David J. Peterman. Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, United States of America.
David Peterman is a PhD candidate at Wright State University whose research interests include the quantitative paleobiology of ammonoids and other ectocochleate cephalopods. His work is centered on the constraints in ectocochleate cephalopod shell formation, and how shell geometry and other physical properties influence its function as a buoyancy apparatus. His recent work includes the generation of complex 3D virtual models that are used to simulate the hydrostatic properties of these ectocochleate cephalopods during life. Understanding how the shells of these organisms functioned is essential to better understand their mode of life, ecosystem roles, and the evolutionary stresses that have shaped them.
Christopher C. Barton. Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, United States of America.
Christopher C. Barton is Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences and founder and leader of the Complexity Research Group at Wright State University since 2004. He is a pioneer in the identification and quantification of nonlinear dynamics and complexity in earth, environmental, human, and economic systems. He uses the mathematical tools of fractals, chaos, and complexity to analyze, model, and forecast future behavior of complex systems. Current research topics include shoreline dynamics, the pattern of reversals in the Earth’s magnetic field, the temporal dynamics of stream and river discharge, and precipitation travel time through watersheds. He is an expert on risk assessment of natural hazards and petroleum assessment. Dr. Barton received two master’s degrees (1976, 1977), and a Ph.D. (1983) from Yale University. He was a post-doctoral fellow at U.C. Berkeley. He was a senior research scientist and project chief the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) from 1984 until his retirement in 2004. He has twice been a USGS G.K. Gilbert Fellow at IBM with Benoit Mandelbrot, the "father of Fractals.” He is the author of more than 60 published research papers and is the senior editor of two books. He is a contributing editor to the international journal, Fractals since 1994.
Margaret M. Yacobucci. Department of Geology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, United States of America.
My research efforts center on the paleobiology of fossil cephalopods. Of special interest to me is the question of why ammonoids evolve and diversify so rapidly. How is ammonoid shell form created, controlled, and constrained? How can these constraints be released to permit macroevolutionary change? What role does morphological variability, and more specifically developmental plasticity, play in boosting ammonoids' diversification rates? What role do external environmental factors play? How do you "make" an ammonoid species? An ammonoid genus?
In pursuit of these questions, I study ammonoid morphology, phylogenetics, and diversity dynamics. I consider myself a quantitative paleobiologist, and one goal of my research is to bridge the gap between analytical and systematic paleontology by showing how quantitative techniques can be applied and used in straightforward ways to answer broadly meaningful questions.
I am also working to expand the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in paleobiology, both in the development of paleobiogeographic databases and in more novel applications of GIS as a tool for studying complex anatomies.