Earth's oxygen cycle and the evolution of animal life.
PNAS 113(32):8933 (2016)
The emergence and expansion of complex eukaryotic life on Earth is linked at a basic level to the secular evolution of surface oxygen levels. However, the role that planetary redox evolution has played in controlling the timing of metazoan (animal) emergence and diversification, if any, has been...
Eric, evolution and bodyplans.
Developmental Biology 412(2 Suppl):S33 (2016)
Rarity in mass extinctions and the future of ecosystems.
Nature 528(7582):345 (2015)
The fossil record provides striking case studies of biodiversity loss and global ecosystem upheaval. Because of this, many studies have sought to assess the magnitude of the current biodiversity crisis relative to past crises-a task greatly complicated by the need to extrapolate extinction rates...
RETROSPECTIVE. Eric Davidson (1937-2015).
Science 350(6260):517 (2015)
Eric Davidson (1937–2015).
Current Biology 25(20):R968 (2015)
Novelty and Innovation in the History of Life.
Current Biology 25(19):R930 (2015)
The history of life as documented by the fossil record encompasses evolutionary diversifications at scales ranging from the Ediacaran-Cambrian explosion of animal life and the invasion of land by vascular plants, insects and vertebrates to the diversification of flowering plants over the past 10...
Biotic replacement and mass extinction of the Ediacara biota.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological ... 282(1814) (2015)
The latest Neoproterozoic extinction of the Ediacara biota has been variously attributed to catastrophic removal by perturbations to global geochemical cycles, 'biotic replacement' by Cambrian-type ecosystem engineers, and a taphonomic artefact. We perform the first critical test of the 'biotic ...
David M. Raup (1933-2015).
Nature 524(7563):36 (2015)
When and how did the terrestrial mid-Permian mass extinction occur? Evidence from the tetrapod record of the Karoo Basin, South Africa.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological ... 282(1811) (2015)
A mid-Permian (Guadalupian epoch) extinction event at approximately 260 Ma has been mooted for two decades. This is based primarily on invertebrate biostratigraphy of Guadalupian-Lopingian marine carbonate platforms in southern China, which are temporally constrained by correlation to the associ...
Temporal acuity and the rate and dynamics of mass extinctions.
PNAS 111(9):3203 (2014)
Niche construction theory: a practical guide for ecologists.
Quarterly Review of Biology 88(1):4 (2013)
Niche construction theory (NCT) explicitly recognizes environmental modication by organisms ("niche construction") and their legacy overtime ("ecological inheritance") to be evolutionary processes in their own right. Here we illustrate how niche construction theory provides usedl conceptual tool...
Novelties that change carrying capacity.
Journal of Experimental Zoology, Part B: Molecu... 318(6):460 (2012)
Comparative developmental studies have revealed a rich array of details about the patterns and processes of morphological change in animals and increasingly in plants. But, applying these insights to the study of major episodes of evolutionary innovation requires understanding how these novel mo...
Calibrating the end-Permian mass extinction.
Science 334(6061):1367 (2011)
The end-Permian mass extinction was the most severe biodiversity crisis in Earth history. To better constrain the timing, and ultimately the causes of this event, we collected a suite of geochronologic, isotopic, and biostratigraphic data on several well-preserved sedimentary sections in South C...
The Cambrian conundrum: early divergence and later ecological success in the early history of animals.
Science 334(6059):1091 (2011)
Diverse bilaterian clades emerged apparently within a few million years during the early Cambrian, and various environmental, developmental, and ecological causes have been proposed to explain this abrupt appearance. A compilation of the patterns of fossil and molecular diversification, comparat...
Developmental Biology 357(1):27 (2011)
I present a new compilation of the distribution of the temporal distribution of new morphologies of marine invertebrates associated with the Ediacaran-Cambrian (578-510 Ma) diversification of Metazoa. Combining this data with previous work on the hierarchical structure of gene regulatory network...
Simple model of recovery dynamics after mass extinction.
Journal of Theoretical Biology 267(2):193 (2010)
Biotic recoveries following mass extinctions are characterized by a complex set of dynamics, including the rebuilding of whole ecologies from low-diversity assemblages of survivors and opportunistic species. Three broad classes of diversity dynamics during recovery have been suggested: an immedi...
Evolutionary innovation and stability in animal gene networks.
Journal of Experimental Zoology, Part B: Molecu... 314(3):182 (2010)
Early origin of the bilaterian developmental toolkit.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society... 364(1527):2253 (2009)
Whole-genome sequences from the choanoflagellate Monosiga brevicollis, the placozoan Trichoplax adhaerens and the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis have confirmed results from comparative evolutionary developmental studies that much of the developmental toolkit once thought to be characteristic o...
Climate as a driver of evolutionary change.
Current Biology 19(14):R575 (2009)
The link between biodiversity and climate has been obvious to biologists since the work of von Humboldt in the early 1800s, but establishing the relationship of climate to ecological and evolutionary patterns is more difficult. On evolutionary timescales, climate can affect supply of energy by b...
The evolution of hierarchical gene regulatory networks.
Nature Reviews: Genetics 10(2):141 (2009)
Comparative developmental evidence indicates that reorganizations in developmental gene regulatory networks (GRNs) underlie evolutionary changes in animal morphology, including body plans. We argue here that the nature of the evolutionary alterations that arise from regulatory changes depends on...