Erik Seiffert • Associate Professor, Department of Anatomical Sciences, Stony Brook University • Ph.D., Duke University, 2003 • I am broadly interested in the biogeography, adaptations, and phylogenetic relationships of placental mammals, and work primarily on fossil placentals from the Eocene and Oligocene of Africa. My fieldwork aims to improve our understanding of mammalian evolution on the Afro-Arabian landmass, particularly within the clades Afrotheria and Primates. My laboratory research involves analysis and description of new fossil mammals, often with the goal of determining how these and other extinct taxa fit into -- and potentially help us to better understand -- the emerging supraordinal molecular phylogeny of Placentalia. As such my research involves analysis of morphological information from extinct placentals as well as molecular and morphological information from extant placentals. At present most of my fieldwork takes place in Egypt, and I have also worked in Ethiopia, Kenya, Oman, and South Africa. As a new member of Stony Brook's Turkana Basin Institute, I hope to expand the search for Late Cretaceous and Paleogene mammals to northern Kenya. I am not currently accepting new graduate students as a primary advisor. If you are interested in studying mammalian evolution at Stony Brook, please contact Dave Krause or Maureen O'Leary.

Eugenie Barrow • Ph.D. student, University of Oxford • Eugenie is studying evolution and adaptation within the afrotherian order Hyracoidea using phylogenetic and morphometric approaches. She is currently working on new hyracoid material from the ~37 million-year-old locality BQ-2, and is interested in determining how the highly specialized members of the Neogene hyracoid radiation are related to Paleogene lineages. In 2006 Eugenie completed an M.Sc. in Advanced Methods in Taxonomy and Biodiversity at Imperial College London under the supervision of Norm MacLeod and Marcelo Sánchez-Villagra. She is co-supervised by Erik Seiffert, Stephen Hesselbo in the Department of Earth Sciences at Oxford, and Norm MacLeod in the Department of Palaeontology at the Natural History Museum (London), and is funded by a NERC studentship.

Matt Borths • Ph.D. student, Anatomical Sciences, Stony Brook University • Matt is broadly interested in Gondwanan mammalian radiations from the Cretaceous through the Paleogene. He plans on combining dental and postcranial material to understand the ecomorphological diversity and biogeographic relationships of early mammalian radiations in Africa. He is currently working on the diversity and biogeography of Fayum creodonts. Previous work has included an analysis of mammalian postcrania from the K-T boundary of North America, a morphometric analysis of Late Jurassic mammalian postcrania from Portugal, and fieldwork in North Dakota, Utah, Kenya, Madagascar, Oman, Egypt, and Germany. He is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow and Turkana Basin Institute Graduate Fellow.

Stevie Carnation • Ph.D. student, IDPAS, Stony Brook University • Stevie is interested in investigating the evolutionary history of the colobine monkeys. For her dissertation, she is combining morphological and molecular data to reconstruct a genus-level phylogeny of the Colobinae, including all fossil taxa. Her previous research focused on the relative limb strength and locomotor repertoire of one fossil colobine, Paracolobus chemeroni. She has completed fieldwork in Kenya and is a Turkana Basin Institute Fellow. She is co-advised by James Rossie.

Ashley Gosselin-Ildari • Ph.D. student, IDPAS, Stony Brook University • Ashley is interested in the evolution of cercopithecoid locomotion. For her dissertation she is studying postcranial elements of extant and fossil cercopithecoids and using continuous character mapping to determine the locomotor behavior of ancestral nodes. Her previous research focused on the functional morphology of the primate cochlea. She has done fieldwork in Texas, Wyoming, Indonesia, and Egypt. She is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and Beinecke Scholar.

Steven Heritage • Ph.D. student, IDPAS, Stony Brook University • Steven is interested in the systematics and origins of the extant placental orders focusing on clades known from the Paleogene of Africa. He is currently studying the craniodental morphology of macroscelideans with the aim of developing research on their phylogenetic relationships. As a Turkana Basin Institute Graduate Fellow, he intends to work towards expanding the known fossil record of placentals in East Africa. Previous fieldwork has included the collection of Maastrichtian vertebrates from the Hell Creek Formation of North Dakota and Montana.

Simone Hoffmann • Ph.D. student, Anatomical Sciences, Stony Brook University • Simone's main area of interest lie in the functional morphology and phylogeny of basal mammals. Of particular interest is the systematic and evolutionary development of the Gondwanan mammalian lineages from the Cretaceous of Africa. Her previous research focused on the morphological description and phylogenetic position of a Miocene pangolin from Southern Germany under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Martin at the University of Bonn, Germany. So far Simone has participated in field work in Argentina, Egypt, Germany, China and Siberia. She is a Turkana Basin Institute Graduate Fellow.

