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Dr Daniel J. Field

Dr Daniel J. Field

University Lecturer, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge

Research Associate, Department of Earth Sciences, Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Daniel Field is accepting applications for PhD students.

Daniel Field is available for consultancy.

Department of Earth Sciences
Downing Street
Cambridge
Cambridgeshire

CB2 3EQ
Office Phone: +44 (0) 1223 768329

Biography:

I am fascinated by Earth’s modern biodiversity, and my research aims to use the vertebrate fossil record to help answer questions about how, where, and when this biodiversity arose. I’m passionate about natural history, evolution, and science outreach, and enjoy studying and photographing Earth’s vertebrate biodiversity in the field. 

Research Interests

Work in my lab aims to decipher the origins of modern avian biodiversity, using fossil, anatomical, and molecular data, although we have deep interests in evolutionary questions across the vertebrate tree of life. At present, we are primarily interested in the following topics:

• Inferring the evolutionary origins of modern avian features such as feathers, flight, and endothermy
• Establishing an accurate timescale for the extant avian radiation
• Inferring phylogenetic interrelationships among birds using novel molecular, morphological, and fossil data
• Improving biogeographic inferences for birds using fossils, and studying the link between climatic change and biogeographic distributions
• Investigating macroevolutionary patterns across the Cretaceous-Palaeogene mass extinction
• Similar topics in other vertebrate clades

Research Supervision

Postdocs

2019-21:  Dr. Junya Watanabe PhD, Newton International Research Fellow, University of Cambridge (primary supervisor).

 

PhD students (primary supervisor)

2019-:    Ms. Lizzy Steell MSc, Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge (primary supervisor, beginning Oct. 2019).

2017-:    Mr. Albert Chen MSc, Biology & Biochemistry, University of Bath (primary supervisor).

2017-:    Mr. Juan Benito Moreno MSc, Biology & Biochemistry, University of Bath (primary supervisor).

 

PhD students (co-supervisor)

2019-:    Ms. Abigail Parker BSc, Zoology, University of Cambridge (second advisor).

2019-:    Ms. Lucy Roberts MESc, Zoology, University of Cambridge (second advisor).

2019-:    Ms. Alexandra Howard MSci, MRes, Zoology, University of Cambridge (second advisor).

2018-:    Ms. Brigit Tronrud BSc, Earth Sciences, University of Oxford (co-supervisor).

2018-:    Ms. Claire Tanner MSc, Biology & Biochemistry, University of Bath (co-supervisor).

2017-:    Mr. Fiann Smithwick MSc, Earth Sciences, University of Bristol (co-supervisor).

2017-:    Ms. Catherine Klein MSc, Biology & Biochemistry, University of Bath (co-supervisor).

2017-:    Mr. Yimeng Li MSc, Biology & Biochemistry, University of Bath (co-supervisor).

2017-:    Ms. Rebecca Lakin, Biology & Biochemistry, University of Bath (co-supervisor).

2017-:    Mr. Conrad Van den Ende MSc, Biology & Biochemistry, University of Bath (co-supervisor).

 

Masters Students (MPhil & MESc)

2019-:    Mr. Kit Baker, Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge (supervisor, MESc).

2018-:    Mr. Ben Igielman, Zoology, University of Cambridge (advisor, MPhil).

 

Visiting research students

2018:     Mr. Jacob Berv, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology PhD candidate, Cornell University, USA.

2018:     Mme. Alexandra Fischer, École Nationale Vétérinaire d’Alfort, France.

Keywords

Systematics and Phylogenetics ; Palaeobiology ; Vertebrates ; Comparative morphology ; Anatomy ; Functional Morphology ; Tomography

Topics

  • Vertebrate Palaeobiology (general)

Key Publications

Full publication list: http://danieljfield.com/Home/Publications.html

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=oxSZWaEAAAAJ&hl=en

Saupe, E.E.*, Farnsworth, A., Lunt, D.J., Sagoo, N., Pham, K.V., Field, D.J.* 2019. Climatic shifts drove major contractions in avian latitudinal distributions throughout the Cenozoic. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 201903866; 10.1073/pnas.1903866116. *Co-lead authors.

Oliveros, C.H., Field, D.J., Ksepka, D.T., Barker, F.K., Aleixo, A., Andersen, M.J., Alström, P., Benz, B.W., Braun, E.L., Braun, M.J., et al. 2019. Earth history and the passerine superradiation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 201813206. [Cover]

Field, D.J.*, Hanson, M.*, Burnham, D., Wilson-Brantley, L., Super, K., Ehret, D., Ebersole, E., Bhullar, B.A-S. 2018. Complete Ichthyornis skull illuminates mosaic assembly of the avian head. Nature 557 (96-100). doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0053-y. *co-first authors; includes associated News and Views article.

Field, D.J., Bercovici, A., Berv, J.S., Dunn, R., Fastovsky, D., Lyson, T.R., Vajda, V., Gauthier, J.A. 2018. Early evolution of modern birds structured by global forest collapse at the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. Current Biology 28(11): 1825-1831.e2. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.04.062. [Cover]

Field, D.J., Hsiang, A.Y. 2018. A North American stem turaco, and the complex biogeographic history of modern birds. BMC Evolutionary Biology 18:102. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12862-018-1212-3.

Berv, J.S.* & Field, D.J.* 2018. Genomic signature of an avian Lilliput Effect across the K-Pg Extinction. Systematic Biology 67(1): 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1093/sysbio/syx064. *co-first authors. [Cover; Winner of the Society of Systematic Biologists Publisher’s Award]

Field, D.J. 2018. Endless skulls most beautiful. (Commentary). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115(3): 448-450. doi:10.1073/pnas.1721208115.

Faux, C.* & Field, D.J.* 2017. Distinct developmental pathways underlie independent losses of flight in ratites. Biology Letters 13(7):20170234. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2017.0234. *co-first authors. [Cover]

Field, D.J. 2017. Big-time insights from a tiny bird fossil (Commentary). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114(30): 7750-7752. doi:10/1073/pnas.1710941114.

Field, D.J. 2017. Preliminary paleoecological insights from the Pliocene avifauna of Kanapoi, Kenya: implications for the ecology of Australopithecus anamensis. Journal of Human Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2017.08.007.

Prum, R.O., Berv, J.S., Dornburg, A., Field, D.J., Townsend, J.P, Lemmon, E.M., Lemmon, A.R. 2015. A comprehensive phylogeny of birds (Aves) using targeted next generation DNA sequencing. Nature 526: 569-573. doi:10.1038/nature15697. Includes associated News and Views article.

Bever, G.S., Lyson, T.R., Field, D.J., Bhullar B.-A.S. 2015. Evolutionary origin of the turtle skull. Nature 525: 239-242. doi:10.1038/nature14900.