remarkable localities provide unparalleled insights into the anatomy and ecological interactions of extinct organisms. My preference goes to the Cambrian Lagerstätten of western Utah (Wheeler, Marjum, Weeks), but I am fortunate enough to work on Early Paleozoic exceptional fossils from all over the world. My areas of expertise are the biology, phylogeny and diversification dynamics of fossil and modern arthropods (and relatives), with special interests for gut anatomy and feeding strategies. I completed a Master (2001) and a Ph.D. (2004) in Paleobiology at the University of Montpellier, France – both on trilobite developmental strategies and mass extinctions – and then, occupied curator, research and teaching positions in Australia, France, and Germany.

Keywords: Arthropoda | comparative anatomy | diversity dynamics | functional morphology | Konservat-Lagerstätten | trophic interactions

Email: rudy_lerosey@fas.harvard.edu

 

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Jo M. Wolfe  canada_flag

National Science Foundation Co-PI / Research Associate - Spring '19

 

Short Bio: My research program revolves around the evolution of complex characters considered ‘key innovations’ and their influence on phenotypic evolution and biodiversity through time. My toolkit draws on both the geological and genomic histories of organisms. Geological data are derived primarily from the ‘exceptionally preserved’ fossil record, i.e. those fossils that preserve soft tissues. Genomic data are used to reconstruct phylogenies of study groups, as well as to elucidate the distribution and expression of gene families across those groups. In combination, these data types provide reciprocal illumination of evolutionary innovations and set the stage for integrative studies of non-model organisms. I received my B.Sc. from the University of Toronto in 2007, and my Ph.D. from Yale University in 2012. I previously undertook postdoctoral positions at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Keywords: Phylogenetics | phylogenomics | macroevolution |crustaceans | Cambrian explosion |marine biology | microbial evolution

Email: jowolfe@g.harvard.edu

 

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Stephen Pates united_kingdom_flag

Alexander Agassiz Postdoctoral Fellow - Fall '19

 

Short Bio: My research focuses on understanding the role of predation as an evolutionary driver of innovation in both predators and prey during the early Paleozoic. To do this I explore the  diversity, geographic spread, temporal distribution, and feeding methods of the radiodonts, a group that includes some of the largest known nektonic Cambrian predators (e.g. Anomalocaris). I study trilobites as a prey animal, using quantitative methods to compare differences in their injury frequency, and assess potential antipredatory features. I obtained my undergraduate and masters degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge (UK) in 2014. In 2015 I began my PhD at the University of Oxford (UK) in the Department of Zoology, completing it in 2019 after a year spent visiting the University of Lausanne (Switzerland).

Keywords: Systematics | Radiodonts | Trilobites | Predation | Cambrian

Email: stephenpates@fas.harvard.edu

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PI - Postdoctoral Researchers - Graduate Students - Undergraduate Researchers - External Collaborators - Former Members

Graduate Students

 

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Richard J. Knecht usa_flag

Graduate student - Fall '18

 

Short Bio: I am a paleobiologist and evolutionary ecologist that focuses primarily on terrestrial systems of the Paleozoic with a primary emphasis on early hexapods and the evolution of flight in insects (pterygota). I earned a BS in Geology from Tufts University where I worked on several research projects including the paleoecology of a Late Carboniferous intermontane basin, paleoecology and paleobiogeography of Pleistocene glaciolacustrine fossils using varve chronostratigraphy, and the paleobiology of a Carboniferous sponge forest before spending the next several years working in the collections of the Invertebrate and Vertebrate Paleontology Departments at the Museum of Comparative Zoology. I resumed my education and completed a MS in Geology from the University of New Hampshire, Durham. My research at UNH used resurrection ecology and the recovery of subfossil ephippia (resting eggs) of freshwater zooplankton to examine the structure, drivers, and limits of competition and coexistence in natural systems.

Keywords: Paleozoic | paleoentomology | ichnology |Carboniferous | evolution of flight | terrestrial systems | paleolimnology | evolutionary ecology

Email: rknecht@fas.harvard.edu

 

 

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Sarah R. Losso  usa_flag

Graduate student - Fall '18

 

Short Bio: I am an invertebrate paleobiologist focused on trilobite phylogenetics, paleoecology, and macroevolution. I graduated from Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, then completed an MS in Earth and Environmental Science from the University of Iowa. Research for my MS focused on description of five new species, assigned to a new genus of dimeropygid trilobites from the earliest stage of the Ordovician of western Utah and southeastern Idaho.

Keywords: phylogenetics | systematics | paleoecology | macroevolution

Email: sarahlosso@g.harvard.edu

 

 

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Marc A. Mapalo  Philippines_flag

Graduate student - Fall '19

 

Short Bio: I'm a tardigradologist who is interested in combining modern (-omics and dev-bio analyses) and fossil data to understand the evolution of tardigrades and their ecdysozoan relatives. I obtained my BS and MS in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the University of the Philippines - Diliman where I got trained in molecular biology techniques, phylogenetic analyses, and immunology work. My undergraduate and MS theses involved the study of Philippine tardigrades, including description of new species. I then became part of the Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology (MEME) where I got two more MS degrees from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany (MS Evolution, Ecology, and Systematics) and Uppsala University, Sweden (MS Biology). My MS theses involved the use of genomic and transcriptomic data for bioinformatic analyses, such as phylogenomics and ancient human DNA population genomic analyses. During this time, I was trained how to work in an ancient DNA lab facility.

