Tara Selly

Tara Selly
Research Assistant Professor; Assistant Director of the X-ray Microanalysis Lab
308 Geological Sciences Building

Ph.D. Geological Sciences, University of Missouri; 2018
M.S. Geological Sciences, University of Missouri; 2015
B.A. Biology and Geology, Gustavus Adolphus College; 2013

Research Focus

Ediacaran taxonomy, taphonomic pathways, decay experimentation, micro-CT

My broad research interests are connected by using modern microscopic techniques to answer ancient questions about the origins of macroscopic life on Earth. Through this work, I explore how late Ediacaran (~550 million-year-old) organisms became incorporated into the fossil record and how their preservation influences paleontologists’ ability to interpret their original biology. On the other end of the temporal spectrum, I use modern organisms to confirm how biological tissues react under ancient ocean conditions to replicate and confirm these ideas.