Bruce Lieberman

Bruce Lieberman

Senior Curator
Professor, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
785.864.2741
Dyche Hall, Room 701A

Dr. Lieberman is a paleobiologist whose research focuses on studying macroevolutionary patterns and processes using the fossil record.

Research: 

I use various research approaches including phylogenetics, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and ecological niche modeling (ENM) to study key time periods in the history of life to gain deeper insight into macroevolution.  Much of my research has focused on fossil arthropods, especially trilobites, but in collaboration with students and post-docs I have worked with other taxa including mollusks.  I am interested in various topics including evolutionary radiations, mass extinctions, the relative roles abiotic and biotic factors play in motivating evolution, macroevolutionary theory, phylogenetic methods and theory, levels of selection, and mechanisms of evolutionary stasis. To learn more about my research see: http://www.biodiversity.ku.edu/invertebrate-paleontology/research , http://www.biodiversity.ku.edu/invertebrate-paleontology/research/digitizing-fossils  , and http://www.biodiversity.ku.edu/invertebrate-paleontology/research/integrating-fossil-data  .

Publications: 

Google Scholar Page - http://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=-PQhyBIAAAAJ&view_op=list_works

Books

Lieberman, B. S. Paleontology and the Origin of Species: A Macroevolutionary Synthesis. Oxford University Press, New York. In prep.

Wiley, E. O., and B. S. Lieberman. 2011. Phylogenetics, 2nd edition. J. Wiley & Sons, New York. 432 p.

Lieberman, B. S., and R. A. Kaesler. 2010. Prehistoric Life: Evolution and the Fossil Record. Wiley/Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, UK, 385 p.

Lieberman, B. S., A. Stigall Rode, editors. 2005. Paleobiogeography: Generating New Insights into the Coevolution of the Earth and Its Biota. Paleontological Society Papers 11, Paleontological Society, Lawrence, KS, 158 pp.

Adrain, J., G. D. Edgecombe, and B. S. Lieberman, editors. 2001. Fossils, Phylogeny, and Form: An Analytical Approach. Plenum Press/Kluwer Academic Publishers, New York.

Lieberman, B. S. 2000. Paleobiogeography: Using Fossils to Study Global Change, Plate Tectonics, and Evolution. Plenum Press/Kluwer Academic Publishers, New York.

SPECIAL ISSUES OF JOURNALS edited
Lieberman, B. S., editor. 2012. Biogeography: The Geography of Evolution. Evolution: Education and Outreach Vol. 5, #4.

Recent Journal Articles And Book Chapters (*=Monograph)
Lieberman, B. S. 2016. Pattern versus processes and hierarchies: Revisiting eternal metamorphs in macroevolutionary theory. In N. Eldrege, T. Pievani, E. Serrelli, & I. Temkin (Eds.), Evolutionary Theory: A Hierachical Perspective. University of Chicago Press. (p. 29–46). University of Chicago Press. http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/E/bo25468890.html

Lieberman, B. S., and Saupe, E. E. 2016. Palaeoniches get stiches: analyses of niches informing macroevolutionary theory. Lethaia 49: 149–159. DOI://10.1111/let.12170

Simöes, M., Breitkreuz, L., Alvarada, M., Baca, S., Cooper, J. C., Heins, L., Herzog, K., and Lieberman, B.S. 2016. The evolving theory of evolutionary radiations. Trends in Ecologo & Evolution (TREE) 31: 21–34. DOI://10.1016/j.tree.2015.10.007

Hendricks, J. R., Stigall, A. L., and Lieberman, B. S. 2015. The Digital Atlas of Ancient Life: delivering information on paleontology and biogeography via the web. Paleontologica Electronica 18: (2.3E). palaeo-electronica.org/content/2015/1269-commentary-digital-atlas-of-ancient-life

