Carl Simpson

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It has previously been thought that there was a steep Cretaceous and Cenozoic radiation of marine invertebrates. This pattern can be replicated with a new data set of fossil occurrences representing 3.5 million specimens, but only when older analytical protocols are used. Moreover, analyses that employ sampling standardization and more robust counting(More)
In the coming century, life in the ocean will be confronted with a suite of environmental conditions that have no analog in human history. Thus, there is an urgent need to determine which marine species will adapt and which will go extinct. Here, we review the growing literature on marine extinctions and extinction risk in the fossil, historical, and modern(More)
The Last Interglacial (LIG; ca. 125,000 y ago) resulted from rapid global warming and reached global mean temperatures exceeding those of today. The LIG thus offers the opportunity to study how life may respond to future global warming. Using global occurrence databases and applying sampling-standardization, we compared reef coral diversity and(More)
Functional specialization, or division of labour (DOL), of parts within organisms and colonies is common in most multi-cellular, colonial and social organisms, but it is far from ubiquitous. Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the evolutionary origins of DOL; the basic feature common to all of them is that functional differences can arise(More)
Large-scale biodiversity gradients among environments and habitats are usually attributed to a complex array of ecological and evolutionary factors. We tested the evolutionary component of such gradients by compiling the environments of the geologically oldest occurrences of marine genera and using sampling standardization to assess if originations tended(More)
Rarity is widely used to predict the vulnerability of species to extinction. Species can be rare in markedly different ways, but the relative impacts of these different forms of rarity on extinction risk are poorly known and cannot be determined through observations of species that are not yet extinct. The fossil record provides a valuable archive with(More)
11. H. Schildknecht, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 9, 1–9 (1970). 12. M. W. Westneat et al., Science 299, 558–560 (2003). 13. J. J. Socha, M. W. Westneat, J. F. Harrison, J. S. Waters, W.-K. Lee, BMC Biol. 5, 6 (2007). 14. J. J. Socha et al., J. Exp. Biol. 211, 3409–3420 (2008). 15. M. W. Westneat, J. J. Socha, W.-K. Lee, Annu. Rev. Physiol. 70, 119–142(More)
Molecular divergence time analyses often rely on the age of fossil lineages to calibrate node age estimates. Most divergence time analyses are now performed in a Bayesian framework, where fossil calibrations are incorporated as parametric prior probabilities on node ages. It is widely accepted that an ideal parameterization of such node age prior(More)
Understanding historical patterns of diversity dynamics is of paramount importance for many evolutionary questions. The fossil record has long been the only source of information on patterns of diversification, but the molecular record, derived from time-calibrated phylogenies, is becoming an important additional resource. Both fossil and molecular(More)