Overview

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

Assistant Professor
Earth and Environmental Science
University of 
Pennsylvania

2017 TED Fellow

 lsallan@upenn.edu

CV  Google Citations

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

Deep-time databases for early vertebrates (half of vertebrate history), ray-finned fishes (half of vertebrate diversity), marine ecosystems and mass extinctions provide our test cases.

Research Interests
Paleobiology/Paleontology
Macroevolution, Macroecology,
Early Vertebrates, Ichthyology 
Mass Extinction, Phylogenetics
Biomechanics, Evo-Devo

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

News
March 17, 2017: Erynn Johnson has been awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship for her awesome work on the role of crushing predation in macroevolution. Congratulations, Erynn!

February 20, 2017: Our paper on the identity of the 'Tully Monster' is out in Palaeontology. It is not a fish. Press coverage in the International Business Times, CBS NewsHaaretz, ScienceDailyDailyMailScience Friday (radio), SF Gate (video) , Science News, and other outlets

February 2, 2017: Our research on fossil fishes is featured in The Daily Pennsylvanian

January 10, 2017: Lauren has been selected as a 2017 TED Fellow!  Read the announcement in Penn News and Fast Company

December 5, 2016: Our paper on the dual origin of vertebrate tails is out in Current Biology. Press Coverage in the DailyMailSeeker (Discovery News)The Scientist, ScienceDaily and Deutschlandfunk.
























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)