Saupe, E. E., Qiao, H. Hendricks, J. R., Portell, R. W., Hunter, S. J., Soberon, J., and Lieberman, B. S. 2015. Estimating extinction risk as a function of niche breadth and geographic range size: a case study ysing Pliocene–recent Atlantic Coastel Plain mollusks. Global Ecology and Biogeography 24: 1159–1169. DOI:10.1111/geb.12333

Myers, C. E., Stigall, A. L., and Lieberman, B. S. 2015. PaleoENM: Applying ecological niche modeling to the fossil record. Paleobiology 41(2): 226–244. DOI:10.1017/pab.2014.19

Casey, M. M., and Lieberman, B. S. 2014. Beyond Memrization: An Intermediate-level Paleontology Activity That Integrates Anatomy, Ecology, and Macroevolutionary Theory Using Trilobites. Evolution and Outreach 7(20): 1–10. http://www.evolution-outreach.com/content/7/1/20

Saupe, E. E., J. R. Hendricks, R. W. Portell, H. J. Dowsett, A. Haywood, S. Hunter, and B. S. Lieberman. 2014. Macroevolutionary consequences of climate change on niche evolution in marine mollusks over the past three million years. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 281, 20141995. DOI://10.1098/rspb.2014.1995

Gapp, I. W., and B. S. Lieberman. 2014. New Olenelloid trilobites from the Northwest Territories, Canada. Zootaxa. 3866(4): 479–498. DOI://10.11646/zootaxa.3866.4.2

Lieberman, B. S., and N. Eldredge. 2014. What is punctuated equilibrium? What is macroevolution. Trends in Ecology & Evolution (TREE) 29:185-186. DOI://10.1016/j.tree.2014.02.005

Saupe, E. E., J. R. Hendricks, A. T. Peterson, and B. S. Lieberman. 2014. Climate change and marine molluscs of the western North Atlantic: future prospects and perils. Journal of Biogeography 41: 1352–1366. DOI://10.1111/jbi.12289

Lieberman, B. S., and A. L. Melott. 2013. Declining volatility, a general property of disparate systems: from fossils, to stocks, to the stars. Palaeontology 56:1297-1304. doi: 10.1111/pala.12017.

Álvaro, J. Javier, P. Ahlberg, L. E. Babcock, O. L. Bordonaro, D. K. Choi, R. A. Cooper, G. K. Ergaliev, I. W. Gapp, M. G. Pour, N. C. Hughes, J. B. Jago, I. Korovnikov, J. R. Laurie, B. S. Lieberman, J. R. Paterson, T. V. Pegel, L. E. Popov, A. W. A. Rushton, M. F. Tortello, Z. Zhou, and A. Zylinska. 2013. Global Cambrian trilobite paleobiogeography assessed using Parsimony Analysis of Endemicity. Geological Society of London, Memoir Series: 38:273-296. Early Palaeozoic Biogeography and Palaeogeography, D. Harper and T. Servais (eds.). DOI://10.1144/M38.19 

Myers, C. E., R. A. MacKenzie III, and B. S. Lieberman. 2013. A GIS approach to studying greenhouse biogeography: invasion and extinction in the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway. Paleobiology 39:135-148.

Gapp, I. W., C. R. Congreve, and B. S. Lieberman. 2012. Unraveling the phylogenetic relationships of the Eccoptochilinae, an enigmatic array of Ordovician cheirurid trilobites. PLoS One 7(11): e49115, http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0049115 .

Lieberman, B. S. 2012. The geography of evolution and the evolution of geography. Evolution Education and Outreach 5:521-525. (DOI) 10.1007/s12052-012-0414-1

Lieberman, B. S. 2012. Adaptive radiations in the context of macroevolutionary theory: a paleontological perspective. Evolutionary Biology 39:181-191.

Peterson, A. T., and B. S. Lieberman. 2012. Species’ geographic distributions through time: playing catchup with changing climates. Evolution Education and Outreach 5:569-581. DOI: 10.1007/s12052-012-0385-2.

