A 350-million-year-old marine 
ecosystem in Scotland 
(Painting by Robert Nicholls)

Vertebrates before and after the end-Devonian extinction (from Sallan and Galimberti, Science, 2015)

348 million year old fish Aetheretmon, showing the ancestral double tail alongside a modern pufferfish with (lower) caudal fin alone.
(Painting by John Megahan)


Lauren Sallan, PhD

Martin Meyerson Assistant Professor in Interdisciplinary Studies

Dept. of Earth and Environmental Science (primary)
Dept. of Biology

of Pennsylvania   

TED Senior Fellow

Leidy Labs 215C
CV  Google Citations Wikipedia

Research Summary
We use 'Big Data' approaches, evolutionary trees and detailed study of fossil fishes to determine how global events, environmental change and ecological interactions shaped long-term change (macroevolution) and established modern biodiversity. 

Our analyses use deep-time databases for early vertebrates (half of vertebrate history), fishes (half of vertebrate diversity), marine ecosystems and mass extinctions.

Watch my TED Talk on Winning through Mass Extinction!

Watch my TED Talk on Paleontology and the Last 4 Billion Years of Life!

Watch our TED-Ed Lesson on Why Fishes Are Fish-Shaped!

Listen to a FutureProof interview about the fossil record

Listen to a FutureProof interview
 about our research in mass extinction.

Listen to a Palaeocast interview
 about our research on early vertebrate macroevolution and paleobiology.

A 310-million-year-old freshwater ecosystem in Illinois
(Painting by John Megahan)

A phylogeny of living ray-finned fishes
(From Sallan, Biological Reviews, 2014)

A later shell-crushing ray-fin, 
Styracopterus, 340 million years ago
(Painting by John Megahan)