Macroecology and macroevolution
Macquarie University

Employment - Education - Grants, awards, and fellowships - Published papers and book chapters - Comment and reply pieces - Reviews - Talks presented at national meetings - Invited seminars

Personal information

Born 3 July 1966, New York City

Contact information

Department of Biological Sciences   phone: +61 2 9850 8185
Faculty of Science and Engineering fax: +61 2 9850 8245
Macquarie University e-mail:
NSW 2109


2014 - present   Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney
2010 - 2014   Future Fellow, Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney
2006 - 2010   Associate Researcher, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Santa Barbara, California
1999 - 2006   Assistant Researcher, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Santa Barbara, California
1998 - 1999Postdoctoral Fellow, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Santa Barbara, California
1996 - 1998Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Paleobiology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
1994 - 1996Research Associate, Research Training Group in the Analysis of Biological Diversification, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.
1989 - 1990Intern, Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems Program, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.


1994   Ph.D., Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. Title: "Quantitative mammalian biochronology, biogeography, and diversity history of North America."
1993 M.S., Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
1989 B.A., Biology, Reed College, Portland, Oregon.

Grants, awards, and fellowships

2010 - 2014Future Fellowship, Australian Research Council.
2010National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Reviewing.
2007Charles Schuchert Award, Paleontological Society.
2005 - 2007  "The Paleobiology Database: an international, web-based community project to assemble, disseminate, and analyze paleontological data." Sedimentary Geology and Paleobiology Program, National Science Foundation.
2000 - 2006"The coevolution of biodiversity and the environment through geologic time" (with C. Marshall, J. Hayes, A. Miller, and D. Rothman). Biocomplexity Program, National Science Foundation.
1998 - 2000"Phanerozoic marine diversification and extinction" working group (with C. Marshall). National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis.
1994Alfred Sherwood Romer Prize, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.
1993 - 1994William Rainey Harper Fellowship, University of Chicago.
1993Grant-in-Aid of Research, Sigma Xi.
1993Research Grant, Geological Society of America.
1993Hinds Fund Award, University of Chicago.

Published papers and book chapters

Pineda-Munoz, S., A. R. Evans, and J. Alroy. In press. The relationship between diet and body mass in terrestrial mammals. Paleobiology.

Benson, R. B. J., R. J. Butler, J. Alroy, P. D. Mannion, M. T. Carrano, and G. T. Lloyd. 2016. Near-stasis in the long-term diversification of Mesozoic tetrapods. PLOS Biology 14(2):e1002359. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002359

Alroy, J. 2015f. A more precise speciation and extinction rate estimator. Paleobiology. DOI: 10.1017/pab.2015.26

--------. 2015e. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112:13003-13008. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1508681112

--------. 2015d. The shape of terrestrial abundance distributions. Science Advances 1:e1500082. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500082

--------. 2015c. A simple way to improve multivariate analyses of paleoecological data sets. Paleobiology 41(3):377-386. DOI: 10.1017/pab.2014.21

--------. 2015b. Limits to captive breeding of mammals in zoos. Conservation Biology 29(3):926-931. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12471

--------. 2015a. A new twist on a very old binary similarity coefficient. Ecology 96(2):575-586. DOI:

--------. 2014b. A simple Bayesian method of inferring extinction. Paleobiology 40(4):584-607.

Pineda-Munoz, S., and J. Alroy. 2014. Dietary characterization of terrestrial mammals. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 281:20141173.

Alroy, J. 2014a. Accurate and precise estimates of origination and extinction rates. Paleobiology 40(3):374-397.

Kowalewski, M., J. L. Payne, F. A. Smith, S. C. Wang, D. W. McShea, S. Xiao, P. Novack-Gottshall, C. R. McClain, R. A. Krause, Jr., A. G. Boyer, S. Finnegan, S. K. Lyons, J. A. Stempien, J. Alroy, and P. A. Spaeth. 2011. The Geozoic supereon. Palaios 26(5-6):251-255.

Kosnik, M. A., J. Alroy, A. K. Behrensmeyer, F. T. Fürsich, R. A. Gastaldo, S. M. Kidwell, M. Kowalewski, R. E. Plotnick, R. R. Rogers, and P. J. Wagner. 2011. Changes in shell durability of common marine taxa through the Phanerozoic: evidence for biological rather than taphonomic drivers. Paleobiology 37(2):303-331.

Alroy, J. 2010c. Geographical, environmental and intrinsic biotic controls on Phanerozoic marine diversification. Palaeontology 53:1211-1235.

--------. 2010b. Fair sampling of taxonomic richness and unbiased estimation of origination and extinction rates. In J. Alroy and G. Hunt (eds.), Quantitative Methods in Paleobiology. Paleontological Society Papers 16:55-80.

