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Alycia Stigall

Virtual GSA 2020

Ceara presented her MS thesis research at this virtual Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America this year. It was nice to come together to share our science, even if virtually.

Ceara Purcell and  Alycia L. StigallHow does niche evolution contribute to diversification? A test using ecological niche modelling to examine Laurentian brachiopods during the Ordovician 

Geology Graduate Students, Faculty Participate in Annual Geological Society of American Meeting – Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences

The Geological Society of America annual meeting is one of the largest scientific gatherings of geologists each year, and the Ohio University Geological Sciences Department historically sends a large contingent of students and faculty to showcase their research. This year the GSA meeting is online from Oct. 26-30, but departmental […]

Stigall co-organizes online conference for IGCP 653: “Zooming in on the GOBE”

Both Ceara and Alycia presented the results of their current research into Ordovician biodiversity dynamics, and Alycia co-organized the meeting.

Stigall Organizes Free Conference, Brings Together Researchers from Six Continents – Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences

When the annual meeting of the UNESCO funded international geoscience project that she co-chairs was canceled, Dr. Alycia Stigall decided that scientific conferences are essential for building collaborations and advancing scientific knowledge, and so she found a way to host “The onset of the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event” conference despite […]

Alycia takes on the role of Chair for the Department of Geological Sciences

by Alycia Stigall

In July, Dr. Stigall was elected to begin a term as Chair of the Department of Geological Sciences at Ohio University immediately Although there are many challenges of leading a department during a pandemic, curricular revision, launch of a new online MS program, and pending building renovation, it has been really rewarding to be able to work with our faculty and students to provide them with support and to work to strategically improve our department and programs.

Chair’s Message | ‘Geologists are Natural Problem Solvers’ – Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences

Hello Alumni and Friends, Fall is in the air here in Athens, but this is a fall like none before. 2020 has certainly been an interesting year in the Department of Geological Sciences, but geologists are natural problem solvers, and we are always ready for a challenge. The department continues […]

2019-2020 Geology Department Awards

We couldn’t have an end of year departmental picnic, but Stigall Lab students still received top department awards! I’m so proud of them for all their amazing work–including Ian and Shy defending during quarantine!

I am so fortunate to work with amazing people who are also great scientists! 

Links to the university’s new articles here:
Shaolin was awarded Most Outstanding MS Student: https://www.ohio-forum.com/?p=75716

Ian was recognized as Outstanding Graduating Senior: https://www.ohio-forum.com/?p=75779

Ceara was recognized as Most Oustanding First Year MS student with the Chang Scholarship: https://www.ohio-forum.com/?p=75721

Ceara received Alumni Grant and Summer Fellowship: https://www.ohio-forum.com/?p=75726

New review of Gondwanan conchostracans

Stigall Contributes to Comprehensive Review of African Fossil Crustacean – Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences

Dr. Alycia Stigall, Professor of Geological Sciences at Ohio University, recently published “The Devonian-Cretaceous fossil record of ‘conchostracans’ of Africa and their paleobiogeographic relationships with other Gondwanan faunas” in Journal of African Earth Sciences with an international team of collaborators. Conchostracans, or clam shrimp, are crustaceans that live in shallow, ephemeral […]

Shaolin receives grant from Yale Peabody Museum

Congratulations to Shaolin! Shaolin received a  Schuchert and Dunbar Grants in Aid Award to fund a research trip to study the brachiopod collections at the Yale Peabody Museum. Notably, this award is named in honor of Charles Schuchert, a brachiopod worker who hailed from Ohio and produced foundational work on Ordovician brachiopods. As part of her thesis project, Shaolin will study some of Shuchert’s own specimens while investigating phylogenetic and biogeographic patterns of Ordovician brachiopods and speciation patterns during the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event.

Alycia talks up brachiopods and running her paleontology lab on the Common Descent Podcast

I was recently a guest on the Common Descent podcast.  Will and David were really wonderful to talk with and had really great and insightful questions.  Our discussion was broad ranging and included brachiopods (of course), the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event, running a paleontology lab, why my students are family to me, and running an international conference.

Spotlight – Alycia Stigall (3/5)

Welcome to our Spotlight Series! We’re talking paleo-science with some paleo-people! In this 5-part series, we’ve interviewed 5 different invertebrate paleontologists about their research and other work. In Episode 3, our guest is Dr. Alycia Stigall, shar…

Be sure to also check out the Common Descent interviews with lab alumni Adriane Lam and Ranjeev Epa!  Links here.

Ranjeev’s research on speciation in Tanzanian gastropods is published!

Ranjeev’s research on speciation in Tanzanian gastropods is published!

Congratulations to Ranjeev Epa (MS ’17)!  The research paper based on his MS thesis on systematics and morphology of Oligocene gastropods is now published in Papers in Paleontology.

