Academic profile + Personal website


Selina R. Cole

Research Geologist & Curator of Fossil Marine Invertebrates

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Department of Paleobiology

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I am an invertebrate paleontologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History working as a Research Geologist and Curator of Fossil Marine Invertebrates.

My research uses the fossil record of invertebrates to investigate macroevolutionary and macroecological patterns and their driving processes over the last ~500 million  years. The two major themes forming the core of my research program are (1) extinction risk and recovery and (2) community paleoecology.


Much of my work is specimen-based, and I make  extensive use of museum collections integrated with fieldwork, phylogeny reconstruction, and a wide variety analytical approaches like phylogenetic comparative methods. I have also worked extensively on the systematics of fossil crinoids (feather stars and sea lilies) and often use crinoids as a model group for macroevolutionary investigations.