We are a group of marine biologists and paleontologists exploring change and variation in marine ecosystems. Our research focuses on the diverse and complex life found in tropical coastal ecosystems and our research is driven by two main questions:

  1. How does environmental change drive evolutionary and ecological change?
  2. What should the marine life be like in the absence of humans? Read more about this approach in the Baseline Caribbean project.

Our home is the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. We use a variety of approaches ranging from classical palaeontology and community ecology to molecular biology and isotope chemistry.

We rely heavily on new collections and measurements of modern and fossil biological communities and environments on a regional scale to ask questions of global significance. We study the corals, molluscs, boney fishes, sharks and sponges of tropical seas, and their past as recorded in fossil, archeological and historical records.


Work in the lab is funded by SENACYT, The US National Science Foundation, the National System of Investigators, the Smithsonian Institution and donations from generous philanthropists.