If I’ve done everything correctly, then at almost the moment this post appears, I will start talking about some fossils. Not, it’s not a eulogy about defenders of the 4-4-2 formation, but it’s about a bit of work I’ve been doing on trying to model when fossils appear and disappear. The work is still preliminary, in some ways, and it would be nice to get some feedback. So here are the slides:
The inspiration for this work was me wanting to collaborate with Mikael Fortelius, ever since I read his paper on the importance of testicondy for the evolution of mammoths and elephants. We captured one of his minions, Jussi Eronen, in Frankfurt for several months, and he was a great help too.
The idea is to use statistical methods from ecology and epidemiology to use the incomplete fossil record to estimate when species arise and go extinct. If I can get a full model working, I think we can do some cool stuff. But I’m only part way there.