Erin Saupe is a palaeobiologist working to investigate interactions between life and environments over geological time scales. Research in the Saupe Lab addresses fundamental questions on the origin, maintenance, and conservation of biological diversity. More specifically, we integrate biological data with information from the fossil record to elucidate the controls on community and species’ responses to environmental change across various spatial and temporal scales. The Saupe Lab also focuses attention on the newly-emerging field of conservation palaeobiology, which applies deep-time information to current problems of species conservation. Our work in this field provides vital information for assessing how current and future climate change will impact the Earth’s biodiversity. In general, our research is question- rather than methods-driven, but we apply a diverse toolkit to investigating these lines of research, including quantitative techniques such as modelling, genetics, and environmental reconstructions.
Current areas of interest:
1) Conservation palaeobiology: using the past to preserve the present and future
2) Extinction selectivity: what makes species prone to extinction, and how does this vary through time?
3) Latitudinal diversity gradients: when and why do they form?
4) (Palaeo)biogeography: what factors control biological distribution, and how do Earth and environmental processes affect biological diversification?
We are always looking for talented and motivated students and researchers to join our group. If you are interested in investigating macroevolutionary and macroecological patterns and processes, do not hesitate to enquire about available PhD or post-doctoral positions.
View Selected Publications
Saupe, E.E., Qiao, H., Donnadieu, Y., Farnsworth, A., Kennedy-Asser, A.T., Ladant, J-B, Lunt, D.J., Pohl, A., Valdes, P. Finnegan, S. In press. Starting state and cooling magnitude explain extinction magnitude during Ordovician and Cenozoic glaciations. Nature Geoscience.
Antell, G., Wolfgang, K., Aberhan, M., Saupe, E.E. In press. Ecological release is undetectable in the sea after global catastrophes throughout Earth history. Current Biology.
Turvey, S.T., Saupe, E.E. 2019. Insights from the past: unique opportunity or foreign country? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 374: 20190208.
Kiessling, W., Raja, N.B., Roden, V.J., Turvey, S.T., Saupe, E.E. 2019. Addressing priority questions of conservation science with palaeontological data. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 374: 20190222.
Saupe, E.E., Myers, C.E., Peterson, A. Townsend, Soberón, J., Singarayer, J., Valdes, P., Qiao, H. 2019. Spatio-temporal climate change contributes to latitudinal diversity gradients. Nature Ecology & Evolution 3: 1419-1429.
Saupe, E.E., Farnsworth, A., Sagoo, N., Lunt, D., Field, D.J. 2019. Climatic shifts drove major contractions in avian latitudinal distributions throughout the Cenozoic. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116: 12895-12900.
Haywood, A., Valdes, P., Aze, T., Barlow, N., Burke, A., Dolan, A., von der Heydt, A., Hill, D., Jamieson, S., Otto-Bliesner, B., Salzmann, U., Saupe, E.E., Voss, J. 2019. What can palaeoclimate modelling do for you? Earth Systems and Environment 3: 1-18.
Saupe, E.E., Myers, C.E., Peterson, A.T., Soberón, J., Singarayer, J., Valdes, P., Qiao, H. 2019. Non-random latitudinal gradients in range size and niche breadth predicted by spatial patterns of climate. Global Ecology and Biogeography 28: 928-942.
Strotz, L.C., Saupe, E.E., Kimmig, J., Lieberman, B.S. 2018. Metabolic rates, climate and macroevolution: a case study using Neogene molluscs. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 285: 20181292.
Darroch, S.A.F. and Saupe, E.E. 2018. Reconstructing geographic range-size dynamics from fossil data. 2018. Paleobiology 44: 25-39.
Saupe, E.E., Barve, N. Owens, H.L., Cooper, J.C., Hosner, P.A., Townsend Peterson, A. 2018. Reconstructing ecological niche evolution when niches are incompletely characterized. Systematic Biology 67: 428-438.
