Research Expertise and Interest
Charles Marshall is a paleontologist /deep-time evolutionary biologist broadly interested in how life has evolved on Earth and in the processes that have shaped it. His primary sources of data are from the fossil and geological records, as well the living biota and their genomes. His research has a strong epistemological component, often involving the development of new quantitative tools and ways of integrating disparate data. Current projects center on a thermodynamic framework for understanding the drivers of biodiversity and ecological change on geologic timescales, as well as the origin of life. His students are working on a range of projects, from documenting exceptionally preserved fossils and elucidating ecosystem structure as the first forests emerged some 390 million years ago, to using ecological niche modelling to understand the Great American Biotic Interchange, the selective migration of large numbers of species between South and North America when the Isthmus of Panama formed ~2.5 million years ago.