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PD Dr. Martin Aberhan

PD Dr. Martin Aberhan
  • Tasks

    • Curator of fossil Bivalvia, Gastropoda, Brachiopoda and Porifera
    • Research in the fields of evolutionary palaeoecology and the taxonomy of bivalves


    My main focus in research is interpreting Mesozoic to early Cenozoic marine faunas, the environments in which they lived, their distributional patterns in space and time, their evolutionary history, their ecological interactions, and the crises that befell them. My research is based both on field work and on data-mining of global Phanerozoic-scale data bases, particularly the Paleobiology Database. A special focus is on marine bivalves because they exhibit an excellent fossil record, and because their ecological variety allows an accordingly refined interpretation of palaeontological and geological problems. My taxonomic work concentrates on marine bivalves from the Jurassic period.

    Research projects

    More information on the working group's page


    Aberhan, M. & Kiessling, W. 2015. Persistent ecological shifts in marine molluscan assemblages across the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 112: 7207-7212.

    Nürnberg, S. & Aberhan, M. 2015. Interdependence of specialization and biodiversity in Phanerozoic marine invertebrates. – Nature Communications 6: 6002.

    Aberhan, M. & Kiessling, W. 2014. Rebuilding biodiversity of Patagonian marine molluscs after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. – PLoS ONE 9(7): e102629.

    Nürnberg, S. & Aberhan, M. 2013. Habitat breadth and geographic range predict diversity dynamics in marine Mesozoic bivalves. – Paleobiology 39: 360-372.

    Aberhan, M. & Kiessling, W. 2012. Phanerozoic marine biodiversity: a fresh look at data, methods, patterns and processes. – In: Talent, J.A. (ed.). Global Biodiversity, Extinction Intervals and Biogeographic Perturbations through Time: 3-22 [Springer].

    Aberhan, M., Nürnberg, S. & Kiessling, W. 2012. Vision and the diversification of Phanerozoic marine invertebrates. – Paleobiology 38: 187-204.

    Alroy, J., Aberhan, M., Bottjer, D. & 32 others, 2008. Phanerozoic trends in the global diversity of marine invertebrates. – Science 321: 97-100.

    Aberhan, M., Weidemeyer, S., Kiessling, W., Scasso, R.A. & Medina, F.A. 2007. Faunal evidence for reduced productivity and uncoordinated recovery in Southern Hemisphere Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary sections. – Geology 35: 227-230.

    Aberhan, M., Kiessling, W. & Fürsich, F.T. 2006. Testing the role of biological interactions in the evolution of mid-Mesozoic marine benthic ecosystems – Paleobiology 32: 259-277.