Bruce Lieberman

University of Kansas - Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Senior Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology, University of Kansas Biodiversity Institue & Natural History Museum
Professor, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Primary office:
785.864.2741
Dyche Hall
Room 701A
University of Kansas


Summary

Dr. Lieberman is a paleobiologist whose research focuses on studying macroevolutionary patterns and processes using the fossil record.

Education

1996-98 Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Earth Sciences, Harvard University, advisor Andrew Knoll
1994-95 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Yale University, advisor Elisabeth Vrba
1994 Ph.D. Columbia University, Geological Sciences, advisor Niles Eldredge
1991 M.A. Columbia University, Geological Sciences, advisor Niles Eldredge
1988 A.B. Harvard University, Geological Sciences, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, advisor Stephen Jay Gould

Teaching

I teach an introductory course for non-majors, Biology 225 Evolution and the History of Life.  I also co-teach Biology 648 Systematics and Macroevolution and offer seminars in Macroevolution and also in Paleobiogeography.  I have also co-taught Evolution of the Arthropods.

Research

I use various research approaches including phylogenetics, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and ecological niche modeling (ENM) to study key time periods in the history of life to gain deeper insight into macroevolution.  Much of my research has focused on fossil arthropods, especially trilobites, but in collaboration with students and post-docs I have worked with other taxa including mollusks.  I am interested in various topics including evolutionary radiations, mass extinctions, the relative roles abiotic and biotic factors play in motivating evolution, macroevolutionary theory, phylogenetic methods and theory, levels of selection, and mechanisms of evolutionary stasis. To learn more about my research see: https://biodiversity.ku.edu/invertebrate-paleontology/research , https... , and https://biodiversity.ku.edu/invertebrate-paleontology/research/integrati....

Memberships

American Geological Institute
International Palaeontological Association
Paleontological Research Institution
Paleontological Society & Sigma Xi

 

Selected Presentations

2016—2018   Luke C. Strotz, Ph.D. Macquarie University

2013—2015   Michelle Casey, Ph.D. Yale University, currently Assistant Professor, Department of Geosciences, Murray State University 

2005—2008   Jonathan Hendricks, Ph.D., Cornell University, currently Director of Publications, Paleontological Research Institution

2005—2006   Rachel (Moore) Wade, Ph.D. Bristol University, currently Wiley-Blackwell, UK

Professional Presentations: 

Select Invited Symposia And Talks Since 2012

The Cretaceous World-TCN. Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio) Summit VI, Tech Town, Chattanooga, TN, November 2, 2016.

The Paleoniches-TCN. Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio) Summit VI, Tech Town, Chattanooga, TN, November 2, 2016.

Chance and uncertainty in the history of life. Pensar La Muerta, Libertad Por El Saber, El Colegio Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico, October 21, 2016.

The Paleoniches Thematic Collections Network.  Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio) Using Biodiversity Specimen-Based Data to Study Global Change Workshop, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO, December 2, 2015.

Digital fossils: there’s an App for that. Topical session on using digitized data in geological and paleontological research I. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, November 3, 2015.

Chance and uncertainty in evolution. Festival delle Scienze Rome (Roman Science Festival), Rome, Italy, January 24, 2015.

Adaptive radiations in the context of macroevolutionary theory. Topical session on the coevolution of the Earth and Life: The role of the physical environment in species evolution. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, October 27, 2013.

Macroevolutionary consequences of profound climate change on niche evolution: An examination of marine mollusks over the past 3 million years. Topical session on the coevolution of the Earth and Life: The role of the physical environment in species evolution. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, October 27, 2013 (presented by E. Saupe).

Biogeographic responses of mollusk species to Plio-Pleistocene environmental change in the western Atlantic. Topical session on the coevolution of the Earth and Life: The role of the physical environment in species evolution. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, October 27, 2013 (presented by J. Hendricks).

Paleo-ENM: A valuable quantitative tool for understanding the coevolution of the Earth and of life. Topical session on the coevolution of the Earth and Life: The role of the physical environment in species evolution. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, October 27, 2013 (presented by C. Myers).

