Michael FooteLouis Block Distinguished Service Professor

Research Focus:
(773) 702-4320
Hinds 201

Research Interests

I am a paleobiologist interested in documenting and interpreting large-scale patterns in the history of life.

Current research focuses on biogeography, evolutionary paleoecology, and macroevolution. For example: How does the spatial and environmental distribution of species and genera affect extinction risk? Which factors govern temporal variation in geographic ranges of taxa on geological time scales? Why do rates of origination and extinction vary among different environmental settings?

I have also worked in other areas, principally morphological diversification and mathematical modeling of evolution. I maintain an active interest in these fields and am happy to advise students in these and other areas.

Current student research includes: relationships between taxonomic and ecological change within ancient communities; biogeography and diversity of phytoplankton; and the influence of life-history traits on extinction risk.

Selected Publications

  • Crampton, J. S., Cooper, R. A., Foote, M., & Sadler, P. M. (2020). Ephemeral species in the fossil record? Synchronous coupling of macroevolutionary dynamics in mid-Paleozoic zooplankton. Paleobiology, 46(1), 123-135. link

  • Foote, M., Sadler, P. M., Cooper, R. A., & Crampton, J. S. (2019). Completeness of the known graptoloid palaeontological record. Journal of the Geological Society, 176(6), 1038-1055. link

  • Crampton, J. S., S. R. Meyers, R. A. Cooper, P. M. Sadler, M. Foote, and D. Harte. 2018. Pacing of Paleozoic macroevolutionary rates by Milankovitch grand cycles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 115:5686-5691. link