My work falls into four general areas: (1) Origin of major evolutionary adaptations in vertebrates. Through a synthesis of phylogenetic, functional, and comparative morphological evidence, I try to assemble the best-supported evolutionary sequences available and to reconstruct the steps by which major adaptations, such as flight, arise. (2) The beginning of the ''Age of Dinosaurs.'' Although I work generally on Mesozoic vertebrate paleontology, I am most interested in the changes in the terrestrial vertebrate fauna that took place around the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. (3) Systematics, functional morphology, and flight of pterosaurs. Pterosaurs, the first vertebrates to gain powered flight, provide many interesting keys to the evolution of posture, locomotion, homeothermy, and vertebrate adaptation in the early Mesozoic Era. (4) Histology and constructional morphology of the bones of extinct reptiles. Comparative bone histology in a phylogenetic series of taxa and some ontogenetic series can provide the best picture of age, growth, and metabolism, and engineering design helps to understand functional adaptations of bone. Our histology work is in conjunction with other researchers in California, Montana, and France.

For more information about ongoing projects, see our Research page or email me at kpadian@berkeley.edu.

Lab Phone: 510-642-7434
Fax: 510-642-1822

Department of Integrative Biology
University of California, Berkeley
3060 Valley Life Sciences Building
Berkeley, CA 94720-3140

 

UC Museum of Paleontology
University of California, Berkeley
1101 Valley Life Sciences Building
Berkeley, CA 94720-4780