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Scott Lidgard

Curator Emeritus, Earth Sciences

Negaunee Integrative Research Center

I am a paleontologist and marine ecologist who studies invertebrate animals, that is, most of the different kinds of animals that have ever lived on Earth. I see my research as comparative:

  • describing and explaining the history of life that actually can be observed as patterns in the fossil record, such as the changing forms of skeletons through time, or long-term trends in biodiversity,
  • jointly studying processes that can only be inferred from fossils, such as the mechanisms of actual biological interactions, or the evolution of complexity that occurs at the different levels of organism and community, and
  • comparing these with patterns and processes that can be seen in the living world, such as the development and life cycles of organisms, and the ecological processes of communities.

Representative Articles:

Nyhart, L. K. and S. Lidgard. 2011. Individuals at the center of biology: Rudolf Leuckart’s Polymorphismus der Individuenand the ongoing narrative of parts and wholes. With an annotated translation. Journal of the History of Biology. Online first:

Lidgard, S., P. J. Wagner & M. Kosnick. 2009. The search for evidence of mass extinction. Natural History118(7): 26-32.

Dick, M. H., S. Lidgard, D. P. Gordon & S. F. Mawatari 2009. The origin of ascophoran bryozoans was historically contingent but likely. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences276(1670):3141-3148.

Ostrovsky, A. N., D. P. Gordon & S. Lidgard. 2009. Independent evolution of matrotrophy in the major classes of Bryozoa: transitions among reproductive patterns and their ecological background. Marine Ecology-Progress Series 378:113-124.

Lidgard, S. 2008. Predation on bryozoan colonies: taxa, traits and trophic groups. Marine Ecology-Progress Series359:117-131.

Lidgard, S. 2008. Post-Paleozoic Ecological Complexity. Pp. 272-275 InMcGraw-Hill 2008 Yearbook of Science & Technology. McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing.

Wagner, P., M. A. Kosnik, & S. Lidgard. 2006. Abundance distributions imply elevated complexity of post-Paleozoic marine ecosystems. Science314:1289-1291.

Jackson J. B. C., S. Lidgard, & F. K. McKinney (eds.).  2001. Evolutionary Patterns: Growth, Form and Tempo in the Fossil Record.  University of Chicago Press, Chicago. 344 pp.

Clarke, A.  &  Lidgard, S.  2000. Spatial patterns of diversity in the sea: bryozoan species  richness in the North Atlantic.  Journal of Animal Ecology  69:799-814.

Sepkoski, J. J.  Jr.,  F. K. McKinney  & S. Lidgard.  2000. Competitive displacement between post-Paleozoic cyclostome and cheilostome bryozoans.  Paleobiology26:7-18. See also: Kerr, R.  2000. 

Mc Kinney, F. K., S. Lidgard, J. J. Sepkoski, Jr., & P. D. Taylor.  1998.   Decoupled temporal patterns of evolution and ecology in two post-Paleozoic clades.  Science281:807-809.

Lidgard, S., F. K. McKinney & P. D. Taylor. 1993.  Competition, clade replacement, and a history of cyclostome and cheilostome bryozoan diversity.  Paleobiology19:352-371.              

Crane, P. R. & S. Lidgard 1989.  Angiosperm diversification and paleolatitudinal gradients in Cretaceous floristic diversity.  Science246:675-678.

Lidgard, S. & J. B. C.  Jackson. 1989.  Growth in encrusting cheilostome bryozoans: I.  Evolutionary trends. Paleobiology15:255-282.

Lidgard, S. & P. R.  Crane. 1988.  Quantitative analyses of the early Angiosperm radiation.  Nature331:344-346. See also: Cleal, C. J. 1988.

Lidgard, S.  1986.  Ontogeny in animal colonies: a persistent trend in the bryozoan fossil record.  Science232:230-232.

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