Sarah Gibson

Sarah Gibson

Graduate Student
785.864.2316
Dyche Hall

Sarah Gibson is a PhD candidate studying the morphology and evolutionary relationships of lower actinopterygian fishes, focusing on fauna from the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic of North America.

Research: 

Sarah Gibson is a current PhD candidate in the Department of Geology and the Biodiversity Institute. She is studying the evolutionary relationships of lower actinopterygian fishes, with a focus on the biodiversity of the Upper Triassic and Lower Jurassic geologic deposits of North America. Gibson is using morphological characters within a phylogenetic framework to answer questions about the evolution of these fishes, and how their morphology relates to their behavior, environment, and habitat. Some of Gibson’s research involves taxonomic work: she has described and is currently describing new species from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation of the southwestern United States. She is also reexamining morphological characters of neglected or comparatively understudied taxa to be incorporated into a more robust, complete hypothesis of evolutionary relationships of lower actinopterygian fishes. Her most recent fieldwork has been in the Chinle Formation of southeastern Utah, where she helped collected over 150 fish fossils, in addition to fossil plants, invertebrates, and archosaurs.

Publications: 

Gibson, S.Z. 2016. Redescription and Phylogenetic Placement of †Hemicalypterus weiri Schaeffer, 1967 (Actinopterygii, Neopterygii) from the Triassic Chinle Formation, Southwestern United States: New Insights into Morphology, Ecological Niche, and Phylogeny. PLoS ONE 11(9): e0163657. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0163657

Gibson, S.Z. 2015. Evidence of a specialized feeding niche in a Late Triassic ray-finned fish: evolution of multidenticulate teeth and benthic scraping in †Hemicalypterus. The Science of Nature: Naturwissenschaften 102:10. DOI 10.1007/s00114-015-1262-y  

Gibson, S.Z. 2013a. A new hump-backed ginglymodian fish (Neopterygii: Semionotiformes) from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation of southeastern Utah. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 33:1037–1050. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02724634.2013.758125

Gibson, S.Z. 2013b. Biodiversity and evolutionary history of †Lophionotus (Neopterygii: †Semionotiformes) from the western United States. Copeia 2013: 582–603. http://dx.doi.org/10.1643/CI-12-028

Milner, A.R.C., Birthisel, T., Kirkland, J.I., Breithaupt, B., Matthews, N., Lockley, M.G., Santucci, V.L., Gibson, S.Z., DeBlieux, D., Hurlbut, M., Harris, J.D., and Olsen, P.E. 2013. Tracking Early Jurassic dinosaurs in southwestern Utah and the Triassic-Jurassic Transition. Nevada State Museum Paleontological Papers 1: 1–107. 

Davis, M.P., and Gibson, S.Z. 2011. Book Review for The Rise of Fishes: 500 Million Years of Evolution (Second Edition). Copeia 2011: 470–471. 

Milner, A.R.C., Spears (Gibson), S.Z., Foss, S.E., Ferris-Rowley, D., and Kirkland, J.I. 2009. Urban Interface Paleontology in Washington County, Utah. Proceedings of the Eighth Conference on Fossil Resources: 131–151. 

Milner, A.R.C. and Spears (Gibson), S.Z. 2007. Mesozoic and Cenozoic paleoichnology of southwestern Utah. Utah Geological Association Publication 35: 1–85. 

Education: 

Ph.D., University of Kansas, current Candidate, Advisors: Hans-Peter Schultze and Paul Selden, Geology, Lawrence, KS

M.S., University of Kansas, 2012, Advisors: Hans-Peter Schultze and Bruce Lieberman, Geology, Lawrence, KS
Thesis Title: Investigating the Diversity of Semionotid Fishes (Neopterygii: Semionotiformes) in the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation, Southern Utah

B.S., Southern Utah University, 2006, Advisor: C. Frederick Lohrengel III, Geology, Summa Cum Laude, Cedar City, UT

A.S., College of Eastern Utah, 2004, Advisor: Dr. Michelle C. Fleck, Geology, Price, UT

Awards: 

Award for Best Student Paper, Ichthyology, in the 2013 volume of Copeia (American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists)

Professional Presentations: 

 

Gibson, S. Z. 2016. Three-dimensional fish fossils from a Triassic Texas pond: Novel anatomical insights and systematic placement of a new species of
redfieldiid fish (Osteichthyes: Actinopterygii). Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, October, 2016, Salt Lake City, Utah. Poster Presentation.

Gibson, S. Z. 2016. Three-Dimensional Fish Fossils from a Triassic Texas Pond: Novel Anatomical Insights and Systematic Placement of a New Species of Redfieldiid Fish (Osteichthyes: Actinopterygii). Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, July 2016, New Orleans, Louisiana. Poster Presentation.

