Zoology, Southern Illinois University
1985 M.S., Zoology, San Diego State
1990 Ph.D., Systematics and Ecology,
University of Kansas
Historical biogeography of vertebrates,
especially birds: systematics, paleontology, and
distribution of birds through geologic time.
My research interest is historical
biogeography of vertebrates, especially birds. Historical
biogeography is an umbrella term for my interests in bird
systematics (phylogenetic relationships), paleontology
(fossils), and where (geographically) birds live and have
lived through time. For the last ten years, I've been very
interested in the Great American Biotic Interchange and
especially with a group of birds, the Phorusrhacoids or
Terror birds, that made the trek north from southern South
America to North America around two and one half million
years ago. We now find fossils of one particular Terror
Bird, Titanis walleri, in north central Florida in
sinkhole deposits in the Santa Fe River. GC&SU student
divers and field crew members help me recover fossils with a
dredge while SCUBA diving. A major discovery made by one of
my field parties is that Titanis, and possibly other
Terror birds, did not have small vestigial wings, but that
they had evolved arms equipped with a manipulative thumb
which had a claw. I am currently working on a phylogenetic
analysis for phorusrhacoids including some new fossil
discoveries and new interpretations of existing data. Also,
with Al Mead and Bill Wall, of our department, we are
investigating the vertebrate fossil record of Trinidad and
the role it may have played in the Great American Biotic
A new species and the earliest record for Tinamidae (Aves:
Tinamiformes) from the middle Miocene of Argentina, Amadeo
Rea Festschrift, American Ethnobiology Society.
Preliminary comments on the Pleistocene vertabrate fauna
from Clark Quarry, Brunswick, Georgia. Current Research in
the Pleistocene (Alfred J. Mead, Robert A. Bahn, Robert M.
Chandler, and Dennis Parmley).
In prep. Mammuthus
in the Santa Fe River 1B, Florida: the oldest record of
Mammuthus in North America. (with D. Lambert and D. Cordier).
2003. The earliest
record of an auk (Aves: Alcidae) from the late Eocene of
central Georgia, Hardie Mine, Gordon, Georgia. The Oriole,
v. 68(1, 2):7-9 (with D. Parmley).
vertebrate fossils from the Neogene of Trinidad. SVP meeting
Museum of the Rockies, Montana State University, Bozeman,
Montana. JVP v. 21, Suppl. 3:39A. (with A. J. Mead, W.P.
Wall, D.J. Cordier, A. Momtalvo, A. Embree). (poster)
2001. The first
record of bird eggs from the early Oligocene (Orellan) of
North America, pp. 23-26 in Geologic Resource Division
Technical Report NPS/NRGRD/GRDTR-01. (with Wm. P. Wall)
2001. Murphey, P.C.,
Torick, L.L., Bray, E.S., Chandler, R.M., and Evanoff, E.
Taphonomy, fauna, and depositional history of the Omomys
Quarry, an unusual accumulation from the Bridger Formation
(middle Eocene) of southwestern Wyoming, in: Eocene
Vertebrates, Unusual Occurrences and Rarely Sampled habitats
(G. Gunnell and J. Alexander, eds.), Plenum Press.
1999. Fossil birds
of Florissant, Colorado: with a description of a new species
of cuckoo, pp. 49-53 in Geologic Resource Division
Technical Report NPS/NRGRD/GRDTR-99.
1998. Fossil birds
of Tunica Hills, Louisiana, and the first record of Ruffed
Grouse (Bonasa umbellus). Current Research in the
Pleoistocene, v. 15:103-104.
1998. Additions to the fossil
birds reported from Agate Fossil Beds National Monument,
western Nebraska, pp. 1-4 in Geologica Resource
Division Technical Report NPS/NRGRD/GRDTR-98/01
1996. A preliminary report on
the fossil birds of Padcaya in the Tarija basin, Bolivia.
Current Research in the Pleistocene., v. 13: 97-98.
1995. Contributions to Fossil
History sections Nos. 137:3; 138:4; 139:2; 141:3; 142:2;
145:2; 146:4; 148:3; 149:3; 151:2; 153:3; 156:2; 158:3;
160:3; 161:3; 164:4; 165:2-3; 167:2; 168:3; 170:3; 172:3;
174:2-3; in The Birds of North America. (A Pool, P.
Steenheim, F. Gill, eds.) The Acad. Natur. Sci.
Philadelphia; Wash. D.C.: AOU
1995. Whence the birds. The Crane,
Alachusa Audubon Society, 36(6):7-8. (with Frank Stehli)
1994. The wing of Titanis
walleri (Aves: Phorusrhacidae) from the late Blancan of
Florida. Bulletin Florida Museum Natural History,
Biological Sciences Series, 36(6): 175-180.