is a paleontologist and marine ecologist who has worked on a wide range of problems from trends in global biodiversity through geologic time, to how animal colonies grow and evolve. He is particularly interested in the ways that a colonial life history influences the ecology and evolution of a large group of "modular" invertebrate animals, Cheilostome Bryozoa. His current research projects include: Biological modularity, bryozoans, and the evolution of polymorphism; Parts and wholes: the biological individual in the 19th century, and; Living fossils and evolutionary stasis within the biological hierarchy.
Curator Emeritus Matthew Nitecki
does work emphasizing the study of cyclocrinitids and receptaculitids, problematic fossils that do not fit into any living phylum, and thus represent early evolutionary experiments that prompt reconsideration of the history of life. He also writes on the history and sociology of science (e.g., the underlying structure of scientific attitudes and beliefs), and theories of evolutionary biology.