The theme of my lab is macroevolution. Two main axes of research traverse this interdisciplinary field of science in the lab:
1) Large scale patterns of evolution are identified by looking at the evolution of details of skeletal anatomy and bone microstructure in vertebrate animals across time and ecological communities across time and geography. Most of our animal evolution work focuses on archosaurian reptiles (crocodiles, dinosaurs, birds, and relatives) during the Mesozoic Era (250 to 65 million years ago), although we also study fishes, amphibians, and relatively modern mammals as side projects. The evolution of communities is limited to terrestrial plants and animals within the Mesozoic Era, where we are attempting to describe how plants and animal communities are evolving at an ecosystem level using the current techniques of diversity and spatial ecology. Our contribution to datasets is primarily through fieldwork in the Canadian High Arctic.
2) The second research theme of my lab examines the process of evolutionary transformations (as much as a process can be examined) through a research programme of Developmental Evolution. This effort uses skeletal evolutionary transformations across the fin-to-limb transition of fish and amphibians and the evolution of flight from dinosaurs to birds. After characterising the evolutionary transformation, we test hypotheses of developmental changes that may explain the evolutionary transformations with embryological and molecular data. This work has steered some members of the lab to develop software to examine issues of developmental sequence evolution and modularity, while leading others to explore fruitful developments in the theory of homology and modularity.