James (Jim) D. Schiffbauer
Associate Professor, Geological Sciences DIRECTOR, X-RAY MICROANALYSIS LABoratory
Paleobiology, Taphonomy, Analytical Microscopy
With my academic background spanning both biology and geology, my research interests center on how accurately we can interpret the history of life from the fossil record. I approach this problem from the taphonomic perspective, specifically targeting complex multicellular fossils from the dawn of animal life at the Ediacaran–Cambrian transition. Resolving which features of fossils represent true biological signal as opposed to those that are preservational noise permits a greater understanding of our early animal ancestors. To help gain this better resolution, I utilize analytical microscopy methods, including scanning electron microscopy and tomographic x-ray microscopy.