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Departments & Programs


In the Payne Paleobiology Lab, we study the relationship between environmental change and biological evolution over geological timescales through field studies, geochemical measurements and modeling, and statistical analysis of large datasets.  We are particularly interested in the causes and consequences of major extinction events in the history of animal life.  Our research provides a variety of opportunities for students broadly interested in the history of life at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral levels. There are opportunities for students at any level to participate in all of the areas of research described here. You are also welcome to propose your own ideas for research projects. Please contact Jonathan Payne if you are interested in pursuing work in paleobiology.


Jost AB, Bachan A, van de Schootbrugge B, Brown ST, DePaolo DJ, and Payne JL. 2017. Additive effects of acidification and mineralogy on calcium isotopes in Triassic/Jurassic boundary limestones. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 18:113-124. DOI:10.1002/2016GC006724

Kelley BM, Lehrmann DJ, Yu M, Minzoni M, Enos P, Li X, Lau KV, and Payne JL. 2017. The Late Permian to Late Triassic Great Bank of Guizhou: An isolated carbonate platform in the Nanpanjiang Basin of Guizhou Province, China. AAPG Bulletin 101:553-562. DOI:10.1306/011817DIG17034

Lau KV, Macdonald FA, Maher K, and Payne JL. 2017. Uranium isotope evidence for temporary ocean oxygenation in the aftermath of the Sturtian Snowball Earth. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 458:282-292. DOI:10.1016/j.epsl.2016.10.043


Jun 21, 2017

We are excited to welcome Elsie Carrillo to the lab! Elsie is a middle school science teacher who will work with us on body size evolution for the summer through the Ignited Program. She is funded through an NSF RET supplement.