Dr. Gustav Paulay

Gustav Paulay profileCurator of Marine Malacology
Florida Museum of Natural History
Dickinson Hall, Rm. 278
1659 Museum Road
Gainesville, Florida 32611-7800

Ph.D. University of Washington, 1988

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Concurrent Appointments

Adjunct Professor of Zoology

We live at a critical time for biodiversity. The biosphere is undergoing profound alterations as a result of human activities, with a mass extinction erasing much of our biological heritage before it is even documented. My research program is defined by the biodiversity crisis. Documenting life on Earth before it is profoundly altered is one of the most relevant research endeavors our generation can undertake. As scientific methods advance over time, our ability to understand the world increases in most fields, thus current research efforts will be inevitably overshadowed by future progress. However as biodiversity is lost over time, our ability to document the pre-human biosphere decreases, thus efforts to document it will not only remain relevant, but irreplaceable. I study biodiversity on coral reefs and Pacific islands with a two-pronged approach: documenting species diversity with large-scale taxonomic surveys, and testing hypotheses about historical origins of diversity using paleontological, ecological, and phylogenetic tools.

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