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Speaker Introduction

Moritz:  It's now my pleasure to introduce a person who would have been my new colleague if I hadn't moved to the Museum of Natural History in December. Peter Roopnarine is Assistant Curator in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology. He's a paleontologist and a marine biologist who's interested in a wide range of themes including evolutionary biology, paleoecological reconstruction. Current research projects include a reconstruction of the ecosystem in the northern Gulf of California during the past two thousand years. He studies the evolution and ecology of marine mollusks in tropical America during the past 30 million years and has been involved in reconstructing patterns of evolution in conodonts, near-microscopic vertebrates during the Devonian 400 million years ago.

He utilizes a broad range of techniques in all these projects, including phylogenetic systematics, paleobiogeochemical analysis, and computer and numerical simulations. His field work has taken him to Baja, California, Sonora, New Mexico, Nevada, and many other areas of tropical America including Florida and the West Indies. He got his Bachelor of Science degree from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, a Masters degree in Ocean Sciences from Nova, Southeastern University in Florida, and then did graduate Ph.D. work with Gary Vermeij, one of the legends of marine biology up at the University of California Davis. He completed his work in 1994. His dissertation was entitled Systematics in Biogeography and Extinction of Chionine Bivalves in the Late Neogene of Tropical America.

Since getting his degree he's worked as an Assistant Professor of Biology at Southeast Missouri State, a Research Associate at the University of Arizona and he came to us this month, this past month here to San Francisco to be Curator of Paleontology and Geology here in the Invertebrate Zoology Department.

He has a website where you can get information about him, which we'll be happy to provide to you. And with that, I'd like to introduce Peter Roopnarine.


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