Marshall, A. Olcott, R. L. Wehrbein, B. S. Lieberman, and C. P. Marshall. 2012. Raman spectroscopic investigations of Burgess Shale-type preservation: a new way forward. Palaios 27:288-292.

Abe, F. R, and B. S. Lieberman. 2012. Quantifying morphological change during an evolutionary radiation of Devonian trilobites. Paleobiology 38(2):292-307.

Lieberman, B. S., and A. L. Melott. 2012. Whilst this planet goes cycling on: What role for periodic astronomical phenomena in large scale patterns in the history of life? Pp. 37-50 in J. Talent (Ed.), Earth and Life: Global Biodiversity, Extinction Intervals, and Biogeographic Perturbations Through Time, International Year of Planet Earth. Springer, Berlin.

Lieberman, B. S., and P. Cartwright. 2011. Macroevolutionary patterns and processes during the Cambrian radiation: Integrating evidence from fossils and molecules. Açoreana 7:15-38.

Congreve, C. R., and B. S. Lieberman. 2011. Phylogenetic and biogeographic analysis of sphaerexochine trilobites. PloS One 6:e21304.

Lieberman, B. S. 2011. Presentation of the 2008 Paleontological Society Medal to Niles Eldredge. Journal of Paleontology 85:806.

Gapp, I. W., B. S. Lieberman, M. C. Pope, and K. Dilliard. 2011. New olenelline trilobites from the Northwest Territories, Canada, and the phylogenetic placement of Judomia absita. Zootaxa 2918:15-28.

Myers, C., and B. S. Lieberman. 2011. Sharks that pass in the night: Using GIS to investigate competition in the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway. Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B. 278:681-689. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.1617.

Yu-nan, W., Di-ying, H., and B. S. Lieberman. 2010. New Isoxys (Arthropoda) from the Cambrian Mantou Formation, Shandong Province. Acta Palaeontologica Sinica 49:398-406.

Abe, F. R., B. S. Lieberman, M. C. Pope, and K. Dilliard. 2010. New information on olenelline trilobites from the Early Cambrian Sekwi Formation, northwestern Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 47:1445-1449.

Lieberman, B. S., and T. S. Karim. 2010. Tracing the trilobite tree from the root to the tips: a model marriage of fossils and phylogeny. Arthropod Structure & Development 39:111-123. DOI://10.1016/j.asd.2009.10.004

Abe, F. R., and B. S. Lieberman. 2009. The Nature of evolutionary radiations: A case study involving Devonian trilobites. Evolutionary Biology 36:225-234. DOI://10.1007/s11692-009-9060-0

Moore, R. A., and B. S. Lieberman. 2009. Preservation of Early and Middle Cambrian soft-bodied arthropods from the Pioche Shale, Nevada, USA. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 277:57-62. DOI://10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.02.014

Hendricks, J. R., B. S. Lieberman, and A. L. Stigall. 2008. Using GIS to study the paleobiogeography of soft-bodied Cambrian arthropods. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, and Palaeoecology 264:163-175. DOI://10.1016/j.palaeo.2008.04.014

Education: 

1996-98 Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Earth Sciences, Harvard University, advisor Andrew Knoll
1994-95 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Yale University, advisor Elisabeth Vrba
1994 Ph.D. Columbia University, Geological Sciences, advisor Niles Eldredge
1991 M.A. Columbia University, Geological Sciences, advisor Niles Eldredge
1988 A.B. Harvard University, Geological Sciences, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, advisor Stephen Jay Gould

Current Academic Appointments: 

Professor, with tenure, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas
Senior Curator, Division of Invertebrate Paleontology, Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas

Grants: 

2016—2019    NSF Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections, "Digitization TCN: Collaborative Research: The Cretaceous World: Digitizing Fossils to Reconstruct Evolving Ecosystems in the Western Interior Seaway" $2,100,000 ($519,636 to KU), I am the lead PI

