Current Research

Experimental taphonomy of vertebrates. Study of the decay and disarticulation of modern vertebrates in aquatic and terrestrial situations. This information is very helpful in interpreting fossil assemblages.

Fossil trackways of the Permian Coconino Sandstone in Arizona. Analysis of the characteristics of the vertebrate and invertebrate trackways and comparison with modern analogues, as an aid to understanding the paleoecology of the Coconino Sandstone. The available evidence points to underwater formation of vertebrate trackways, and the apparent contradiction between this and the sedimentology has not yet been resolved.

Taphonomy and paleoecology of the Eocene Bridger Formation in southwest Wyoming. Study of the abundant fossil turtles, and their relationship to other vertebrate fossils and the associated sediments is underway. The goal is to better understand the depositional environment and depositional processes of the Bridger. An extensive mapping project of Bridger B is nearly completed.

Taphonomy of fossil whales in the Miocene/Pliocene Pisco Formation of Peru. Well-preserved whales are abundant in the Pisco Formation, most of them in diatomite. Study of the taphonomy of the whales and the sedimentology of the associated diatomite and other sediment is in progress.