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Mr Armin Elsler

Early tetrapod evolution: Red Queen or Court Jester? (Supervisor: Professor Michael J. Benton)

My current work concentrates on the macroevolution of early tetrapods, with a particular focus on the evolution of body size. A pre-existing database is updated and a supertree of early tetrapods is created. This dataset forms the base for subsequent phylogenetic comparative analyses, which will be coupled with additional research on diversity and morphological disparity patterns. Special attention is given to the effects of mass extinctions in the observed timeframe.

 Previous research topics include morphological and phylogenetic analyses of an ornithischian dinosaur specimen from the U.S., a morphological description of fossil bird remains from Austria, stable isotope geochemistry of Late Triassic brachiopods and chemical analyses of high temperature solid state reaction products.

 My interests include the macroevolution and the shape of phylogenies of early tetrapods and dinosaurs, mass extinctions, early terrestrial ecosystem evolution and the possible usage of geochemical analyses within a phylogenetic framework.

Research keywords

  • macroevolution
  • early tetrapods
  • dinosaurs
  • phylogeny
  • stable isotopes