My current research is in these main areas:
Since 1990 I
am increasingly involved in studies of Silurian and Devonian vertebrates,
particularly thelodonts, heterostracans,
osteostracans, acanthodians, and early chondrichthyans from localities
in the Mackenzie Mountains, N.W.T. and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.
I am especially
interested in the origin and significance of major features of body form
across the agnathan/gnathostome transition, as revealed by articulated
specimens preserved in exceptional fossil deposits, and in the comparison
of the microvertebrate record of these groups with what can be learned
from articulated skeletons. These studies involve collaborations with
former Ph.D. student G. Hanke, former M.Sc. student Chelsea Smith, research assistant John Bruner, associated researcher Ken Soehn, and Estonian colleague T. Märss.
Current graduate students Jessica Hawthorn (poraspidine heterostracans) and Lindsay Mackenzie (tooth types in early gnathostomes) contribute to this research program.
interest in anatomy and phylogeny of Mesozoic
through Eocene fishes and their living
relatives continues. Recent projects include studies on a new deposit of marine Cretaceous teleosts from northeastern British Columbia. Recent postdoctoral fellow Dr. Raoul Mutter has been studying Triassic fishes from the Wapiti Lake locality in northeastern British Columbia. Current graduate student Todd Cook studies sharks' teeth from the Late Cretaceous of Alberta.
My interest in
paleoecology and taphonomy of fishes also
continues. I have studied a mass-death layer of fish
of Paleocene age near Red Deer, Alberta, and continue to work on preservation of fishes at the Devonian MOTH locality, and microstratigraphic
variation in taphonomic and morphologic features of organisms preserved
in varved lake beds of Eocene age at Horsefly,