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Abigail Parker

Abigail Parker

PhD Student


Research Interests

Previously, I conducted research on habitat partitioning and trait evolution in fossil horses, while an undergraduate at Harvard University. At Cambridge, I am studying the evolution of reptile body size. My PhD project aims to characterize the trends in body size of lizards, snakes, crocodiles, and turtles throughout the Cenozoic period. I will compare these trends to records of climatic changes and mammalian body size evolution to look for biotic and abiotic relationships controlling body size in these reptile groups. This research, which will include detailed work on the reptile faunas of the Neogene of East Africa, will investigate the dynamics between reptiles and mammals as mammals diversified and became dominant in many ecosystems through the Cenozoic. Additionally, my work will explore reptiles' body size as an ecometric, a trait correlated to environmental conditions that, when measured in fossils, can help reconstruct past climate. This study connects to my broader interest in how the evolution of vertebrates' traits has been influenced by ecological changes.

Collaborators