Wang, X., Planavsky, N.J., Hofmann, A., Saupe, E.E., de Corte, B., Philippot, P., Lalonde, S.V., Jemison, N.E., Zou, H., Ossa, F., Rybacki, K., Larson, M.J., Tsikos, H., Fralick, P.W., Reinhard, C.T., Johnson, T.M., Knudsen, A. and Konhauser, K.O. 2018. A Mesoarchean shift in Uranium isotope systematics. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 238: 438-452.
Qiao, H., Escobar, L.E., Saupe, E.E., Ji, L. and Soberón, J. 2017. Using the KDE method to model ecological niches: a response to Blonder et al.(). Global Ecology and Biogeography 26: 1076-1077.
Qiao, H., Escobar, L.E., Saupe, E.E., Ji, L. and Soberón, J. 2017. A cautionary note on the use of hypervolume kernel density estimators in ecological niche modelling. Global Ecology and Biogeography 26: 1066-1070.
Qiao, H., Saupe, E.E., Myers, C.E., Peterson, A.T. and Soberón, J.M. 2016. The impacts of abiotic niches and dispersal limitations on speciation and extinction under differing climate change scenarios. The American Naturalist 188: 149-162.
McCoy, V.E., Saupe, E.E., Lamsdell, J.C., Tarhan, L.G., McMahon, S., Lidgard, S., Mayer, P., Whalen, C.D., Soriano, C., Finney, L., Vogt, S., Clark, E.G., Anderson, R.P., Petermann, H., Locatelli, E.R. and Briggs, D.E.G. 2016. The Tully Monster is a vertebrate. Nature 532: 496–500.
Saupe, E.E., Qiao, H., Hendricks, J.R., Portell, R.W., Hunter, S.H., Soberón, J., Lieberman, B.S. 2015. Niche breath and geographic range size as determinates of species survival on geological time scales. Global Ecology and Biogeography 24: 1159–1169.
Saupe, E.E., Hendricks, J.R., Portell, R.W., Dowsett, H.J., Haywood, A., Hunter, S. and Lieberman, B.S. 2014. Macroevolutionary consequences of profound climate change on niche evolution: an examination of marine molluscs over the past three million years. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 281: 20141995.
Saupe, E.E., Hendricks, J.R., Peterson, A.T., Lieberman, B.S. 2014. Climate change and marine molluscs of the western North Atlantic: future prospects and perils. Journal of Biogeography 41: 1352–1366.
Hendricks, J.R., Saupe, E.E., Myers, C.E., Hermsen, E. and Allmon, W.D. 2014. The generification of the fossil record. Paleobiology 40: 511–528.
Saupe, E.E., Papes, M., Selden, P.A. and Vetter, R.S. 2011. Tracking a medically important spider: climate change, ecological niche modeling, and the brown recluse (Loxosceles reclusa) PLoS ONE 6(3): e17731.
Saupe, E.E., Barve, V., Myers, C.E., Soberon, J., Barve, N., Hensz, C., Peterson, A. T., Owens, H.L. and Lira-Noriega, A. 2012. Variation in niche and distribution model performance: the need for a priori assessment of key causal factors. Ecological Modelling 237-238: 11–22.
Saupe, E.E., Selden, P.A. and Penney, D. 2010. First fossil Molinaranea Mello-Leitão 1940 (Araneae: Araneidae), from middle Miocene Dominican amber, with a phylogenetic and palaeobiogeographic analysis of the genus. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 158: 711–725.
Schmidt, A.R., Perrichot, V., Svojtka, M., Anderson, K.B., Belete, K.H., Dörflet, H., Jancke, S., Mohr, B., Mohrmann, E., Nascimbene, P.C., Nel, A., Nel, P., Ragazzi, E., Roghi, G., Saupe, E.E., Schmidt, K., Schenider, H., Selden, P.A. and Vávra, N. 2010. Cretaceous African life captured in amber. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 107: 7329–7334.