2013—2018    NSF Systematic Biology, “Integrating fossil data into likelihood-based phylogenetic analyses with trilobites as a model system” $448,665, I am a co-PI

2012—2017    NSF Emerging Frontiers, Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections, “Digitization TCN: Collaborative Research: Digitizing Fossils to Enable New Syntheses in Biogeography- Creating a PALEONICHES-TCN” $950,000 ($600,000 to KU), I am the lead PI

2007—2013    NSF Systematic Biology RevSys, “Revisionary systematics of Cheirurid trilobites.” $450,000 ($213,000 to KU), I was a PI

2005—2008    NSF Sedimentary Geology and Paleobiology, “An integrative paleontological and paleoenvironmental study of the Middle Cambrian Spence, Wheeler, and Marjum soft-bodied faunas of Utah.” $250,000 ($110,000 to KU), I was the PI

2004—2010    NSF DBI, “Archiving the history of life: High-density storage to solve space needs for an invertebrate paleontology research and teaching collection.” $251,708, I was originally a co-PI but became the PI

2004—2007    NASA Exobiology, “Did a gamma ray burst cause the late Ordovician mass extinction?” $417,552, I was a co-PI

2003—2006    KU Endowment Association, Self Faculty Scholar Award, $150,000, I was the PI

2001—2005    NSF Geology and Paleontology, “A Sequence, Chemo-, and Biostratigraphic Study of Late Early Cambrian Rocks, Southern Selwyn Basin, Mackenzie Mountains, N.W.T., Canada.” $212,000 ($117,000 to KU), I was the co-PI

2001—2002    National Geographic, “Early Cambrian Climate and Evolution.” $20,000, I was a co-PI

2000—2003    NSF-OPP Antarctic Geology and Geophysics, “Characterization of the Fauna of the Middle Cambrian Nelson Limestone: A Fauna of Relevance to Antarctic Geology.” $60,000, I was the PI

2000—2003    NSF EPSCoR First Award, “Assessing the Long Term Effects of Invasive Species Using the Fossil Record.” $35,000, I was the PI

1995—1997    NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Earth Sciences, $72,000

Awards: 

2005—present Fellow of the Paleontological Society
2002    Schuchert Award, Paleontological Society, to a paleontologist under 40 whose research and career demonstrates excellence and promise
2000—2003    Paleontological Society distinguished lecturer
 

Teaching: 

I teach an introductory course for non-majors, Biology 225 Evolution and the History of Life.  I also co-teach Biology 648 Systematics and Macroevolution and offer seminars in Macroevolution and also in Paleobiogeography.  I have also co-taught Evolution of the Arthropods.

Graduate Student Advising: 

Master's Students

2015—present     Kayla Kolis

2014—2016    Liam Heins

2008—2012    Sarah Spears Gibson, (co-advised with Hans-Peter Schulze), M.S. 2012

2007—2009    Ian Wes Gapp, M.S. 2009, currently Research scientist, Chevron/Texaco

2006—2008    Curtis Congreve, M.S. with Honors 2008, currently Post-doc, Pennsylvania State University

2001—2002    Jim Cornette, M.S. with Honors 2002

1999—2001    Alycia Rode (now Stigall), NSF Graduate Student Fellow, M.S. with Honors 2001, currently Professor, Department of Geology, Ohio University

 

Doctoral Students

2010—2014    Erin Saupe, Self Graduate Fellow (co-advised with Paul Selden), Ph.D. with honors, awarded April 2014, currently Associate Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Oxford University

2009—2014    Ian Wes Gapp, Ph.D. awarded Spring 2014, currently Research scientist, Chevron/Texaco

2009—2013    Curtis Congreve, Ph.D. awarded Spring 2013, currently Post-doc, Pennsylvania State University

2007—2013    Corinne Myers, Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellow, Ph.D. with honors, awarded April 2013, currently Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico

2004—2010    Francine Abe (Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, co-advised with Ed Wiley), Ph.D. with honors, awarded June 2010