Epa, Y.R., Stigall, A.L., Roberts, E.M., O’Brien, H., Stevens, N.J. 2018. Morphological diversification of ampullariid gastropods (Nsungwe Formation, late Oligocene, Rukwa Rift Basin) is coincident with onset of East African rifting. Papers in Palaeontology, 4:327-348.

Abstract:

A new freshwater gastropod fauna is described from the late Oligocene Nsungwe Formation of the Rukwa Rift Basin, Tanzania. Six new species of ampullariids are established including five species of Lanistes (L. microovum,L. nsungwensis, L. rukwaensis, L. songwellipticus and L. songweovum) and one species of Carnevalea (C. santiapillaii). These taxa occupy a morphospace region comparable to nearly half of extant Lanistes, a common and widespread genus in Africa and Madagascar. Palaeoecological evidence indicates that Nsungwe ampullariids inhabited fluvial, pond and paludal environments. Among these species are the oldest high‐spired and fluvially adapated Lanistes taxa. We suggest that Nsungwe Lanistes rapidly diversified in concert with habitat heterogeneity associated with the initiation of rifting along the western branch of the East African Rift System (EARS). Taxonomy, evolution and the biogeographical affinities of Nsungwe Formation freshwater gastropods contributes significantly to expanding the undersampled Palaeogene invertebrate fossil record of continental Africa.

 

Here is the university writeup about Ranjeev’s paper:

Paleontologists Find New Snail Species with Evolutionary Speed – Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences

Snails may be physically rather slow, but the six new species identified by Ohio University researchers put on plenty of evolutionary speed when they had to. Ohio University paleontologists analyzing snail fossils from 24 to 26 million years ago have identified six new species-and published the first documentation of rapid …

 

Nilmani’s study of Ames Limestone Paleocommunities is published!

Nilmani’s study of Ames Limestone Paleocommunities is published!
So many beautiful brachiopods

Congratulations to Nilmani Perera (MS ’17)!  Her thesis project, which identified hierarchical biogeographic patterns in the paleo communities of the Pennsylvanian Ames Limestone has been published in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.

Perera, S.N. and Stigall, A.L. 2018. Identifying hierarchical spatial patterns within paleocommunities: An example from the Late Pennsylvanian Ames Limestone of the Appalachian basin. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 506:1-11.

Abstract: Identifying ecological mechanisms that produce hierarchically arrayed spatial variation in community structure can be difficult in the fossil record due to conflation of spatial and temporal patterns. However, this difficulty can be mediated by minimizing the temporal duration of deposition within the unit examined. In this study, the fauna of the Upper Pennsylvanian Ames Limestone (Conemaugh Group) was analyzed to explore whether Ames paleocommunities exhibited hierarchical structure in a spatial dimension. This widespread carbonate unit was deposited during the maximum flooding interval of a glacio-eustatically influenced fifth order sea level cycle, and preserved taxa are contemporaneous within only a few thousand years. Paleocommunity structure and variability was assessed at multiple spatial scales using samples collected from seven outcrops of the Ames Limestone throughout southeastern Ohio which form a northeast to southwest trending transect parallel to the paleoshoreline. Abundance data were collected using quadrat sampling for brachiopods, bivalves, gastropods, bryozoa, corals, crinoids, echinoids, trilobites and foraminifera. Paleocommunity structure was analyzed via cluster, ordination, guild, and abundance analyses at multiple spatial scales (within a single locality, among localities and within the total study area) to provide insight on geographic partitioning of paleocommunity variation. Multiple levels of paleocommunity organization were recovered within the Ames fauna. All levels exhibited spatial partitioning, but the inferred proximate controls shifted from abiotic environmental controls at higher hierarchical levels to biotic controls at the lowest level. At the highest level, differentiation into a northern and southern regional paleocommunity was controlled primarily by substrate consistency and habitat heterogeneity related to variation in fluvial input within the basin. Local paleocommunity differentiation reflects biotic responses to topographic and environmental conditions that were geographically distributed within the region; whereas within outcrop variation was due largely to biotic feedback mechanisms.

Key points:

 

  • Paleoecology of a widespread, but temporally-restricted marine fauna was analyzed
  • Community analyses identified hierarchical constraints on spatial structure
  • Abiotic environmental controls were paramount at regional scales
  • Biotic interactions were primary at local scales
  • Hierarchical structure should be considered in paleocommunity analyses

 

Here is the university writeup about Nilmani’s paper:

Perera and Stigall Publish Study Detailing Ecological Structure of Local Fossil-Rich Limestone – Ohio University | College of Arts & Sciences

Generations of geology students at Ohio University have studied the Ames Limestone, the most fossiliferous rock layer in the Athens area, for class field trips and projects. This unit preserves skeletal remains of marine animals-corals, snails, brachiopods, trilobites, sharks- that inhabited a shallow sea that covered Athens about 300 million …