Southeastern Section - 64th Annual Meeting (19–20 March 2015)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 8:05 AM


STIGALL, Alycia L., Department of Geological Sciences and Ohio Center for Ecology and Evolutionary Studies, Ohio University, 316 Clippinger Lab, Athens, OH 45701,

The fossils that comprise the Late Ordovician Cincinnati Series of Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana have been studied extensively for over 125 years. Studies of these fossils began before the formal establishment of the Ordovician System and these fossils and strata were seminal for establishing the American Upper Ordovician standard. Due to the outstanding preservation and abundance of fossils within these units, Cincinnatian strata have been analyzed from almost every possible paleontological perspective: systematics, paleoecology, biostratigraphy, taphonomy, biogeography, biodiversity, micro- and macroevolution.

A wide array of insights has been gained by these many studies, but after so many years and so many analyses, are there really new insights left to gain? In what ways can these old and well-studied fossils contribute to innovative understanding of the history of life and the co-evolution of Earth and life? In this presentation, I will review some of the ways that Cincinnati fossils are contributing to cutting-edge scientific analyses and some recent insights on evolutionary, ecological, and biogeographic processes operating in the Ordovician and how these relate to improving our understanding of issues facing the modern biota. For example, investigations utilizing ecological niche modeling, phylogenetic inference, and biogeographic analyses provide insight on macroevolutionary feedback loops associated with species migrations and community restructuring.