2001—2004    Alycia Rode (now Stigall), NSF Graduate Student Fellow and Madison and Lila Self Fellow, Ph.D. with Honors, awarded Spring 2004, currently Professor, Department of Geology, Ohio University

 

Post-Docs

 

2016—present   Luke C. Strotz, Ph.D. Macquarie University

2013—2015        Michelle Casey, Ph.D. Yale University, currently Assistant Professor, Department of Geosciences, Murray State University 

2005—2008        Jonathan Hendricks, Ph.D., Cornell University, currently Director of Publications, Paleontological Research Institution

2005—2006        Rachel (Moore) Wade, Ph.D. Bristol University, currently Wiley-Blackwell, UK

Professional Presentations: 

Select Invited Symposia And Talks Since 2012

The Cretaceous World-TCN. Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio) Summit VI, Tech Town, Chattanooga, TN, November 2, 2016.

The Paleoniches-TCN. Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio) Summit VI, Tech Town, Chattanooga, TN, November 2, 2016.

Chance and uncertainty in the history of life. Pensar La Muerta, Libertad Por El Saber, El Colegio Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico, October 21, 2016.

The Paleoniches Thematic Collections Network.  Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio) Using Biodiversity Specimen-Based Data to Study Global Change Workshop, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO, December 2, 2015.

Digital fossils: there’s an App for that. Topical session on using digitized data in geological and paleontological research I. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, November 3, 2015.

Chance and uncertainty in evolution. Festival delle Scienze Rome (Roman Science Festival), Rome, Italy, January 24, 2015.

Adaptive radiations in the context of macroevolutionary theory. Topical session on the coevolution of the Earth and Life: The role of the physical environment in species evolution. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, October 27, 2013.

Macroevolutionary consequences of profound climate change on niche evolution: An examination of marine mollusks over the past 3 million years. Topical session on the coevolution of the Earth and Life: The role of the physical environment in species evolution. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, October 27, 2013 (presented by E. Saupe).

Biogeographic responses of mollusk species to Plio-Pleistocene environmental change in the western Atlantic. Topical session on the coevolution of the Earth and Life: The role of the physical environment in species evolution. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, October 27, 2013 (presented by J. Hendricks).

Paleo-ENM: A valuable quantitative tool for understanding the coevolution of the Earth and of life. Topical session on the coevolution of the Earth and Life: The role of the physical environment in species evolution. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, October 27, 2013 (presented by C. Myers).

Five two hour lectures on a range of topics from Applying Biodiversity Science to Paleontology, to Stasis, to Astrobiology, to Phylogenetic Biogeography, to the History of Biogeography, to Evidence for Periodicity in the Fossil Record, to the Nature of Evolutionary Radiations, all part of a short course emphasizing Macroevolution at the 1st International Winter School on Evolution. University of Lisbon, Portugal, March 11-15, 2013.

Comparing and contrasting parsimony and maximum likelihood approaches to paleontological phylogenetics using trilobites as a model system. Topical session on the origins of arthropod diversity.  Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Charlotte, NC, November 6, 2012 (presented by I. W. Gapp).

The PALEONICHES-TCN. Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio) Summit II, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL, October 22, 2012.

Applying biodiversity science to paleontology. Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, August, 30, 2012.

Applying biodiversity science to paleontology. Integrated Digitized Biocollections (iDigBio) Paleo Workshop Keynote speaker, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL, April, 28, 2012.

Applying biodiversity science to paleontology. Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, March, 8, 2012.

Select Other Scientific Presentations Since 2012

Maximum likelihood and trilobites: a new approach to phylogenetic analyses of fossil taxa. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD, November 3, 2015 (presented by L. Heins).

Declining volatility, a macroevolutionary property of disparate systems: from fossils, to stocks, to the stars. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Charlotte, NC, November 5, 2012.

 

Professional Societies: 

American Geological Institute
International Palaeontological Association
Paleontological Research Institution
Paleontological Society & Sigma Xi