Research in Fossil Vertebrates

Fossil being unearthedThis research focuses on Cenozoic fossil vertebrates linked to marine and terrestrial formations along the Panama Canal area and additional localities in in Panama. Questions to be addressed include paleobiogeographic evolution of the vertebrate faunas before the Isthmus uplift and their role in North American Faunal evolution; and how terrestrial communities responded to floral changes driven by climatic change and/or volcanism along the Cenozoic, an interval of time characterized by dramatic climatic changes. Additionally, new marine fossil mammals will allow us to examine modes of dispersal in the ancient Neotropics, and to understand how they moved between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Small fossil in palmOur integrated research program involves different paleontological field techniques as such as: surface prospecting, quarrying, and screen washing. Additional analytical activities at UF and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History are focused in preparation, classification, and cataloging, biostratigraphy, geochemical applications, microwear, and quantitative morphometric studies.

Primary Research Contacts

Dr. Jonathan I. Bloch | PI
Florida Museum of Natural History

Dr. Bruce J. MacFadden | PI/PD
Florida Museum of Natural History