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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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New paper on a 3D, full-body reconstruction of the Megalodon

Our new paper has been published in Science Advances. Based on an exceptionally preserved specimen, we reconstructed the entire body shape of the extinct giant shark, the Megalodon. Our model further allowed us to infer movement and feeding ecology, revealing unprecedented swimming & prey intake abilities.

Check our cool animated video summarising our study on our YouTube channel!

17.08.2022

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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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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Team

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Gregor Mathes
Postdoc
Zurich
Climate
SHARKS-XT
Germany
@
GregorMathes
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Lewis Williams
PhD student
Swansea
Phylogenetics
SHARKS-XT
Wales
@LewisPalaeo
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Clement Prieul
PhD student
Swansea
Gigantism
GIANTS
Wales
@LewisPalaeo
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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 & Antonelli A (2022) Integrating deep-time palaeontology in conservation prioritisation. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 10:959364 https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2022.959364 

Cooper JA,  Griffin JN,  Kindlimann R, &  Pimiento C. (2023)  Are shark teeth proxies for functional traits? A framework to infer ecology from the fossil record. Journal of Fish Biology,  1– 17. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.15326 (Student-led paper).

Cooper JA, Hutchinson JR, Bernvi DC, Cliff, G, Wilson RW, Dicken ML, Menzel, J, Wroe, S, Pirlo, J and Pimiento, C. (2022) The extinct shark Otodus megalodon was a transoceanic super-predator: inferences from 3D modelling. Science Advances abm9424, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abm9424

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).

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

Villafaña JA, Rivadeneira MM, Pimiento C, Kriwet J. (2023) Diversification trajectories and paleobiogeography of Neogene chondrichthyans from Europe. Paleobiology 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1017/pab.2022.40 

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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

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