Lab updates – upcoming papers, talks, and biv3d status.

December 2019

November 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019


Research Projects

The origin and maintenance of biodiversity. Select a project tile for more information.

Biogeographic Dynamics

Taxonomic, functional, and morphological diversity through time and across space.

Bivalve 3D (biv3d)

Three-dimensionalizing the marine Bivalvia


Contrasting responses of functional diversity to major losses in taxonomic diversity.

Macroecology and Systematics

Probabilistic models of species discovery and biodiversity comparisons.

Selected Publications

The drivers of latitudinal differences in the phylogenetic and ecological composition of communities are increasingly studied and understood, but still little is known about the factors underlying morphological differences. High-resolution, three-dimensional morphological data collected using computerized micro-tomography (micro-CT) shows that morphological differences are largely driven by the loss of ecological functional groups and family-level clades at high latitudes, rather than directional shifts in morphology within the shared groups.
PLoS One, 2019.

Global biodiversity consists not only of the sum of taxonomic units such as species, but also their ecological or functional variety. These two components of biodiversity might be expected to rise or fall in tandem, but we find they are capable of strikingly independent behavior.
PNAS, 2018.

Recent Publications

More Publications

. Common latitudinal gradients in functional richness and functional evenness across marine and terrestrial systems. Proc. Roy. Soc. B., 2019.

Project ProcB UChicago News

. Loss of biodiversity dimensions through shifting climates and ancient mass extinctions. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 2018.

Project ICBiol

. Measuring Biodiversity and Extinction–Present and Past. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 2018.

Project ICBiol

. Lifespan bias explains live-dead discordance in abundance of two common bivalves. Paleobiology, 2018.


. Unifying latitudinal gradients in range size and richness across marine and terrestrial systems. Proc. Roy. Soc. B., 2016.

Project ProcB

Teaching Roles

Increasing awareness of past and present biodiversity dynamics through teaching and mentoring inside and outside the classroom.

Undergraduate Mentorship

  • Latitudinal patterns in functional and taxonomic diversity in marine bivalves and terrestrial birds. Matthew published this work as Schumm et al. 2019. Proc. Roy. Soc. B.
  • “Bivalves Unhinged”: Biomechanical tradeoffs in hinge plate and muscle configuration. Safia will share her most recent results at GSA 2018, and has presented previous material at SICB 2018. Safia is now closing in on the final manuscript.
  • Tradeoffs in marine bivalve shape and size across latitude. Sarah successfully defended her thesis in Spring 2018 and is now a graduate student at UC Boulder.
  • Ranked effects of heavy metals on marine bivalves in laboratory mesocosms. McKenzie, now an ESOP Fellow at ETH Zürich studying Biogeochemistry and Pollution Dynamics, has published her senior thesis in Marine Pollution Bulletin!


I have taught in the following courses at UChicago:

  • Biological Evolution
  • Biostratigraphy and Sedimentology
  • Modern and Ancient Carbonate Environments
  • Environmental History of the Earth
  • Natural Hazards
  • Chemistry in the Atmosphere


  • Jr. Science Café: Climate Clues – Developed and presented a 30-minute interactive session for middle school students at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry on reconstructing past climates.
  • Career Day – Participating scientist at The Museum of Science and Industry’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Career Day.
  • Science Advisor – Brainstorming Science Fair Ideas with high school students at the Field Museum of Natural History
  • Science 360: Earthquakes! – Designed and implemented a 30-minute interactive session for the general public on the science behind earthquakes. The show played at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center for several years.
  • Carolina Science Café – Coordinated talks with University of North Carolina scientists to discuss their research with the general public at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.


  • Henry Hinds Laboratory Room 269, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, 60615, USA