Gateway to the Paleobiology Database

Paleobiology Database Working Groups

The Database brings together researchers to form "working groups" that meet periodically to plan data collection, analyze data, and write manuscripts. Most meetings are held in Santa Barbara at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. The groups tackle large-scale questions that can't be answered by an individual researcher. Working groups are initiated by the Database and researchers join them by invitation, although anyone can become a Database contributor and form research groups after doing so.

Here is a list of our current groups.

Divergence times working group

This group is jointly supported by NESCent, which hosts meetings, and the Paleobiology Database, which helps with databasing.

Members: Charles Bell, Debashish Bhattacharya, Tom Britton, Lee-Hsiang Liow, Susana Magallon, Johannes Muller, Thomas Near, Todd Oakley, Kevin Peterson, David Plachetzki, Susannah Porter


  • Compile fossil first appearance dates to test for congruence with molecular divergence time estimates

Marine invertebrate working group

Members: Martin Aberhan, John Alroy, Richard Bambach, Dave Bottjer, Carl Brett, Gunther Eble, Doug Erwin, Michael Foote, Franz Fürsich, Thor Hansen, Steve Holland, Linda Ivany, Dave Jablonski, Dave Jacobs, Wolfgang Kiessling, Matt Kosnik, Charles Marshall, Mike McKinney, Dave Meyer, Arnie Miller, Tom Olszewski, Mark Patzkowsky, Roy Plotnick, Dave Raup, Kaustuv Roy, Pete Wagner


  • Sampling standarized Phanerozoic trends in global diversity
  • Effect of ecological interactions on trends in diversity and occurrence frequency of major groups
  • Socioeconomic controls on global sampling patterns

Micropaleontology working group

Members: Paul Bown, Taniel Danelian, Suzanne Feist-Burkhardt, Dave Harwood, Mimi Katz, Wolfgang Kiessling, Michal Kucera, Rich Lane, Dave Lazarus, Paul Pearson, Woody Wise


  • Jurassic and Cretaceous marine microfossil diversity (Paleobiology Database data)
  • Neogene marine microfossil diversity (Neptune data)

Paleobotany working group

Members: Kevin Boyce, Bill DiMichele, Bob Gastaldo, Pat Gensel, Carol Hotton, Andy Knoll, Cindy Looy, Rick Lupia, Karl Niklas, Anne Raymond, Allister Rees, Hallie Sims, Bill Stein, Bruce Tiffney, Henk Visscher, Peter Wilf, Scott Wing

Paleontomology group (meets with paleobotany): Conrad Labandeira, Dena Smith


  • Phanerozoic trends in diversity within taphonomically controlled collections

Taphonomy working group

Members: John Alroy, Kay Behrensmeyer, Franz Fürsich, Bob Gastaldo, Steve Holland, Sue Kidwell, Matt Kosnik, Michal Kowalewski, Roy Plotnick, Ray Rogers


  • Effect of durability on frequency of occurrence in the marine fossil record

Vertebrate paleontology working group

Members: John Alroy, Kay Behrensmeyer, Chris Brochu, Matt Carrano, Will Clyde, Manu Fara, Mikael Fortelius, Jason Head, John Hunter, Jin Meng, Robin O'Keefe, Chris Sidor, Mark Uhen, Xiaoming Wang, Lars Werdelin, Robin Whatley


  • Major patterns of sampling bias in the tetrapod record
  • Paleoecological comparisons of Late Cretaceous and Eocene faunas