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"Getting data is the easy part – interpreting it is what gets interesting"

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Professor Fox helped to start a new open access journal in 1997 that is accessible to everyone online called Palaeontologia Electronica

Earth History
Vertebrate Paleontology
Fossil Record and Evolution of Mammals


Professor David L. Fox

Geology & Geophysics, Pillsbury Hall,Twin Cities Campus

Main focus:
Paleoecology and paleoclimatology

What I do:
I investigate the chemical isotopes in ancient animal teeth and bones, namely Carbon, Nitrogen, and Oxygen. These isotopes give off “paleoclimate signals? that tells us what the environment was like 40 million years ago. By tracking those signals through time, patterns emerge in the ecosystem of herbivore animals due to a changing climate.

My second focus is exploring how species evolved by creating computer simulated evolutionary histories. The anatomical “gaps? that exist in the evolution of different species can be filled with stratigraphic data. In other words, geologic time-keeping is applied. On-going simulation studies help visualize the evolutionary tree of life.

The third focus of my research is on the ecological biogeography of animals. The body size and dietary categories of modern mammals shows striking correlations with climatic variables. Continuing work will include comparisons between continents with quite different faunal and climatic histories over the last several million years.

Lisa Johnston: Geology Librarian Science & Engineering Library

Goldy the Gopher: University Mascot

Angielczyk, K. and Fox, D.L., in press. A new role for stratigraphic data in phylogeny reconstruction? Exploring an alternative use of stratigraphic data in phylogeny reconstruction. Paleobiology.
Check out a previous article by David Fox in Paleobiology: Exploring new uses for measures of fit of phylogenetic hypotheses to the fossil record
Fox, D.L., Koch, Paul L. (2003). Tertiary history of C4 biomass in the Great Plains, USA. Geology, 31(9), 809-812.
Fox, D.L., Fisher, D.C., Vartanyanc, S., Tikhonovd, A.N., Mole, D. Buigues, B. (2007). Paleoclimatic implications of oxygen isotopic variation in late Pleistocene and Holocene tusks of Mammuthus primigenius from northern Eurasia. Quaternary International. 169–170, p 154–165.