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

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  • Team Bivalve traveled back to the Natural History Museum in D.C. to continue our march through 3D scanning the marine Bivalvia (biv3d). We’re up to nearly 70% coverage of shallow-water marine bivalve genera after this trip!


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 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

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.

Estimates of species numbers are central to many analyses in fields ranging from conservation biology to macroecology and macroevolution. However, new species continue to be discovered and described at an uneven rate among regions and taxonomic groups, raising questions about the robustness of currently observed biodiversity patterns.
In PNAS, 2017.

Recent Publications

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

Project ProcB

. Waterholes on the Moon. Geoscientists in the Parks; CRMO, National Park Service, 2010.


Recent & Upcoming Talks

A few of these talks are a group effort but should give an idea of the research themes I’m currently engaged with.

Teaching Roles

Undergraduate Mentorship

  • Matthew SchummLatitudinal patterns in functional and taxonomic diversity in marine bivalves and terrestrial birds. Matthew presented his work at SICB 2018 and is nearing submission of the paper now.
  • Safia Khouja“Bivalves Unhinged”: Biomechanical tradeoffs in hinge plate and muscle configuration. Safia has presented her work at SICB 2018 and is now writing the paper.
  • Sarah LeventhallTradeoffs in marine bivalve shape and size across lattitude. Sarah successfully defended her thesis Spring 2018!
  • McKenzie MandichRanked 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 using climate proxies to reconstruct 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! – Developed a 30 minute interactive session for the general public on the science behind earthquakes. The show still plays at the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center today.
  • 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