Joshua Gauweiler, M.Sc.

Zoological Institute and Museum
Cytology and Evolutionary Biology

Soldmannstr. 23
House 6.1
17489 Greifswald

Phone: +49 (0)3834 420 4064
Fax: +49 (0)3834 420 4067

joshua.gauweileryahoode

Research interests

My interests lie largely within palaeobiology, especially in the evolution, morphology and ecology of representatives of Ornithodira (Pterosaurians and Dinosauromorphs). My work often involves high resolution imaging of fossils and quantitative shape analysis via elliptic fourier analysis to better understand the functional morphology of certain animals. Ontogenetic development of prehistoric animals and comparing changes in the ontogeny of species is also a vital part of my research that can help understanding the evolution of larger phylogenetic groups as a whole.

I have formally studied biology with a strong focus palaeobiological topics. My bachelor thesis dealt with exploring the ontogenetic development of Triceratops horridus through quantitative shape analysis of their skulls. During a research practical and for my master thesis I worked on cervical vertebrae of pterosaurians and how different vertebral shape patterns that arise from elongation of cervical vertebrae. The geometric morphometric approach in both of my theses was also done via elliptic fourier analysis.

Currently I am working on my PhD funded with the help of the Landesgraduiertenförderung scholarship. Right now I am researching the trophic interactions between Ornithodira and Arthropods through time. Looking to shed more light on the strategy of insectivory as a whole I am interested in how this diet is related to size, shape and age of the predators and prey. The use of arthropods as food (generally referred to as insectivory) is very common among small reptiles as they provide an excellent source of protein. To this end I am investigating adaptations on both sides of the spectrum. What kind of defense mechanisms do arthropods exhibit to protect themselves from wannabe predators? Do specific structures associated with insectivory arise convergently in different groups of predators? And are specific strategies on either side more or less common at different points throughout earths history? In trying to answer questions like these I am hoping to create a better understanding of a fundamental trophic interactions that has been relevant for the last 245 million years.

Grants and Awards

Grants and Awards

2022

Landesgraduiertenförderung Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Univesity of Greifswald (ongoing); PhD scholarship for the current project on insectivory in ornithodirans

2021

Young Scientist Award (1st Place, 500 €); Awarded for: „Peramorphosis in the pterosaurian neck vertebrae – Elliptic Fourier Analysis shows different patterns of shape change among the cervical vertebrae between groups” talk at the annual meeting of the Palaeontological Society of Germany 2021

2019

Travel Grant for student members of the Palaeontological Association (115 €); Granted for: „Species or stage – resolving ontogeny in derived representatives of Chasmosaurinae using elliptic Fourier analysis” poster at PalAss 2019

Young Scientist Award (1st Place, 500 €); Awarded for: „How to recognize a species – quantifying a case in horned dinosaurs” talk at the annual meeting of the Palaeontological Society of Germany 2019

2017

Lehre@LMU Advancement Award (2000 €); Awarded for: “Ontogenetic differences in the diversity of cranial morphology between “precocial” and “subcocial” birds – a morphometric approach” project as part of the Lehre@LMU program 2017

Publications

  • Gauweiler J, Carolin Haug C, Patrick Müller P, Haug JT (2022) Lepidopteran caterpillars in the Cretaceous: were they a good food source for early birds?," Palaeodiversity, 15(1): 45-59.

  • Zippel A, Haug C, Gauweiler J, Hörnig MK, Haug GT & Haug JT (in press) A small beetle larva preserved in 15 million years old Mexican amber – possible first fossil record of an immature variegated mud-loving beetle.

  • Haug C, Baranov V, Hörnig MK, Gauweiler J, Evgeny PE & Haug JT (in review) A 35 million-year-old solid-wood-borer beetle larva support the idea of stressed Eocene amber forests.

Contributions to conferences
Talks
2021: Annual meeting of the Palaeontological Society of Germany 2021 (Vienna) - Oral Presentation; Joshua Gauweiler, Joachim T. Haug „Peramorphosis in the pterosaurian neck vertebrae – Elliptic Fourier Analysis shows different patterns of shape change among the cervical vertebrae between groups”
2019: Annual meeting of the Palaeontological Society of Germany 2019 (Munich) - Oral Presentation; Joshua Gauweiler, Joachim T. Haug „How to recognize a species – quantifying a case in horned dinosaurs”
2018: International Palaeontological Congress 2018 (Paris) – Oral Presentation; Joshua Gauweiler, Joachim T. Haug „A morphometric approach to the diversity of marginocephalian dinosaurs including ontogenetic data”
Poster
2019: Annual meeting of the Palaeontological Association 2019 (Valencia) - Poster; Joshua Gauweiler, Joachim T. Haug „Species or stage – resolving ontogeny in derived representatives of Chasmosaurinae using elliptic Fourier analysis”