Jorge Velez Juarbe, Ph.D.

Former PCP-PIRE Post-doctoral Associate Vertebrate Paleontology; Mammalian systematics and paleobiology, evolution, paleobiogeography.
Florida Museum of Natural History

Research Interests

I am interested in the morphology, systematics and paleobiology of marine mammals and paleobiogeography of Cenozoic vertebrates from the Tropical Americas. My approach to the study of these fossil vertebrates combines existing museum collections and fieldwork, as well as taphonomic, isotopic and morphological information.

Now, as part of PCP-PIRE, my research will focus on the fossil marine mammals of Panama, which so far include cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and sirenians (seacows). Fieldwork will be aimed at finding additional material that will facilitate the study of their morphology in order to determine their relationships to other marine mammals from the Americas. The taxonomic information will also allow me to look into how physical drivers, such as the presence of the Central American Seaway, affected the biogeography of marine mammals. Aspects of the paleobiology of these marine mammals will be inferred by combining morphological data with other lines of evidence, such as invertebrate and other vertebrate assemblages.

Selected Publications

Fitzgerald, E. M. G., J. Velez-Juarbe, and R. T. Wells. In press. Miocene sea cow (Dugongidae) from Papua New Guinea sheds light on sirenian evolution in the Indo-Pacific. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 33(4).

Velez-Juarbe, J. In press. Return to the Sea: The Life and Evolutionary Times of Marine Mammals, by Annalisa Berta, 2012. University of California Press, Berkeley, U.S.A., 224 pp. $44.95 hardback. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 33(5).

Velez-Juarbe, J., J. I. Noriega, and B. S. Ferrero. In press. Fossil Dugongidae (Mammalia, Sirenia) from the Parana Formation (late Miocene) of Entre Ríos Province, Argentina. Ameghiniana.

Velez-Juarbe, J. and N. D. Pyenson. 2012. Bohaskaia monodontoides, a new monodontid (Cetacea: Odontoceti: Delphinoidea) from the Pliocene of the Western Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 32(2):476–484. DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2012.641705

Velez-Juarbe, J., D. P. Domning, and N. D. Pyenson. 2012. Iterative evolution of sympatric seacow (Dugongidae, Sirenia) assemblages in the past ~26 million years. PLoS ONE 7(2):e31294. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031294

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