Integrating fossil shell ultrastructure and biomarkers to resolve the evolutionary roots of the lophotrochozoan tree of life

Project: Other

Project Details


This project aims to decipher the origins, diversity, evolutionary relationships and ecology of the most ancestral members of Lophotrochozoa – a diverse group of anatomically disparate animals that includes the first biomineralizing animals to emerge during the Cambrian radiation, the most profound animal diversification event in Earth history. In a novel approach, fossil morphology and ultrastructure will be integrated with indigenous biogeochemical signatures (biomarkers) retrieved directly from Cambrian shells, providing a new way to assess homologies and evolutionary affinities. Defining new chemical character traits opens future opportunities to include biogeochemical data within phylogenetic supertrees to better resolve early animal relationships.
Effective start/end date1/02/1931/01/22