Research

Dr. David F. Wright

Phylogenetic Paleobiology

I use a combination of specimen-based research, phylogenetic methods, and mathematical modeling to investigate how geological and intrinsic biological processes influence macroevolutionary dynamics in the marine biosphere. My current interests revolve around three reciprocally illuminating research areas:

Macroevolution: the origin of major lineages, models of morphological diversification, and the interplay between ecological and geological processes in large-scale evolutionary radiations.

Phylogenetic paleobiology: integrating geologic data with statistical approaches including Bayesian inference and Phylogenetic Comparative Methods (PCMs) to quantify patterns of trait evolution & diversification in the fossil record.

Echinoderm systematics and evolution: diversity, phylogeny, and geological history of the phylum Echinodermata (starfish, sea urchins & their kin), especially the Crinoidea (sea lilies & feather stars).