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We study marine diversity through time.

Our research aims to better understand  the  extinction mechanisms of marine life, especially sharks, and to assess the impacts of species loss on functional diversity. Our ultimate goal is to use this information to provide insights into conservation. To reach our research objectives, we integrate large sets of paleontological and neontological data and  apply methods in ecology, evolution, phylogenetics and biogeography.

News

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Postdoc position open!

We are looking for a postdoctoral researcher with a strong background in computer science or computational biology to develop new methods to analyze paleo-biological data. The successful candidate will work in a Swiss National Science Foundation supported project. We have funds to support the postdoc for 2 years, and for travels and research visits abroad. The postdoc will also co-supervise at PhD project and have the possibility to apply to prestigious and generous fellowships from the SNSF to start an independent career after completion of their post. 

01.02.2022

Team

We are a global research group

Our team members are based at the Paleontology Institute and Museum in the University of Zurich (Switzerland), at the Biosciences Department in Swansea University (United Kingdom) and at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (Panama).

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Kristína Kocáková
PhD student
Zurich
Marine life
SHARKS-XT
Slovakia
@KristinaKocak
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Jaime Villafaña
Project coordinator
Zurich
Fossil sharks, paleobiology, paleobiogeography
SHARKS-XT
Chile
@VillafanaJA
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Dr Catalina Pimiento
Group leader
Zurich and Swansea
Sharks' extinctions, evolution, ecology and conservation
Colombia
@pimientoc
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Jack Cooper
PhD student
Swansea
Fossil sharks, especially Megalodon
GIANTS & SHARKS-FD
UK
@CooperPalaeo
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Amanda Gardiner
Masters student
Zurich
Sharks
SHARKS-XT

USA

Current Projects

SHARK EXTINCTIONS | from the past to the future

SHARKS XT

Linking past extinctions and the conservation of modern species using the abundant shark fossil record.

FATE AND FUNCTION OF MARINE MEGAFAUNA | from the Pliocene to the Anthropocene

MEGACENE

Understanding marine megafauna functional diversity from the Pliocene to the present.

Publications

Pimiento C, Bacon CD, Silvestro D, Hendy A, Jaramillo C, Zizka A, Meyer X, Antonelli A. 2020 Selective extinction against redundant species buffers functional diversity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 287: 20201162. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.1162.

Villafaña JA, Hernandez S, Alvarado A, Shimada K, Pimiento C, Rivadeneira MM, Kriwet J. (2020). First evidence of a palaeo-nursery area of the great white shark. Scientific Reports 10, 8502 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-65101-1.

Pimiento C, Leprieur F, Silvestro D, Lefcheck J, Albouy C, Rasher DB, Davis M, Svenning JC, Griffin JN. (2020) Functional diversity and the fate of marine megafauna in the Anthropocene. Science Advances 6, eaay7650 doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aay7650

Pimiento C, Benton M. (2020) The impact of the Pull of the Recent in extant elasmobranchs. Palaeontology 2020, pp. 1–6 DOI: 10.1111/pala.12478

Cooper, J.A., Pimiento, C., Ferrón, H.G., Benton M. (2020) Body dimensions of the extinct giant shark Otodus megalodon: a 2D reconstruction. Scientific Reports 10, 14596. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-71387-y (Student-led paper).

Paillard, A.,  Shimada, K.,  Pimiento, C.  (2020) The fossil record of extant elasmobranchs. Journal of Fish Biology 1– 11. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.14588 (Student-led paper).

Pimiento C. & Pyenson N. (2021). Perspective: When sharks nearly disappeared. Science 372, 1036-1037 https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abj2088  

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Our values

We are passionate about our work.

We are committed to high quality science.

We promote diversity in our team.

We are open with our data, manuscripts and ideas.

We are conscious about our impact on the planet and try to reduce or carbon footprint