Carrie Tyler

carrie tyler

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. 2012 Virginia Tech
206 Shideler Hall

I received my Ph.D. in Geosciences at the Virginia Tech and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida. My research includes processes governing the distribution, paleoecology, and evolution of marine invertebrates, the role of taphonomy and the fidelity of the fossil record in the development of macro-evolutionary and macro-ecological models, the application and development of quantitative paleontological methods, morphometrics and functional morphology of marine invertebrates, and ecosystems response to and recovery from perturbation.
The interdisciplinary nature of Paleontology requires an understanding of the dynamic interactions between the biosphere, lithosphere, and atmosphere throughout Earth’s history. This provides an ideal opportunity to frame coursework in ways that are directly relevant to important societal issues, and for students to integrate concepts and knowledge from a variety of disciplines. In addition to wrestling with topics such as past climate change and natural resources, students in my classes also learn about ecosystem functioning and recovery, habitat loss, and mass extinction.

Possible Thesis/Dissertation Topics

  • Using fossil food webs to understand marine ecosystem functioning and recovery.
  • Conservation geobiology and quantifying anthropogenic effects in the Outer Banks, North Carolina.
  • Taphonomy and the fidelity of the fossil record, Outer Banks, North Carolina.
  • Predation and the utility of proxies for predation intensity, Vancouver Island, Canada.
  • Quantifying biotic interactions on macroevolutionary timescales using echinoid associated traces.

Current/Recent Student Research Projects

  • Madeline Ess (Ph.D. in progress) Ecospace changes across the Phanerozoic
  • Whitney Lapic (M.S. 2021) An Asynchronous Mesozoic Marine Evolution:  Drilling Versus Durophagy in Post - Paleozoic Echinoids

Selected Recent Publications

Leighton, L.R., Tyler, C.L., Presence of both sea-star and crab predators reduces mortality of a marine intertidal foundational species. Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Tyler, C.L., Dexter, T.A., Portell, R.W., Kowalewski, M., 2018. Predation-Facilitated Preservation of Echinoids in a Tropical Marine Environment. PALAIOS 33(10):478-486.

Tyler, C.L., Kowalewski, M., 2018. Regional Surveys of Macrobenthic Shelf Invertebrate Communities in Onslow Bay, North Carolina, USA. Scientific Data 5:180054.

Tyler, C.L., Schneider, C.L. (Eds.), 2018. Marine Conservation Paleobiology (Topics in Geobiology). Springer Verlag, Cham.

Tyler, C.L., 2018. A Conceptual Map of Conservation Paleobiology: Visualizing a Discipline. Marine Conservation Paleobiology, Eds. C.L. Tyler and C.L. Schneider (Eds.), Springer Verlag, Cham, p227-254.

Tyler, C.L., Schneider, C.L., 2018. Conservation Paleobiology: The Need for a Paleontological Perspective. Marine Conservation Paleobiology, C.L. Tyler and C.L. Schneider (Eds.), Springer Verlag, Cham, p1-10.

Tyler, C.L., Kowalewski, M., 2017. Surrogate Taxa and Fossils as Reliable Proxies of Spatial Biodiversity Patterns in Marine Benthic Communities. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biology, 284:20162839.

Leighton, L.R., Chojnacki, C.N., Stafford, E.S., Tyler, C.L., Schneider, C.L., 2016. Categorization of Shell Fragments Provides a Proxy for Environmental Energy and Predation Intensity. Journal of the Geological Society (Published Online May 5th, 2016).

Tyler, C.L., Leighton, L.R., Stafford, E.S., 2015. The Utility of Wax Replicas as a Measure of Crab Attack Frequency in the Rocky Intertidal. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 95(2):361-369.

Stafford, E.S., Tyler, C.L., Leighton, L.R., 2015. Gastropod Shell Repair Tracks Predator Abundance. Marine Ecology 36(4): 1176-1184.

Tyler, C.L., Kowalewski, M., 2014. The Utility of Marine Benthic Associations as a Multivariate Proxy for Paleo-Bathymetry. PLoS One 9(4).

Tyler, C.L., Leighton, L.R., Kowalewski, M., 2014. The effects of Limpet Morphology on Predation by Adult Cancrid Crabs. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 451:9-15.

Selected Grants

National Science Foundation 2019-2024 CAREER: Identifying Ecosystem Properties Promoting Stability and Resistance: Modeling Late Ordovician Paleocommunity Dynamics and Functioning across the Richmondian Invasion” (SGP-1848232)

National Science Foundation 2016-2020 “The Evolutionary Significance of Biotic Interactions: A Comparative Study utilizing Echinoid Associated Traces” (SGP-1630475)

National Science Foundation 2016-2020 “Mesozoic Tethyan Paleocommunity Dynamics: Modelling Complexity and Stability During Times of Biotic Escalation and Community Restructuring” (SGP-1629786)

National Science Foundation 2011-2014 “Higher-Taxon Fidelity: Comparative Taphonomy of Marine Benthic Associations in Holocene Depositional Systems of Coastal North Carolina” (SGP-1053433)

Current/Recent Graduate Research

Hannah Kempf (MS 2018) Ordovician Ecosystem Dynamics and the Consequences of Invasive Species

Ian Castro (MS 2018) Assessment of Data Resources for the Construction of Late Ordovician Shallow Marine Food Webs

Lyndsey Farrar (MS 2019) Characterizing Traces of Predation and Parasitism on Fossil Echinoids

Melanie Sorman (MS 2019) Paleocommunity Dynamics after the End-Triassic Extinction

Teaching Interests

GLG 204 – Survival on an Evolving Planet
GLG 244 - Oceanography
GLG/BIO 437/537 – Paleontology in Conservation

For complete descriptions of courses please see the 2019/2020 Miami Bulletin.

More information about the Tyler lab is available at

Download Carrie's full CV at