Reuben NgGraduate Student

Research Focus:
Paleontology, evolutionary developmental biology, macroevolution
Hinds 221


My lifelong interest in paleontology and the biological sciences led me first to pursue a degree in Molecular Biology at Goshen College, Indiana (B.A., 2015).  From 2015 to 2016, I spent a year in Cairo, Egypt doing international development work and followed this with some work at an environmental lab in Michigan.  At the University of Iowa I worked on systematics and phylogenetics of a Cambro-Ordovician genus of trilobites where I received a M.S. in Geoscience (2019).

Research Interests

I am primarily interested in the role that development, especially ontogeny, at the species level may play in evolutionary dynamics on larger, macroevolutionary scales.  If variation is the raw material for natural selection, it follows that any mediation of this variation warrants close scrutiny.  Development may very well be a central factor in constraining, or channeling, evolution towards particular phenotypes or patterns of growth through a variety of biases in the production of variation.  Even if this is not the case, the evolutionary flexibility of the very architecture of development itself is also of tremendous interest.  An ideal place to study this is the fossil record where, given the correct circumstances, ancient developmental signals can be directly traced through time and space.