Dr Daniel Field, University of Cambridge
Daniel will talk about evolution of birds across mass extinctions, and the timescale of the modern bird radiation. The end-Cretaceous (K–Pg) mass extinction dramatically affected vertebrate life worldwide. He and his colleagues are trying to decipher how this event affected birds and other vertebrates through fieldwork and lab-based studies. When in Earth history did the first evolutionary divergences among modern birds take place? How old are the major avian clades?
Field, D.J., Benito, J., Chen, A., Jagt, J.M.W., Ksepka, D.T. 2020. Late Cretaceous neornithine from Europe illuminates the origins of crown birds. Nature, 579 397-401.
Field, D.J., Berv, J.S., Hsiang, A.Y., Lanfear, R., Landis, M.J., Dornburg, A. 2020. Timing the extant avian radiation: The rise of modern birds, and the importance of modeling molecular rate variation. PeerJ Preprint of in-review manuscript: https://peerj.com/preprints/27521/
Daniel is an evolutionary palaeobiologist at the University of Cambridge (Department of Earth Sciences). He hails from Alberta, Canada and is a graduate from the University of British Columbia. He did his PhD at Yale and worked at the Smithsonian and Denver before coming to Cambridge in 2018. He uses the vertebrate fossil record to help answer questions about how, where, and when Earth’s modern biodiversity arose. He is passionate about natural history, evolution, and science outreach, and enjoys studying and photographing Earth’s vertebrate biodiversity in the field.
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