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
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.