Affiliated scientists and collaborators

Elwyn Simons • Head, Division of Fossil Primates, Duke Lemur Center • Elwyn has been leading expeditions to the Fayum Depression since 1961, and his work there over the past many decades forms the basis for our current understanding of advanced stem anthropoid evolution, crown anthropoid origins, catarrhine origins, and the later Paleogene evolution of endemic African mammalian clades such as Afrotheria. He has also led numerous expeditions in other parts of the world, including searches for subfossil lemurs in Madagascar, Miocene apes in India, and Eocene primates in western North America.

Thomas Bown • Erathem-Vanir Geological, Inc. • Tom has been working on the geology, paleoenvironment, and mammalian fauna of the Jebel Qatrani, Qasr el-Sagha, and Birket Qarun Formations for the last many decades, and is one of the world's experts on the geology of Egypt. He has also worked extensively in the western United States, Argentina, and Ethiopia.

Prithijit Chatrath • Curator, Division of Fossil Primates, Duke Lemur Center • Prithijit has been managing paleontological fieldwork in the Fayum region for decades, and is responsible for the discovery of numerous holotype specimens, including those of important fossil primates such as Afrotarsius chatrathi. In 2003 the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology awarded him the Morris Skinner Prize for his numerous important contributions to the field. He has also managed projects in India, Madagascar, Spain, and Wyoming, and has prepared thousands of important fossils from all of these areas.

Hesham Sallam • Lecturer, Department of Geology, Mansoura University • Hesham's recent work has focused on the hystricognathous and anomaluroid rodents of the Birket Qarun and Jebel Qatrani Formations in the Fayum area of Egypt, with an emphasis on taxonomic, phylogenetic, and biogeographic issues. Hesham has worked extensively in the Eocene and Oligocene deposits of the Fayum region, and in Late Cretaceous deposits of Sinai, Dakhla, and Kharga. He has also participated in vertebrate paleontological fieldwork in Kenya and Yemen. He heads the vertebrate paleontology research division at Mansoura University (Mansoura University Vertebrate Paleontology).

Michael Steiper • Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Hunter College • Michael has been collaborating with lab members on a number of projects, ranging from analyses of phylogenetic relationships and molecular divergence dates within primates and other mammals, to reconstruction of ancestral character states within various primate clades, to molecular phylogenetics of chameleons. In addition to his work as a geneticist, he has extensive paleontological experience, having worked in Egypt, France, and Wyoming.

Former students

Chloe Brindley • MEarthSci, University of Oxford, 2007 • Chloe completed an MEarthSci thesis at Oxford entitled "Phylogeny, Biogeography, and Functional Morphology of Eocene Anomaluroidea". Her study was based on dental and postcranial material of a new large-bodied anomaluroid rodent from locality BQ-2, and provided an analysis of the locomotor adaptations and phylogenetic relationships of the new genus.

Sallam HM, Seiffert ER, Simons EL, and Brindley C (2010) A large-bodied anomaluroid rodent from the earliest late Eocene of Egypt: phylogenetic and biogeographic implications. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30: 1579-1593.

Alexander Liu • MEarthSci, University of Oxford, 2007 • Alex completed an MEarthSci thesis at Oxford entitled "Reconstructing the Habitat and Dietary Adaptations of Early Proboscideans Using Stable Isotope Geochemistry". His study was based on samples from the Birket Qarun and Jebel Qatrani Formations, and provided important new information about the habitat preferences of the Fayum proboscidean genera Barytherium and Moeritherium. He is currently a Ph.D. student at University of Oxford.

Liu AGSC, Seiffert ER, and Simons EL (2008) Stable isotope evidence for an amphibious phase in early proboscidean evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 105: 5786-5791.

Hesham Sallam • DPhil, University of Oxford, 2010 • Hesham completed a DPhil thesis at Oxford entitled "Late Eocene Rodents from the Fayum Depression, Egypt: Taxonomic, Phylogenetic, and Biogeographic Implications". His study was based on abundant craniodental and postcranial fossils of anomaluroid and hystricognathous rodents that have been recovered from the earliest late Eocene Locality BQ-2, as well as craniodental remains of hystricognathous rodents from the younger L-41 horizon.

Sallam HM, Seiffert ER, Simons EL, and Brindley C (2010) A large-bodied anomaluroid rodent from the earliest late Eocene of Egypt: phylogenetic and biogeographic implications. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30: 1579-1593.

Sallam HM, Seiffert ER, and Simons EL (2010) A highly derived anomalurid rodent (Mammalia) from the earliest late Eocene of Egypt. Palaeontology 53: 803-813.

Sallam HM, Seiffert ER, Steiper ME, and Simons EL (2009) Fossil and molecular evidence constrain scenarios for the early evolutionary and biogeographic history of hystricognathous rodents. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 106:16722-16727.

Technicians

Moustafa Sallam Moustafa formerly volunteered occasionally in the Seiffert Lab as a micro preparator, but has recently moved to Egypt. He has extensive experience with scientific photography and is actively using Google Earth to locate new paleontological sites in Egypt.