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Graduate Program

We have a well-rounded program in paleontology and related areas of evolutionary biology, and ecology. Faculty and graduate students involved in paleontology are associated with the Museum of Paleontology, where the collections and paleontology faculty (and some student) offices are located. Within the Museum, there are opportunities to interact with the Museum of Zoology, the Museum of Anthropology, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and the Herbarium. We have a diverse and helpful group of colleagues in Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Anthropology.

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and the Museum of Paleontology share faculty with professorial/curatorial appointments in paleontology (Fisher, Friedman, and Wilson Mantilla). In addition, we have faculty members with research scientist appointments (Badgley, MacLatchy, Sanders, Smith, and Zelditch).

U-M Museum of Paleontology Faculty

Catherine Badgley works in the area of taphonomy/paleoecology and is concerned both with general issues such as the completeness of the geologic record, and with specific questions relating to the context of late Cenozoic hominoid evolution.

Learn more about Dr. Badgley's research.

Daniel Fisher is interested in functional morphology, taphonomy, and use of stratigraphic data in phylogenetic inference. He has worked with various groups, including arthropods and echinoderms, but he currently directs much of his attention toward proboscidean paleobiology and determining the causes of the late Pleistocene extinction of mastodons and mammoths.

Learn more about Dr. Fisher's research.

Matt Friedman is a vertebrate paleontologist whose research focuses on using fossils to inform our understanding of the evolution of modern biological diversity. My own studies target the paleontological record of fishes, which spans the better part of half a billion years and is represented in a variety of depositional settings by relatively complete fossils rich in anatomical data with a bearing in ecology and evolutionary relationships. Current research spans this long history, with projects in the Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic that are complemented by molecular genetic studies of the living relatives of the fossil groups under study.

Learn more about Dr. Friedman's research.

Jeff Wilson Mantilla is a vertebrate paleontologist whose research focuses on dinosaur (especially sauropod) evolution, distribution, and paleobiology. He is interested in the palebiogeography of continental vertebrates of the Indian subcontinent, and he conducts field work in central and western India.

Learn more about Dr. Wilson's research.