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    PhD School

    Research in the Evolutionary Morphology Research Group (EvoMoRG) at the Department of Palaeontology of the University of Vienna is at the interface between palaeobiology and evolutionary developmental biology of vertebrates. For this we integrate living and fossil organisms, knowledge of their evolutionary relationships, anatomy and morphology, developmental biology and genetic information, but also past diversity patterns to provide a holistic understanding of their evolutionary history. We have particular interests in, but not restricted to, the evolutionary origin, morphological rate changes, adaptive trait developments, and diversity and disparity patterns of modern sharks, skates, and rays as well as bony fishes at the broadest temporal and spatial scales. Central questions that we seek to answer are why certain groups became successful (in terms of taxonomic diversity or position within trophic food webs) or went extinct even when they were successful in deep time.
    Our lab has facilities for rock digestion, high-end micro-computed tomography (Bruker Skyscan 1173 Desktop-Micro-Computertomograph; click here for more information), 3D digital microscopy (Keyence VHX-6000, 20-2000x magnification), scanning electron microscopy, high performance computing for image data processing, micro- and macro-anatomical labs, and an aquarium infrastructure (Click here for watching suction feeding of Hemiscyllium ocellatum) to support individual palaeobiological projects but also providing research services for other departments of the University of Vienna (e.g., Geology, Mineralogy, Anthropology, Zoology, and Theoretical Biology) and third parties.

    Congratulations to Pia Balàka for receiving the Hans-and-Lotte-Hass-Award for Marine Protection for her planned research project ″How many catshark species can be found in the Mediterranean Sea?″ The award ceremony is on January 29, 2024 in the Haus des Meeres - Aqua Terra Zoo (Link) starting at 5:30 PM.

    Congratulations to Manuel Amadori for receiving the Erich Thenius Fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences for his excellent doctoral thesis entitled ″Palaeobiology and Taxonomy of the extinct elasmobranch shark, †Ptychodus (Vertebrata, Chondrichthyes)″. The award ceremony is on March 12, 2024 at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Link) starting at 3 PM.

    New study published by members of EvoMoRG and an international team shows that the iconic, prehistoric shark Megalodon differed from the modern Great White Shark in body shape and lifestyle! (Link)

    Latest Publications

    2023: The origin of modern marlins (Teleostei: Istiophoridae): new fossil evidence from the Lower Miocene of Austria. 2023: Morphological variability and function of labial cartilages in sharks (Chondrichthyes, Elasmobranchii). 2023: A diverse assemblage of †Ptychodus species (Elasmobranchii: Ptychodontidae) from the Upper Cretaceous of Ukraine, ...




    Department of Paleontology
    University of Vienna, Geozentrum
    Josef-Holaubek-Platz 2
    1090 Vienna, Austria

    Our research is/was supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), the CONICYT Chile, the Austrian Exchange Service (OeAD), German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Marie-Curie Actions of the European Union, the SENACYT Panama, Sharkproject Austria, Synthesys, the University of Vienna, and the Vienna Doctoral School of Ecology and Evolution (VDSEE).