Quantitative taphonomy


This project focuses on a critical underlying assumption in any historical paleoecological research — do accumulating dead shells accurately record the living community?
Sedimentary records of organismal occurrence and abundance are only informative to the extent that the dead assemblage accurately reflects the living community. One approach is to compare the similarity of the living community to the dead shells accumulating in the sediment. Collecting these data to demonstrate the fidelity of the fossil record is time consuming research with a relatively long lead time, but it is essential to determine how post-mortum processes skew our perspective when reconstructing past communities. Another approach is through dating shells and modelling post-mortem processes assuming stochastically constant additions to the death assemblage.

reviewed papers (last 5 years):


grant support: