The early evolution of marine turtles
B.Sc. in Geosciences at LMU & TUM Munich
M.Sc. in Geological Sciences at LMU & TUM Munich
I am interested in tetrapod evolution, and want to understand how extinct organisms have lived and functioned in their ecosystems and in the dynamic system Earth, as well as what are the driving mechanisms for evolution in deep time. My research interest is largely focussed on tetrapods, as they have a good and well explored fossil record, a large taxonomic diversity, morphological disparity and ecological variance, have undergone great evolutionary changes over time, have repeatedly conquered air and water, suffered severely from extinction events in Earth’s history, and form a major concern in modern conservation biology. I like to cover palaeontological research in all its facets – beginning with fieldwork, going to anatomical understanding of organisms and physiological interpretations to more sophisticated, technology-based analyses addressing large-scale evolutionary patterns.
Early evolution of marine turtles
In my project, I investigate how functional adaptations to a marine environment evolved over the terrestrial-to-marine transition of secondarily marine turtles. The fossil record of secondarily marine turtles and the fact that sea turtles are still extant today allows integration of paleoenvironmental, morphological, physiological, and genetic data, and yields great potential to understand interactions of evolution and ecology.
Interrelationships and Diversity of basal Tetanurae
Together with colleagues from Canada, Germany, the UK and the US, I am working on several projects, which use comparative anatomy as a tool to conduct taxonomic and phylogenetic research focused on basal tetanuran theropod dinosaurs. One project focuses on the diversity of spinosaurids in the Cretaceous of northern Africa, another one aims to increase our understanding of the iconic Allosaurus by providing a thorough re-evaluation of the material.
Neenan J.M., Reich T., Evers S.W., Druckenmiller P.S., Voeten D.F.A.E., Choiniere J.N., Barrett P.M., Pierce S.E., Benson R.B.J. 2017. Evolution of the Sauropterygian Labyrinth with Increasingly Pelagic Lifestyles. Current Biology 27: 1-7; doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.10.069
– Evers S.W., Rauhut O.W.M., Milner A.C., McFeeters B., Allain, R. 2015. The morphology and systematic position of the theropod dinosaur Sigilmassasaurus from the ‘middle’ Cretaceous of Morocco. PeerJ 3:e1323; doi: 10.7717/peerj.1323
– Foth C., Evers S.W., Pabst B., Mateus O., Flisch A., Patthey M., Rauhut O.W.M. 2015. New insights into the lifestyle of Allosaurus (Dinosauria: Theropoda) based on another specimen with multiple pathologies. PeerJ 3:e940; doi: 10.7717/peerj.940