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Bapst, David Assistant Instructional Professor


I am an analytical paleobiologist, focused how we infer evolutionary relationships in the fossil record, date when lineages diverge from each other, and how we can use relationships among extinct organisms to say something about evolutionary processes in deep time. I work on whatever group of organism is best for a particular question (because every fossil record is different), so my research includes everything from living brachiopods to fossil birds. I most often work on the planktonic graptolites, a group of colonial zooplankton that diversified rapidly and went extinct during the Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian periods, hundreds of millions of years ago. Graptolites have a fantastically detailed fossil record for asking evolutionary questions, but they have also long been important as a biostratigraphic tool in economic geology in the early Paleozoic.

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HR job title

  • Instructional Assistant Professor