This area of my research aims to better understand the complex relationships between geological events (such as global climate change and episodes of mountain building), large-scale biotic immigration events (BIMEs), and speciation patterns. Specifically, in what ways do physical changes in the Earth-life system influence patterns of geographic distribution and diversification among species?
I have primarily focused on biogeographic and phylogenetic patterns among Ordovician brachiopods from Laurentia. Results from this research suggest macroevolutionary shifts in speciation rate during the Late Ordovician were linked with the Taconic Orogeny and correspond with a globally significant perturbation in the carbon cycle (GICE) and regional paleoceanographic change.
Stigall, A.L., J.E. Bauer, A.R. Lam, and D.F. Wright. 2016. Biotic immigration events, speciation, and the accumulation of biodiversity in the fossil record. Global and Planetary Change, 148: 242-257.
Wright, D.F. and A.L. Stigall. 2014. Species-level phylogenetic revision of the Late Ordovician orthid brachiopod genus Glyptorthis. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 12: 893-906.
Wright, D.F. and A.L. Stigall. 2013. Phylogenetic revision of the Late Ordovician orthid brachiopod genera Plaesiomys and Hebertella from North America. Journal of Paleontology, 87: 1107-1128.
Wright, D.F. and A.L. Stigall. 2013. Geological drivers of Late Ordovician faunal change in Laurentia: investigating links between tectonics, speciation, and biotic invasions. PLoS ONE, 8(7): e68353. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068353