Keywords: tardigrade evolution | ecdysozoan fossils | phylogenomics | systematics | evo-devo

Email: marcmapalo@g.harvard.edu

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PI - Postdoctoral Researchers - Graduate Students - Undergraduate Researchers - External Collaborators - Former Members

Undergraduate Researchers and Interns

 

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Holly Sullivan  usa_flag

Scientific Illustrator - Spring '20

 

Short Bio: Holly is a science illustrator and current graduate student at California State University Monterey Bay in the Science Illustration graduate program. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science. As a science illustrator, she aims to educate as well as invoke interest and appreciation for science and the natural world through her artwork. Holly has collaborated with numerous researchers from around the world to create illustrations and graphics for their work. She has work published in a number of scientific publications including The Journal of Andrology and The Journal of Anesthesia and Analgesia. One of her current projects entails working as a science illustration consultant at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, creating graphics for a NASA mission. Along with her internship with the Ortega-Hernández Lab for Invertebrate Paleobiology, Holly is working full time as a freelance science illustrator and gladly welcomes all commissions. You can view her work at www.sulscientific.com, and follow her freelance journey on Instagram at Sullivan Scientific.

Keywords: science illustrator | sciart | scicomm |zoology |paleoart |science art 

Email: sullivanscientific@gmail.com

 

 

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Jackson Kehoe  usa_flag

Undergraduate researcher - Summer '20

 

Short Bio: I just completed my sophomore year at Harvard College and declared a concentration in Integrative Biology. I am interested in better understanding the processes that drive speciation and working with data to find these answers. I also have an interest in orchids, their diversification, natural histories and pollinator relationships. I spent my last year at Harvard as a lab assistant working with ant-plant mutualisms, and this summer I am looking forward to collecting and examining quantitative data from trilobite fossils.

Keywords: macroevolution | speciation | data science |ecology |natural history

Email: jpkehoe@college.harvard.edu

 

 

LoganQualls

Logan Qualls  usa_flag

Undergraduate researcher - Summer '20

 

Short Bio:  I am a rising Junior at Harvard, concentrating in Integrative Biology, with a secondary field in Classics.  I am interested in the paleoecology of the Paleozoic, as well as studying the inter-relatedness of species using fossil morphologies. I am also interested in vertebrate paleontology, and tree spalting fungi.  This summer, I will be observing morphometric differences in the Isotelus genus of trilobites to determine phylogenetic relationships, as well as analyzing  how morphologies affect the drag of the organism. 

Keywords: phylogenetics | morphometrics | paleoecology | macroevolution | Paleozoic

Email: lqualls@college.harvard.edu

 

 

Maddi_Waskom

Maddi Waskom  usa_flag

Undergraduate researcher - Summer '20

 

Short Bio:  I am a rising junior at Harvard studying Integrative Biology and Earth and Planetary Science. My academic interests fall at the intersection of biology and Earth history and understanding how life and the planet have shaped each other. Additionally, I hold a special place in my heart for science communication and education in classrooms and media. This summer I will be working with trilobite thin sections from the Walcott-Rust Quarry. 

Keywords: Earth history | macroevolution | taphonomy | science communication 

Email: madeleinewaskom@college.harvard.edu

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PI - Postdoctoral Researchers - Graduate Students - Undergraduate Researchers - External Collaborators - Former Members

External Collaborators

 

Dongjing_Fu

Dongjing Fu (傅东静)  China_flag

Professor, Northwest University, Xian

 

Short Bio: Dongjing‘s principal research interests revolve around the so-called ‘Cambrian explosion’, a unique time for life evolution that took place approximately 540-505 million years ago. Her work is focused at the moment on understanding the origin and evolution of the early animals, particularly in studying of morphology, ontogeny and the phylogeny of euarthropods. These investigations are largely based on the study of exceptionally preserved soft-bodied assemblages of a series of Konservat-Lagerstätten (sites of exceptional preservation) in South China, such as the Qingjiang, Chengjiang, Guanshan, Shipai and some new faunas ranging from Cambrian stage 2 to Furongian.

Keywords: Cambrian Explosion | exceptional preservation | metazoans | Arthropoda | evolution

Email: djfu@nwu.edu.cn

 

 

 

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Yu Liu (刘煜)  China_flag

Professor, Yunnan University, Kunming

 

Short Bio:

2009: PhD, University of Ulm, Germany. Major: Natural Sciences. Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dieter Waloszek.

12/2009–09/2016: Associated Professor, Dept. of Biology II, Univ. of Munich, Germany.

10/2016–present: Deputy Director, Professor, Yunnan Key Laboratory for Palaeobiology, Yunnan University, China.

Keywords: Cambrian | Arthropoda | development | embryology | micro computed tomography

Email:  yu.liu@ynu.edu.cn

 

 

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Da-you Zhai (翟大有)  China_flag

Associate Professor, Yunnan University, Kunming

 

Short Bio:

2005.09–2011.01, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Ph.D.)

2011.01–2014.01, Postdoctoral Researcher, Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

2014.01–2015.06, Associate Professor, Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

2015.07–present , Associate Professor, Yunnan Key Laboratory for Palaeobiology, Yunnan University

Keywords: Taxonomy | phylogeny | paleoecology | Cambrian | bivalved arthropods | ostracods

Email: dyzhai@ynu.edu.cn

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PI - Postdoctoral Researchers - Graduate Students - Undergraduate Researchers - External Collaborators - Former Members

Former Members

Cole Lombardi

Cole Lombardi 

MCZ research intern 2019

 

 

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