2004 Predoctoral Grant Recipient
Anjali Goswami is currently a fifth-year PhD candidate in the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago. Her research interests encompass three broad areas: 1) phylogenetic and ecological influences on morphological variation, integration, and evolution; 2) Triassic-Jurassic cynodont and mammal evolution on Gondwanan continents; and 3) novel techniques to elucidate the palaeoecology of extinct taxa.
Her current research incorporates paleontological, neontological, and ontogenetic data to analyze trait correlation and integration and their influence on morphological variation. Her dissertation, entitled " The evolution of morphological integration in the mammalian skull " is a broad, comparative study of morphological and developmental trait correlations, encompassing over 150 fossil and extant species from five orders and spanning a broad range of ecological and morphological diversity. She is gathering 3-D morphometric data from 2000 specimens to analyze variation in patterns of cranial trait correlations and to test hypotheses of the potential influences of diet, phylogeny, and brain size on these patterns. She is also gathering cranial ossification sequence data for several species within these clades to test the influence of developmental integration of bony elements.
Anjali is currently engaged in palaeontological fieldwork in Central India, exploring late Triassic - late Cretaceous terrestrial deposits for cynodont and early mammal fossils. Her previous fieldwork experience includes Madagascar, Chile, Peru, and Western U.S. In addition, she has conducted stable isotope research on Eocene archaeocete whales to determine marine habit and feeding ecology, and dental microwear studies of Triassic and Jurassic traversodontid cynodonts and prosauropod dinosaurs, to determine diet and masticatory mechanics.
Photo courtesy of Anjali Goswami.