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215 898-5650
Office Location: 
162 Hayden Hall

Lauren Sallan

Martin Meyerson Assistant Professor in Interdisciplinary Studies
TED Fellow


  • Ph.D. (2012) Integrative Biology, University of Chicago
  • S.M.  (2009)  Organismal Biology, University of Chicago
  • M.S.  (2007)  Biological Sciences, Florida Atlantic University
  • B.S.   (2003)  Biology, cum laude, Florida Atlantic University

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in how global events, environmental change and ecological interactions affect long-term evolution (macroevolution) in early vertebrates (half of vertebrate history), ray-finned fishes (half of vertebrate diversity) and marine ecosystems through time. I test macroevolutionary hypotheses using methods ranging from "big data" quantitative approaches and mathematical modeling to phylogenetic systematics and morphological description.

Research Areas: Paleobiology/Paleontology, Macroevolution, Macroecology, Early Vertebrates, Ichthyology, Mass Extinction, Phylogenetics, Functional Morphology, Evo-Devo

Selected Publications

^Postdoc, *Graduate Student, #Undergraduate Student

Sallan, L., Giles, S., Sansom, R., Clarke, J., Johanson, Z., Sansom, I. and P. Janvier. (2017) The 'Tully Monster' is not a vertebrate: convergence, characters and taphonomy in Paleozoic problematic animals. Palaeontology 60: 149-157.

Sallan, L. (2016) Fish 'tails' result from outgrowth and reduction of two separate ancestral tails. Current Biology 26: R1224-R1225.

Sallan, L. and A. K. Galimberti# (2015) Body-size reduction in vertebrates following the end-Devonian mass extinction. Science 350: 812-815.

Sallan, L. C. (2014) Major Issues in the Origins of Ray-finned Fish (Actinopterygii) Biodiversity. Biological Reviews 89: 950-971.

Sallan, L. C. and M. I. Coates (2014) The Long-rostrumed Elasmobranch Bandringa Zangerl, 1969 and Taphonomy within a Carboniferous Shark Nursery. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 34, 22-33.

Sallan, L. C. (2012) Tetrapod-like Axial Regionalization in an Early Ray-finned Fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 279: 3264-3271.

Friedman, M. and L. C. Sallan (2012) Five Hundred Million Years of Extinction and Recovery: a Phanerozoic Survey of Large-Scale Diversity Patterns in Fishes. Palaeontology. 55: 707-742.

Sallan, L. C. and M. Friedman (2012) Heads or Tails: Staged Diversification in Vertebrate Evolutionary Radiations. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 279: 2025-2032.

Sallan, L. C., Kammer, T. W., Ausich, W. I. and L. A. Cook (2011) Persistent Predator-Prey Dynamics Revealed by Mass Extinction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108: 8335-8338.

Sallan, L. C. and M. I. Coates (2010) End-Devonian Extinction and a Bottleneck in the Early Evolution of Modern Jawed Vertebrates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107: 10131-10135.

Courses Taught

GEOL 205/405: Paleontology

GEOL 479: Macroevolution

Department of Earth and Environmental Science / University of Pennsylvania, 251 Hayden Hall, 240 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6316