Paleobiology and Forensic Anthropology
The Paleobiology and Forensic Anthropology group at NC State embodies one of the broadest scopes in paleontological and forensic/taphonomic research in the nation, cross-cutting between molecular and macroevolutionary scales.
Our researchers use a multidisciplinary approach to address modern biological questions with a deep-time perspective, adapting emerging visualization, engineering, molecular, chemical and biomedical technologies to earth-life dynamics in extant and extinct systems. Our strengths include quantitative modeling of death and diagenesis, patterns of paleobiodiversity and paleobiogeography in ancient terrestrial ecosystems; reconstructing phylogenetic relationships of extant and extinct vertebrates using both morphological and molecular data; and exploring macroevolutionary trends such as ecomorphology, social and sexual display, physiology and life history in ancient organisms using comparative phylogenetic approaches. Challenges common to the group include identifying links between the degradation and preservation of life and the physical environment at molecular, cellular and organismal scales.
The group is also heavily engaged in public (citizen) science development, science communication training and community outreach through joint affiliations with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.