Noel Heim

Noel Heim
Tufts University | Tufts · Department of Earth & Ocean Sciences

Ph.D.

About

69
Publications
11,026
Reads
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1,061
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2019 - present
Tufts University
Position
  • Lecturer
August 2012 - July 2019
Stanford University
Position
  • Researcher
August 2008 - July 2012
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
August 2003 - August 2008
University of Georgia
Field of study
  • Geology and Paleontology
September 2001 - August 2003
University of California, Riverside
Field of study
  • Paleontology
September 1996 - June 2000
University of Chicago
Field of study
  • Geophysical Sciences

Publications

Publications (69)
Article
Full-text available
Cope's rule proposes that animal lineages evolve toward larger body size over time. To test this hypothesis across all marine animals, we compiled a data set of body sizes for 17,208 genera of marine animals spanning the past 542 million years. Mean biovolume across genera has increased by a factor of 150 since the Cambrian, whereas minimum biovolu...
Article
Full-text available
The origin of most animal phyla and classes during the Cambrian explosion has been hypothesized to represent an 'early burst' of evolutionary exploration of functional ecological possibilities. However, the ecological history of marine animals has yet to be fully quantified, preventing an assessment of the early-burst model for functional ecology....
Article
Full-text available
Brachiopods and bivalves feed in similar ways and have occupied the same environments through geological time, but brachiopods were far more diverse and abundant in the Palaeozoic whereas bivalves dominate the post-Palaeozoic, suggesting a transition in ecological dominance 250 Ma. However, diversity and abundance data alone may not adequately desc...
Article
Full-text available
Students of Earth history have long recognized the correlation between the quantity of preserved sedimentary rock and the diversity of life recorded as fossils. But paleontologists have yet to determine whether this pattern reflects a causal relationship or a unidirectional sampling bias in fossil data imposed by preserved rock quantity. Distinguis...
Article
Full-text available
To determine the distribution and causes of extinction threat across functional groups of terrestrial vertebrates, we assembled a dataset on ecological traits for 18,016 species and tested, with phylogenetic comparative methods, which categories of habitat association, mode of locomotion, and feeding mode best predict extinction risk. We found that...
Article
Whether mass extinctions and their associated recoveries represent an intensification of background extinction and origination dynamics versus a separate macroevolutionary regime remains a central debate in evolutionary biology. The previous focus has been on extinction, but origination dynamics may be equally or more important for long-term evolut...
Article
The half-billion-year history of animal evolution is characterized by decreasing rates of background extinction. Earth's increasing habitability for animals could result from several processes: (i) a decrease in the intensity of interactions among species that lead to extinctions; (ii) a decrease in the prevalence or intensity of geological trigger...
Article
The typical marine animal has increased in biovolume by more than two orders of magnitude since the beginning of the Cambrian, but the causes of this trend remain unknown. We test the hypothesis that the efficiency of intra-organism oxygen delivery is a major constraint on body-size evolution in marine animals. To test this hypothesis, we compiled...
Article
Idiographic and nomothetic approaches to heterogeneity are complementary: Response to comments on “Evaluating the influences of temperature, primary production, and evolutionary history on bivalve growth rates” - Volume 46 Issue 2 - James Saulsbury, David K. Moss, Linda C. Ivany, Michał Kowalewski, David R. Lindberg, James F. Gillooly, Noel A. Heim...
Article
Ecological differentiation is correlated with taxonomic diversity in many clades, and ecological divergence is often assumed to be a cause and/or consequence of high speciation rate. However, an analysis of 30,074 genera of living marine animals and 19,992 genera of fossil marine animals indicates that greater ecological differentiation in the mode...
Article
Larger body size has long been assumed to correlate with greater risk of extinction, helping to shape body-size distributions across the tree of life, but a lack of comprehensive size data for fossil taxa has left this hypothesis untested for most higher taxa across the vast majority of evolutionary time. Here we assess the relationship between bod...
Article
Full-text available
The taxonomic and ecologic composition of Earth's biota has shifted dramatically through geologic time, with some clades going extinct while others diversified. Here, we derive a metric that quantifies the change in biotic composition due to extinction or origination and show that it equals the product of extinction/origination magnitude and select...
Article
Full-text available
Organismal metabolic rates reflect the interaction of environmental and physiological factors. Thus, calcifying organisms that record growth history can provide insight into both the ancient environments in which they lived and their own physiology and life history. However, interpreting them requires understanding which environmental factors have...
Article
The quantity of biomass in an ecosystem is constrained by energy availability. It is less clear, however, how energy availability constrains taxonomic and functional diversity. Competing models suggest biodiversity is either resource-limited or far from any bound. We test the hypothesis that functional diversity in marine bivalve communities is con...
Presentation
Full-text available
One of the most striking features of the marine fossil record is the long-term increase in the mean body size and metabolic scope of fossil taxa. Numerous drivers, both biotic and abiotic, have been hypothesized to explain this trend, but evaluating them requires improved understanding of the controls on metabolic rates, growth rates, and longeviti...
