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Professor Anjali Goswami - Principal Investigator

Goswami headshot.jpeg

I am Dean of Postgraduate Education and Research Leader in Life Sciences at the Natural History Museum, London, as well as Honorary Professor in Palaeobiology in the Department of Genetics, Evolution, and Environment at University College London.  I currently serve as President of the Linnean Society of London.

I recently served as Co-Director of the London Centre for Ecology and Evolution (2014-2022, currently on the Steering Committee), Chair of the Development Committee for the Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology (2018-2022), and Co-Director of University College London's Centre for Life's Origins and Evolution (2017-2022) and am currently a member of the Executive Committee for the International Society for Vertebrate Morphology. I am a member of the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Peer Review College and and currently serve on the editorial boards for  the Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, as well as recently serving as editor for Evolution, Evolution Letters, Biology Letters, Integative and Comparative Biology, and Palaeobiology.      

My main research interests are in vertebrate evolution and development, especially using 3D morphometric methods to incorporate data from embryos to fossils to test genetic and developmental hypotheses of modularity and morphological diversity and reconstruct macroevolutionary patterns through deep time.  I have previously focused on skull evolution in carnivorans and the marsupial-placental dichotomy, but in recent years, I have expanded across the diversity of systems, with an ERC-funded project on modularity and morphological diversification across tetrapods, a Leverhulme Trust-funded project on pelagic fish skull evolution, a recently-completed Leverhulme Trust-funded project on cat postcranial mechanics and evolutionary modularity, and multiple projects focused on whale skull evolution and development and multivariate methods development.  With collaborators and lab members, we are currently extending this work to incorporate comparative genomic and transcriptomic data, as well as applying our morphometric innovations to comparative ontogenetic morphology.  


I am also currently working on the relationships and paleobiogeography of Mesozoic and early Cenozoic mammals, particularly focusing on Gondwanan eutherians, with a recently-completed Leverhulme Trust-funded project uniting genomics and fossils to elucidate early placental evolution. As part of this work, I was also involved in a Leverhulme Trust-funded project on the evolution of latitudinal biodiversity gradients in Cretaceous vertebrates.  


I currently conduct fieldwork in the Cretaceous and Palaeogene of India and Argentina, but have previously been involved in fieldwork in Svalbard, Peru, Chile, Madagascar, and the United States.  I have also conducted palaeoecological research on Triassic amniotes and Eocene whales using dental microwear and stable isotopes.   

Recent coverage of our work in the Guardian and Scientific American

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