Gibson, S. Z.  2016. Just Keep Swimming: A Look at the Fossil Fishes of the Triassic Southwest. Utah Friends of Paleontology Southwest Chapter
Meeting, Dixie State College, St. George, Utah. Invited Seminar.

Gibson, S. Z. 2015. Fossil fishes of the Chinle Formation: snapshot of a Late Triassic ecosystem. Saint Cloud State University Department of
Biology Seminar Series, Saint Cloud, Minnesota. Invited Seminar.

Gibson, S. Z. 2015. Multidenticulate teeth in Triassic fish Hemicalypterus weiri (Osteichthyes: Actinopterygii): Evidence for a specialized feeding niche
in the Mesozoic. Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Dallas, Texas, October 2015. Oral presentation.

Gibson, S. Z. 2015. Multidentictulate Teeth in the lower actinopterygian fish †Hemicalypterus: evidence for a specialized feeding niche in the Late Triassic. Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Reno, Nevada, July 2015. Oral presentation. Stoye Award for best student oral presentation.

Gibson, S.Z. 2014. Fossil fishes of the Chinle Formation: a snapshot of a Late Triassic ecosystem. Regis University Department of Biology Seminar Speaker Series, Denver, Colorado, September 2014. Invited seminar.

Gibson, S.Z. 2014. The actinopterygian fishes of the Newark Supergroup and Chinle Formation, North America: New discoveries and comments on the diversity of fishes from the Early Mesozoic. Geological Society of American Southeastern Section Meeting, Blacksburg, Virginia, April 2014. Invited Oral Presentation for the symposium Contextualizing the Importance of the Newark Supergroup to Understanding the Biotic Change in the Early Mesozoic.

Newbrey, M. G., Gibson, S. Z., Brinkman, D. G., and Neuman, A. G. A new semionotiform from the Upper Cretaceous Scollard Formation (Maastrichtian), Alberta, Canada. Mesozoic Fishes VI, Vienna, Austria, August 2013. Oral Presentation.

Gibson, S.Z. Exploring the diversity of fishes in the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation, southern Utah, USA. Royal Tyrrell Museum, Drumheller, Alberta, Canada, April 2013. Invited seminar.

Gibson, S.Z. Semionotid fishes (Neopterygii: Semionotiformes) from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation: New species and comments on the relationships of semionotiform fishes. Kansas Academy of Science, Paleontology Symposium. Overland Park, Kansas, April 2013. Oral Presentation.

Gibson, S.Z. Semionotiform fishes (Neopterygii: Ginglymodi) from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation of southern Utah: New species and comments on the relationships of semionotiform fishes from the western United States. Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Raleigh, North Carolina, October 2012. Poster Presentation.

Gibson, S.Z. A new species of semionotid (Neopterygii: Semionotiformes) fish from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation, southern Utah. University of Kansas Department of Geology G-Hawker Student Symposium, Lawrence, Kansas, September 2011. Oral Presentation.

Gibson, S.Z. A new species of semionotid (Neopterygii: Semionotiformes) fish from the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation, southern Utah. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2011. Oral Presentation.

Gibson, S.Z. Late Triassic semionotiform fishes from southern Utah, United States. Mesozoic Fishes V, Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, August, 2010. Poster Presentation.

Gibson, S.Z., Milner, A.R.C., Ferris-Rowley, D. Establishing the nation’s first paleontological site stewardship program in Washington County, Utah. University of Kansas Department of Geology G-Hawker Student Symposium, Lawrence, Kansas, October 2009. Oral Presentation.

Gibson, S.Z., Milner, A.R.C., Ferris-Rowley, D., Foss, S.E., Kirkland, J.I. The nation’s first BLM Paleontological Site Stewardship Program established in Washington County, Utah. Eighth Conference on Fossil Resources, St. George, Utah, May 2009. Oral Presentation.

Milner, A.R.C., Gibson, S.Z., and Harris, J.D. An overview of paleontological resources on federal and state lands in Washington County, Utah. Eighth Conference on Fossil Resources, St. George, Utah, May 2009. Oral Presentation.

Gibson, S.Z., Milner, A.R.C., Ferris-Rowley, D. Establishing the nation’s first paleontological site stewardship program in Washington County, Utah. Kansas Academy of Science, Topeka, Kansas, March 2009. Oral Presentation.

Gibson, S.Z., Milner, A.R.C., Ferris-Rowley, D., Foss, S.E., and Kirkland, J.I. The nation’s first BLM Paleontological Site Stewardship Program established in Washington County, Utah. Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Cleveland, Ohio, October 2008. Poster Presentation.

Major Field Experience: 

2008–2010 San Juan County, Utah, Fieldwork and Quarry Supervisor, survey and collection of fossilized vertebrate remains in Lisbon Valley       
2006–2008 Washington County, Utah, Survey and Excavation of Mesozoic and Cenozoic paleontological localities

Professional Societies: 

Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Geological Society of America