Paleonet: Tectonics, climate, and rodents at the 2014 annual GSA meeting

Rebecca Terry Rebecca.Terry at
Wed Jul 16 23:14:45 GMT 2014


The deadline for abstract submission for the 2014 annual GSA meeting in Vancouver is fast approaching (July 29th, midnight PDT).  We therefore wanted to take a moment to advertise a topical session titled: “Dynamic landscapes and the diversification of North American rodents”.  The session is jointly sponsored by the Paleontological Society and the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Our goal is to bring together phylogeographic, paleoenvironmental, and geohistorical perspectives, thus we welcome abstract submissions from researchers interested in using fossils, genes, isotopes, and/or landscape history to understand evolutionary history, community assembly, and functional trait diversification.  A more detailed description of the session is provided below.  

All the best,

Rebecca Terry (OSU) & Samantha Hopkins (UO)

Rodents represent over half of modern mammal species and occupy a diverse range of habitats and ecological roles.  Their rich fossil record in North America spans multiple regions that present strong contrasts in climate and landscape histories.  Recent studies have found that diversification of rodents against a backdrop of climate change in tectonically complex landscapes may be an important mechanism by which new diversity is generated.  Such studies are particularly relevant to the Pacific Northwest, the site of the 2014 GSA meeting, where tectonic activity has been ongoing through the substantial climatic changes of the Neogene.  This session will highlight studies that integrate data from a diverse suite of paleontological, phylogeographic, paleoenvironmental, and geohistorical perspectives to better understand rodent diversification.  We invite talks with a focus on evolutionary history and community assembly across multiple spatial and temporal scales, including talks focused on the diversity of functional ecological traits (e.g. body size, diet, substrate use), the geographic structure of genealogical relationships, and the geohistorical context of diversification in terms of tectonic, climatic, and erosional processes, with consideration of feedbacks from vegetation and rodent ecology (e.g. burrowing).  With this suite of talks, our goal is to emphasize building an integrated understanding of climate and tectonic history against which to evaluate the ecological and evolutionary trajectories of an important group of terrestrial vertebrates.

Rebecca Terry
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Integrative Biology
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR  97331
ph: 541.737.3723
email: rebecca.terry at

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