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dr hab. Kenneth de Baets

Research interests (Description)

I am an evolutionary paleobiologist documenting and interpreting the relative contributions of abiotic (e.g., climate) and biotic factors (e.g., parasitism) in driving large-scale ecological and evolutionary patterns in the history of life.

Current research focuses on macroecology, biotic interactions, and biomineralization. For example: How does body size distribution and growth respond to climate warming and related environmental stressors? How does parasitism relate to host biodiversity and disease? How does seawater chemistry affect biomineralization of aquatic ectotherms?

For this purpose, I strive to work across disciplines and find means to test hypotheses with different lines of evidence, ranging from evolutionary ecology, over quantitative and molecular (paleo)biology, to developmental paleobiology, (paleo)parasitology and earth sciences.

I also work in other research areas, principally biogeography, biostatistics and geometric morphometrics, environmental analysis, experimental taphonomy and phylogenetic analysis. I remain active and maintain interest in methods (sample preparation and quantitative analyses) used in all these fields. I would therefore be happy to advise students in these and other areas.

Latest student research includes: diversity and body size dynamics of marine invertebrates, Holocene trends in parasite-host prevalence captured in coprolites and skeletal pathologies, 3D-reconstruction and morphometry as well as experimental taphonomy of invertebrates and vertebrates.

Research interests (Summary)

  • Biomineralization
  • Body size evolution and loss of complexity
  • Conservation and Quantitative Paleobiology
  • Evolution and Fossil Record of Mollusks
  • Evolution and Fossil Record of Parasitism
  • Macroevolution and Ecology of marine invertebrates
  • Molecular paleobiology and divergence dating

Didactic experience

  • Analytical Paleobiology
  • Evolution of Life and Earth System Dynamics
  • General Paleontology
  • Macroevolution and Macroecology
  • Methods in Quantitative Biostratigraphy
  • Morphology, Systematics and Ecology of Invertebrates
  • Paleobiodiversity
  • Paleontological Field Courses
  • Research Project Design and Implementation

Research projects

  • PARADIVE: the integrated study of parasitism, biodiversity and environmental change (IDUB under I.3.4 Action of the Excellence Initiative – Research University Programme)
  • Size reductions during hyperthermal events: early warnings of environmental deterioration or signs of extinction? (DFG 269895748)