The collections and facilities of the Shuler Museum support interdisciplinary investigation of significant issues in Earth and life history. Research topics are varied and include stratigraphy, systematics, taphonomy, paleoecology, paleoclimatology, and stable isotope geochemistry, with particular focus on secondarily adapted marine vertebrates and terrestrial vertebrates and plants of the Cretaceous and Paleogene. Current geographic areas of study include Alaska, Texas, Angola, Antarctica, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mongolia, Mozambique, Pakistan, and Portugal.
Current Research Projects
- The evolution, functional morphology, and physiology of mosasaurs
- The functional morphology of Cretaceous plesiosaurs from Angola and comparison with modern analogues using computer modeling
- Analyses of carbon isotopes in plant fossils and contemporaneous tooth enamel to investigate diet and niche partitioning among extinct fauna
- Taxonomic and systematic studies of Oligocene plant fossils from Ethiopia
- Crocodilian systematics and trends in diversity, with the description of new specimens from the Cretaceous of Texas
- Age and stratigraphy of the Cretaceous marine deposits of Angola and paleoecology of sharks, plesiosaurs, and mosasaurs from these strata
- Exploration of changing terrestrial environments across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary in Mongolia using stable isotope geochemistry
- Assessing temporal change in the diet of Miocene rodents from Pakistan using dental morphology and stable isotope geochemistry
- Estimation of pCO2 and paleoclimate for the Early Miocene and Late Oligocene of Ethiopia using independent proxies including plant fossils and isotopes
- Assessment and comparison of paleoecology from Late Oligocene and early Miocene paleobotanical sites using fossil plants, insect damage data, and isotopes
- Paleoenvironmental analysis of the 10 Ma Nakalipithecus hominoid site, Kenya
- Understanding the paleoecology of Cretaceous high-latitude terrestrial ecosystems and their relationship to climate signals
- Taxonomy, paleoecology, and paleobiogeography of Neogene East African small mammals
Click on the numbered localities on the interactive map below to learn more about research projects at the Shuler Museum.