Article
Full-text available
Over the past 3.8 billion years, the maximum size of life has increased by approximately 18 orders of magnitude. Much of this increase is associated with two major evolutionary innovations: the evolution of eukaryotes from prokaryotic cells approximately 1.9 billion years ago (Ga), and multicellular life diversifying from unicellular ancestors appr...
Conference Paper
The macroevolutionary effects of extinction derive from both intensity of taxonomic losses and selectivity of losses with respect to ecology, physiology and/or higher taxonomy. Increasingly, palaeontologists are using logistic regression to quantify extinction selectivity because the selectivity metric is independent of extinction intensity and mul...
Article
Full-text available
The macroevolutionary effects of extinction derive from both intensity of taxonomic losses and selectivity of losses with respect to ecology, physiology and/or higher taxonomy. Increasingly, palaeontologists are using logistic regression to quantify extinction selectivity because the selectivity metric is independent of extinction intensity and mul...
Article
To better predict the ecological and evolutionary effects of the emerging biodiversity crisis in the modern oceans, we compared the association between extinction threat and ecological traits in modern marine animals to associations observed during past extinction events using a database of 2497 marine vertebrate and mollusc genera. We find that ex...
Article
Full-text available
The Geozoic encompasses the 3.6 Ga interval in Earth history when life has existed. Over this time, life has diversified from exclusively tiny, single-celled organisms to include large, complex multicellular forms. Just how and why this diversification occurred has been a major area of interest for paleontologists and evolutionary biologists for ce...
Conference Paper
Body size is often considered the most important quantitative trait of an individual organism. This is because it can be directly correlated with multiple life-history traits, both physiological (e.g., metabolic rate) and fitness-related (e.g., generation time, fecundity). With body size encapsulating such a significant quantity of biological infor...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Marine animals have dramatically increased in taxonomic diversity since the “Cambrian Explosion” (543 mya – present). However, taxonomic diversity is an incomplete proxy for how marine ecosystems have changed over evolutionary time. Here, we ask whether there have been concomitant increases in mean body size, ecologica...
Conference Paper
Our synoptic database on the body sizes of bilaterian marine animals shows an overall increase in mean body size during the Phanerozoic. Within this overall trend, most Linnaean classes show increasing or stable mean body size. The one exception to this trend is the Ostracoda, which show an overall decreasing in mean body size. We hypothesize that...
Article
Macrostratigraphy uses packages of continuous sedimentation that are bound by hiatuses of non-deposition, erosion, or alternations between environments/lithologies to characterize spatiotemporal patterns of sedimentation. Previous work has linked the macrostratigraphy of marine shelf environments to many different macroevolutionary patterns in the...
Article
Full-text available
Selectivity patterns provide insights into the causes of ancient extinction events. The Late Ordovician mass extinction was related to Gondwanan glaciation; however, it is still unclear whether elevated extinction rates were attributable to record failure, habitat loss, or climatic cooling. We examined Middle Ordovician-Early Silurian North America...
Article
This paper uses a geochemical approach to evaluate possible surfaces of subaerial exposure in three intervals within a limestone section previously studied using a sequence stratigraphic approach. Specifically, geochemical results suggest that mete- oric diagenesis occurred at surfaces of subaerial exposure at the top of a 3rd order Type I sequence...
Article
Copyright - GeoRef, Copyright 2012, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from The Geological Society, London, London, United Kingdom, Date revised - 2012-01-01, Language of summary - English, Number of references - 44, Pages - 95-104, ProQuest ID - 919643563, Document feature - illus. incl. 1 table, SubjectsTermNotLitGenreText -...
Data
Sampling probability for endemic and cosmopolitan genera. Sampling probability is the proportion of time intervals, exclusive of the range ends, that have a sampled occurrence for each genus known to exist during that time interval [S1, S2]. (A) The time series of mean sampling probabilities with one standard error of mean. The time scale abbreviat...
Data
Variation in geographic range and genus duration for endemic, immigrant and emigrant genera. Note that there are no significant differences among endemic, immigrant and emigrant genera. The endemic data and plotting conventions are the same as in Figure 5. (TIF)
Data
Mean genus duration and geographic range for Linnaean classes with all non-endemic genera pooled. This figure should be compared to Figures 2 and 3. For this figure, cosmopolitan, immigrant and emigrant genera are pooled and compared to endemic genera. Note that pooling all non-endemic genera does not qualitatively change the relationships observed...
Data
Time series of mean geographic ranges. Comparisons of mean geographic ranges within North America among the three geographic genus categories: endemic (black), immigrant (blue) and emigrant (red). The endemic data and plotting conventions are the same as in Figure 4. (A) North American genera with geographic range calculated as the proportion of av...
Data
Key to Linnaean classes plotted in Figures 2 & 3. (A) Class key to Figure 2A. (B) Class key to Figure 2B. (C) Class key to Figure 2C. (D) Class key to Figure 3A. (E) Class key to Figure 3B. (TIF)
Data
