Dr. Katharine Loughney
- Vertebrate taphonomy
- Paleoenvironmental reconstruction
I am interested in the environmental, depositional, and stratigraphic contexts in which fossils occur, and I investigate these topics at a variety of scales. I use field- and lab-based methods to reconstruct ancient environments and the depositional settings of fossil accumulations. I use the physical features and damage patterns of fossil bones to interpret the conditions governing their accumulation and burial in different depositional environments. Depositional environments change over time and space, meaning that they are not evenly distributed through stratigraphic successions. The stratigraphic distribution of sedimentary deposits controls the occurrences of fossils, which in turn influences our understanding of patterns of evolution and extinction in the fossil record.
My current field work focuses on fossiliferous Miocene deposits of the western U.S., in particular California and Nevada. I have done field work in the Petrified Forest National Park (Upper Triassic) in Arizona, and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (Paleozoic to Mesozoic) in Maryland.
- Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2018
- M.S., University of Rhode Island, 2010
- B.S., Beloit College, 2006