Everyone is listed in alphabetical order. Last update: October 2014.

Current people in the lab

Aliza Adler
Reilly Anderson
Bryan Gee
Jessica Valenzuela


Elizabeth Augustine
Ethan Bensinger (now a PhD student at UC Berkeley)
Corey Bickler
Brian Cohn (now a PhD student at University of Southern California)
Morgan Halley (now attending Vet School at UC Davis)
Amanda Jacobs
Zoe Kao
Alexander Mauro (now a PhD student at University of Arizona)
Patrick Niedermeyer
Jesse Osborn
Chase Pribble
Bradley Shigezawa
Chloe Shih
Sophie Wang

(alumni: please keep me posted!)

Lars Schmitz (PI)

LarsMy educational background reflects a somewhat non-traditional trajectory. I began my graduate education at the University of Bonn, Germany, where I received a Diplom (MSc equivalent) in Geology and Paleontology. My main interest back then, sparked by Martin Sander, was the evolution and anatomy of ichthyosaurs, arguably one of the most successful groups of Mesozoic marine reptiles. I subsequently went on to get my PhD in Geology from UC Davis, working with Ryosuke Motani. My research shifted from traditional paleontology to functional morphology, studying mainly dinosaurs. During a postdoc with Peter Wainwright, I internalized the mechanistic approach to understand the evolution of form and function, paired with phylogenetic comparative methods. My current research program reflects this educational trajectory: I am interested in studying how the environment influences evolution, ranging from retina physiology to bony eye structures, spanning geological time. My long-term goal is to help facilitating the synthesis of phylogenetic comparative biology and quantitative paleobiology. A unification of these two distinct disciplines is expected to reconcile many of the conflicting conclusions and result in an improved understanding of evolutionary patterns and processes.


Michael Alfaro, UCLA
Kenneth Angielczyk, Field Museum
Roger Benson, Oxford
Luis Chiappe, LACM
Shaun Collin, UWA Perth
Joerg Froebisch, Humboldt University Berlin
Nadia Froebisch, Humboldt University Berlin
Samantha Hopkins, University of Oregon
Tim Higham, UC Riverside
Da-yong Jiang, Peking University
John Long, Flinders University
Malcolm MacIver, Northwestern
Ryosuke Motani, UC Davis
Samantha Price, UC Davis
Martin Sander, University of Bonn
Peter Wainwright, UC Davis