North American sampling probabilities for each paleoenvironment. Box plots of the sampling probabilities of each endemic and cosmopolitan genus within a particular paleoenvironmental zone. Only the stratigraphic range between the first and last genus occurrence within the zone of consideration is considered for each genus. These plots demonstrate t...
Data
Mean genus duration for Linnaean classes. (A) Endemic vs. immigrant duration within North America. (B) Endemic vs. immigrant duration within Europe. (C) Endemic vs. emigrant duration within North America. (D) Endemic vs. emigrant duration within Europe. The red crosses are ± two standard errors around the mean for all genera in each category. Plott...
Data
Comparison of per-interval, per-genus geographic ranges calculated using the PaleoDB and Macrostrat. (A) Convex hull area vs. the proportion of occupied area. The Spearman rank-order correlation coefficient (ρ) and p-value are shown in the bottom left. (B) Convex hull area vs. the total occupied area as estimated from Macrostrat. The data plotted o...
Data
Genus durations and ranges controlling for number of occurrences. (A) Comparison of mean endemic geographic ranges and mean cosmopolitan geographic ranges in Europe based on the convex hull drawn around PaleoDB collections, controlling for the number of occurrences that define each genus' duration. The plotted number indicates the number of occurre...
Data
The marine paleoenvironment categories and their sub-environments used to estimate habitat breadth. The environments in regular type are the PaleoDB collection environments and the categories used in the habitat breadth analysis (Fig. 6) are in bold-face. The parenthetical numbers correspond to the paleoenvironment categories, arrayed in an onshore...
Data
Mean genus geographic range for Linnaean classes. (A) Endemic vs. immigrant duration within North America with geographic range calculated as the proportion of available sediments. (B) Endemic vs. immigrant geographic range within North America with geographic range calculated as the convex hull around PaleoDB collections. (C) Endemic vs. immigrant...
Data
Data file with FADs, LADs, number of PaleoDB occurrences, number of paleoenvironments occupied, Linnaean hierarchy and status as endemic or cosmopolitan for each genus in North America. (CSV)
Data
Residence time of endemic genera and time for recognition of non-endemic genera. The histogram in the upper panel shows the number of days each genus endemic to North America has been in the PaleoDB. The solid and dashed lines show the mean and middle 50%, respectively, number of days genera that are not endemic to North America took to be recogniz...
Data
Data file with FADs, LADs, number of PaleoDB occurrences, number of paleoenvironments occupied, Linnaean hierarchy and status as endemic or cosmopolitan for each genus in Europe. (CSV)
Data
Supplemental methods. (RTF)
Data
Data file with geologic time scale, total area of marine rocks and per interval raw geographic ranges. (CSV)
Article
Full-text available
Background: Geographic range is a good indicator of extinction susceptibility in fossil marine species and higher taxa. The widely-recognized positive correlation between geographic range and taxonomic duration is typically attributed to either accumulating geographic range with age or an extinction buffering effect, whereby cosmopolitan taxa pers...
Article
Full-text available
The stratigraphic distribution of fossils reflects a combination of physical and biological factors. Although many studies have addressed the distribution of fossils at a basin scale and within sedimentary sequences spanning 104–106 yr, little is known about the distribution of fossils within longer duration sedimentary successions covering broad g...
Article
Full-text available
A growing body of work has quantitatively linked many macroevolutionary patterns, including short- and long-term changes in biodiversity, rates of taxonomic extinction and origination, and patterns of extinction selectivity, to temporal variability in the sedimentary rock record. Here we establish a new framework for more rigorously testing alterna...
Article
Full-text available
New collections of trilobites from the type section of the Parahio Formation in the Parahio Valley, Spiti, and from the Parahio, Karsha, and Kurgiakh formations in the Zanskar Valley, permit biozonation based on material precisely located within measured stratigraphic sections. Specimens preserved in limestone with mild tectonic deformation clarify...
Article
Full-text available
The middle Carboniferous was an interval of global change when the climate was transitioning from greenhouse to icehouse conditions. Field collections of paleotropical brachiopod assemblages across the Mississippian/Pennsylvanian boundary reveal a taxonomic turnover event in which the overall diversity structure is conserved, despite an apparent re...
Article
Full-text available
Biodiversity patterns in the fossil record are often interpreted as functions of only orig-ination and extinction whereas the migration of taxa among regions or paleocontinents is rarely considered. A null biogeographic model is presented that evaluates the role of migration in shaping global biodiversity patterns across evolutionary time scales. A...
Article
Full-text available
A well-preserved Cambrian section in the Zanskar Valley of northern India has previously been interpreted to record the transition from a passive to an active tectonic margin related to Cambrian–Ordovician orogenesis. This interpretation has been used to support the tectonostratigraphic interpretation of other successions across the Tethyan Himalay...
Chapter
Full-text available
New information on trace fissils from the Montgomery Mountains establishes the Rusophycus avalonensis Zone within strat of the third parasequence of the lower member Wood Canyon Formation close to the level of the first Treptichnus pedum. This places Ediacara-type fossils and trace fossils of the second pre-trilobitic Cambrian trace fissil zone wit...
Conference Paper
We report REE abundances in vapor deposited minerals in Ibitira vesicles. The aim of this study was to obtain constraints on the formation process of these minerals and the composition of the vapor phase that deposited them.

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