Abstracts (first author)
The fossil record of lineage evolution
The fossil record captures the only direct observations we have of evolutionary changes within species over substantial spans of time, and yet it has long been controversial as to how best to interpret such observations. In this talk, I review some of the important accumulated findings from paleontological research about the nature of evolutionary changes within fossil species. Specifically, I will address the frequency of different modes or patterns of evolutionary change, the tempo of these changes, and the implications of these for understanding evolutionary processes in the fossil record. In addition, I will discuss case studies that: (1) estimate the importance of anagenetic (within-lineage) versus cladogenetic (at speciation) changes in phenotypic traits, and (2) test hypotheses about specific causal drivers of phenotypic change in fossil species.