Early vertebrate morphology and evolution


Since my master’s project and PhD at Tübingen University I work on early vertebrates and in particular placoderms. Early vertebrates constitute a perfect model to test hypotheses from palaeobiogeography, phylogeny and evolutionary biology.

In Palaeozoic rocks of Morocco we excavate remains of placoderms, bony fishes and chondrichthyans. In collaborations with Christian Klug from the University of Zürich, I co-supervise PhD students working on morphology, phylogeny, function, taphonomy and ecology of these fossil vertebrates. We are interested in understanding the macroevolution of jawed vertebrates during the Devonian and Carboniferous, with the Hangenberg event, one of the main extinction events and probably a bottle neck in vertebrate evolution.

Figure: Outcrop Morocco