Five two hour lectures on a range of topics from Applying Biodiversity Science to Paleontology, to Stasis, to Astrobiology, to Phylogenetic Biogeography, to the History of Biogeography, to Evidence for Periodicity in the Fossil Record, to the Nature of Evolutionary Radiations, all part of a short course emphasizing Macroevolution at the 1st International Winter School on Evolution. University of Lisbon, Portugal, March 11-15, 2013.

Comparing and contrasting parsimony and maximum likelihood approaches to paleontological phylogenetics using trilobites as a model system. Topical session on the origins of arthropod diversity.  Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Charlotte, NC, November 6, 2012 (presented by I. W. Gapp).

The PALEONICHES-TCN. Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio) Summit II, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL, October 22, 2012.

Applying biodiversity science to paleontology. Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, August, 30, 2012.

Applying biodiversity science to paleontology. Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio) Paleo Workshop Keynote speaker, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL, April, 28, 2012.

Applying biodiversity science to paleontology. Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, March, 8, 2012.

Select Other Scientific Presentations Since 2012

Maximum likelihood and trilobites: a new approach to phylogenetic analyses of fossil taxa. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, November 3, 2015 (presented by L. Heins).

Declining volatility, a macroevolutionary property of disparate systems: from fossils, to stocks, to the stars. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Charlotte, NC, November 5, 2012.

Selected Grants

2016—2020    NSF Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections, "Digitization TCN: Collaborative Research: The Cretaceous World: Digitizing Fossils to Reconstruct Evolving Ecosystems in the Western Interior Seaway" $2,100,000 ($519,636 to KU), I am the lead PI

2013—2018    NSF Systematic Biology, “Integrating fossil data into likelihood-based phylogenetic analyses with trilobites as a model system” $448,665, I am a co-PI

2012—2018    NSF Emerging Frontiers, Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections, “Digitization TCN: Collaborative Research: Digitizing Fossils to Enable New Syntheses in Biogeography- Creating a PALEONICHES-TCN” $950,000 ($600,000 to KU), I am the lead PI

2007—2013    NSF Systematic Biology RevSys, “Revisionary systematics of Cheirurid trilobites.” $450,000 ($213,000 to KU), I was a PI

2005—2008    NSF Sedimentary Geology and Paleobiology, “An integrative paleontological and paleoenvironmental study of the Middle Cambrian Spence, Wheeler, and Marjum soft-bodied faunas of Utah.” $250,000 ($110,000 to KU), I was the PI

2004—2010    NSF DBI, “Archiving the history of life: High-density storage to solve space needs for an invertebrate paleontology research and teaching collection.” $251,708, I was originally a co-PI but became the PI

2004—2007    NASA Exobiology, “Did a gamma ray burst cause the late Ordovician mass extinction?” $417,552, I was a co-PI

2003—2006    KU Endowment Association, Self Faculty Scholar Award, $150,000, I was the PI

2001—2005    NSF Geology and Paleontology, “A Sequence, Chemo-, and Biostratigraphic Study of Late Early Cambrian Rocks, Southern Selwyn Basin, Mackenzie Mountains, N.W.T., Canada.” $212,000 ($117,000 to KU), I was the co-PI

2001—2002    National Geographic, “Early Cambrian Climate and Evolution.” $20,000, I was a co-PI

2000—2003    NSF-OPP Antarctic Geology and Geophysics, “Characterization of the Fauna of the Middle Cambrian Nelson Limestone: A Fauna of Relevance to Antarctic Geology.” $60,000, I was the PI

2000—2003    NSF EPSCoR First Award, “Assessing the Long Term Effects of Invasive Species Using the Fossil Record.” $35,000, I was the PI

1995—1997    NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Earth Sciences, $72,000

Selected Awards & Honors

2005—present Fellow of the Paleontological Society
2002    Schuchert Award, Paleontological Society, to a paleontologist under 40 whose research and career demonstrates excellence and promise
2000—2003    Paleontological Society distinguished lecturer


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