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Sarah masters her final defense!

by Alycia Stigall
Sarah's first brachiopod find

Sarah’s first brachiopod find

Sarah impressed both the audience and her committee with her expert defense of her groundbreaking research uncovering the signal of GOBE diversification within articulated brachiopod communities of the American midwest.  Congratulations, Sarah! You’ve come a long way from finding your first brachiopod in Oklahoma!

I’m excited to see what new scientific adventures are in store for you as you pursue your PhD at the University of Nevada, Reno.

In other news, Sarah also presented her thesis results at the Annual Ohio Academy of Science meeting and the Ohio University Student Expo during the past week, where she was awarded first place in geosciences.  If you missed these exciting presentations, be sure to catch Sarah’s talk at the upcoming IGCP 591 meeting in Ghent, Belgium.

Nilmani passes her thesis proposal defense!

by Alycia Stigall
Nilmani meets the Ames Limestone for the first time

Nilmani meets the Ames Limestone for the first time

Nilmani did a great job today presenting and discussing her planned thesis research “Hierarchical spatial patterns in paleocommunities of the Late Pennsylvanian Ames Limestone.”  Congratulations, Nilmani!  Now it’s time for some field work 🙂

Ranjeev defends his MS proposal!

Ranjeev explores his thesis specimens

Ranjeev explores his thesis specimens

Congratulations to Ranjeev on his excellent presentation and masterful defense of the proposal for his master’s thesis “Paleoecology of the freshwater gastropods from the late Oligocene Nsungwe Formation of Tanzania: A window into the initiation of the East African rift system!”

What’s that fossil?

The Ohio University Communications and Marketing Office released a news story highlighting the Stigall Lab’s work on the Digital Atlas of Ancient Life app.  I am really very proud of the hard work that so many graduate and undergraduate students have put into making the Ordovician Atlas project come to life.isorophus


Read the full story here: 


New IGCP Project focused on the GOBE funded!

by Alycia Stigall

We recently received the exciting news that our proposal for a new IGCP project that will focus on investigating the initiating causes and processes that produced the rapid diversification of marine organisms during the Ordovician Period, known as the ‘Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event’ (GOBE).  Interntional Geoscience Program (part of UNESCO) has approved funding for IGCP 653, which will run from 2016-2020.

The project will focus on interdisciplinary investigations, including case studies from international sites, involving specialists from the fields of palaeontology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, geochemistry, palaeooceanography, palaeoclimatology, etc., in collaboration with the Subcommission on Ordovician Stratigraphy (SOS). The results of the project will contribute to the understanding of the triggering causes of the establishment of modern marine ecosystems, but also to the identification of the reasons of the first collapse of these environments during the Late Ordovician mass extinction.

The project involves scientists from all over the world, and through the organization of dedicated meetings and workshops, will integrate graduate and doctoral students, in particular from developing countries.  I hope you can join us at one of our meetings!

For more information or to join the project, visit our website: www.igcp653.org

Great Ordovician Biodiversity Event

Great Ordovician Biodiversity Event as expressed in Oklahoma, USA


Stockholm Paradigm Workshop

by Alycia Stigall

In early March, I participated in a workshop at the Tovetorp Research Center near Stockholm, Sweden focused on the “Changing ranges in a changing world.”  The workshop brought together an international group of scientists with expertise in parasitology, insect ecology, and biogeography to discuss the ways in which species shift their geographic and host ranges and the implications of these expansions for diversification and emerging infectious diseases (EIDs).  I learned a lot, met outstanding new colleagues, and reconnected with others during the workshop.  Several important breakthroughs occurred, so stay tuned for upcoming publications on the “Stockholm Paradigm.”

Tovetorp Group Photo