Lindsey Ray Leighton

Associate Professor
ESB 1-001 B
Web Site


Forcino, F.L., Stafford, E.S., Warner, J.J., Webb, A.E., Leighton, L.R., Schneider, C.L., Michlin, T.S., Palazzolo, L.M., Morrow, J.R., & Schellenberg, S.A. 2010. 'Effects of data categorization on paleocommunity analysis: A case study from the Pennsylvanian Finis Shale of Texas'. Palaios: 25: 144-157.

Webb, A., Leighton, L.R., Schellenberg, S.A., Landau, E. & Thomas, E. 2009. 'Impact of the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum on deep-ocean microbenthic community structure: Using rank-abundance curves to quantify paleoecological response'. Geology: 37: 783-786.

Redman, C.M. & Leighton, L.R. 2009. 'Multivariate faunal analyses of the Turonian Bissekty Formation: Variation in the degree of marine influence in temporally and spatially averaged fossil assemblages'. Palaios: 24: 18-26.

Schiffbauer, J.D., Yanes, Y., Tyler, C.L., Kowalewski, M. and Leighton, L.R. 2008 'The microstructural record of predation: A new approach for identifying predatory drillholes'.  Palaios 23: 810-820

Mills, B., and Leighton, L.R. 2008 'Functional morphology of chonetidine spines: Biomechanical tests of a potential key innovation'. Historical Biology 20: 213-221

Leighton, L.R. and Schneider, C.L. 2008 'Taxon characteristics promoting brachiopod survivorship through the Permo-Triassic interval: Implications for the change in evolutionary faunas'. Paleobiology 34: 65-79

Redman, C.M., Leighton, L.R., Schellenberg, S.A., Gale, C.N., Nielsen, J.L., Dressler, D.L. III and Klinger, M.K. 2007 'The influence of spatio-temporal scale on community structure: Lateral variation in the Imperial Formation (Pliocene) of California'. Palaios 22: 630-641

Kowalewski, M. and Leighton, L.R. 2007 'Predator-prey interactions: Experimental and field approaches'. Journal of Shellfish Research 26: 217-220.

Research Interests
  • Evolution and ecology of predator-prey systems, and their effects on biodiversity, through time
  • Identifying those organismal features that facilitate survivorship through mass-extinction events
  • Functional morphology and biomechanics of marine invertebrates, with special attention to animal-substrate and animal-flow interactions
  • Integrating modern and fossil data to address ecological questions

Although the planet faces a shocking biodiversity crisis, we are struggling to understand which factors control biodiversity. Given the urgency of the crisis, understanding the processes that influence biodiversity should be a primary task not only for conservation but for paleobiology as well.  However, we currently lack an explicit connection between the global, deep-time scales of paleobiology and the fine spatial and temporal scales of ecology. Filling this gap should be a pressing concern, we need more explorations of fine-scale processes through deep time and more comparisons with modern ecology. Much of my research is designed to fill that gap.


University of Michigan