Phylogenetic Relationships and Taxonomy of Ginglymodian fishes

One of my primary focuses has been on the relationships of fishes within the Ginglymodi; in particular, I have been focused on taxa within the Semionotiformes. Evolutionary relationships of semionotiform fishes have been the focus of few phylogentic studies, and the taxonomy of this group is in need of much revision. I am currently describing new semionotiform taxa from the western United States. I am also studying the morphology of semionotiform fishes to identify new morphological characters which will be used to build a phylogenetic framework of relationships for this comparatively understudied group of ray-finned fishes.

Biodiversity of Fishes from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation

The biodiversity of fishes from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation have not been the subject of significant study since the 1960's. Previously, complete and well-preserved specimens have been difficult to recover in many exposures through Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. Recent fieldwork by myself and collaborators in southeastern Utah has recovered a large trove of fossil fishes, giving key insights into the biodiversity of fishes during the Late Triassic. Among the recovered taxonomic groups in the Chinle Formation are coelacanths, lungfishes, redfieldiid palaeoniscoids, semionotiforms, and other enigmatic genera that I am currently working on. Understanding the extent of the biodiversity of these fishes will provide new insight into the biodiversity of Late Triassic fauna. I am also using this information to study the habitat and ecology of the Chinle formation.