--------. 2010a. The shifting balance of diversity among major marine animal groups. Science 329:1191-1194.

--------. 2009. Speciation and extinction in the fossil record of North American mammals. Pp. 301-323 in R. Butlin, J. Bridle, and D. Schluter, (eds.), Speciation and Patterns of Diversity. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

--------. 2008. Dynamics of origination and extinction in the marine fossil record. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105:11536-11542.

Alroy, J., M. Aberhan, D. J. Bottjer, M. Foote, F. T. Fürsich, P. J. Harries, A. J. W. Hendy, S. M. Holland, L. C. Ivany, W. Kiessling, M. A. Kosnik, C. R. Marshall, A. J. McGowan, A. I. Miller, T. D. Olszewski, M. E. Patzkowsky, S. E. Peters, L. Villier, P. J. Wagner, N. Bonuso, P. S. Borkow, B. Brenneis, M. E. Clapham, L. M. Fall, C. A. Ferguson, V. L. Hanson, A. Z. Krug, K. M. Layou, E. H. Leckey, S. Nürnberg, C. M. Powers, J. A. Sessa, C. Simpson, A. Tomasovych, and C. C. Visaggi. 2008. Phanerozoic trends in the global diversity of marine invertebrates. Science 321:97-100.

Madin, J. S., J. Alroy, M. Aberhan, F. T. Fürsich, W. Kiessling, M. A. Kosnik, and P. J. Wagner. 2006. Statistical independence of escalatory ecological trends in Phanerozoic marine invertebrates. Science 312:897-900.

Behrensmeyer, A. K., F. T. Fürsich, R. A. Gastaldo, S. M. Kidwell, M. A. Kosnik, M. Kowalewski, R. E. Plotnick, R. R. Rogers, and J. Alroy. 2005. Are the most durable shelly taxa also the most common in the marine fossil record? Paleobiology 31(4):607-623.

Smith, F. A., J. H. Brown, J. P. Haskell, S. K. Lyons, J. Alroy, E. L. Charnov, T. Dayan, B. J. Enquist, S. K. M. Ernest, E. A. Hadly, K. E. Jones, D. M. Kaufman, P. A. Marquet, B. A. Maurer, K. J. Niklas, W. P. Porter, B. Tiffney, and M. R. Willig. 2004. Similarity of mammalian body size across the taxonomic hierarchy and across space and time. American Naturalist 163(5):672-691.

Alroy, J. 2004. Are Sepkoski's evolutionary faunas dynamically coherent? Evolutionary Ecology Research 6(1):1-32. PDF

--------. 2003c. Taxonomic inflation and body mass distributions in North American fossil mammals. Journal of Mammalogy 84(2):431-443. PDF

--------. 2003b. Cenozoic bolide impacts and biotic change in North American mammals. Astrobiology 3:119-132. PDF

Bowen, G. J., W. C. Clyde, P. L. Koch, S. Ting, J. Alroy, T. Tsubamoto, Y. Wang, and Y. Wang. 2002. Mammalian dispersal at the Paleocene/Eocene boundary. Science 295:2062-2065. PDF

Alroy, J. 2002a. How many named species are valid? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99:3706-3711. PDF

--------. 2001a. A multi-species overkill simulation of the end-Pleistocene megafaunal mass extinction. Science 292:1893-1896. PDF

Alroy, J., C. R. Marshall, R. K. Bambach, K. Bezusko, M. Foote, F. T. Fürsich, T. A. Hansen, S. M. Holland, L. C. Ivany, D. Jablonski, D. K. Jacobs, D. C. Jones, M. A. Kosnik, S. Lidgard, S. Low, A. I. Miller, P. M. Novack-Gottshall, T. D. Olszewski, M. E. Patzkowsky, D. M. Raup, K. Roy, J. J. Sepkoski, Jr., M. G. Sommers, P. J. Wagner, and A. Webber. 2001. Effects of sampling standardization on estimates of Phanerozoic marine diversification. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 98(11):6261-6266. PDF

Alroy, J., P. L. Koch, and J. C. Zachos. 2000. Global climate change and North American mammalian evolution. In D. H. Erwin and S. L. Wing, eds. Deep time: Paleobiology's perspective. Paleobiology 26(Suppl. to No. 4):259-288.

Alroy, J. 2000c. New methods for quantifying macroevolutionary patterns and processes. Paleobiology 26(4):707-733. PDF

--------. 2000b. Successive approximations of diversity curves: ten more years in the library. Geology 28(11):1023-1026. PDF

--------. 2000a. Understanding the dynamics of trends within evolving lineages. Paleobiology 26(3):319-329. PDF

--------. 1999b. Putting North America's end-Pleistocene megafaunal extinction in context: large scale analyses of spatial patterns, extinction rates, and size distributions. Pp. 105-143 in R. D. E. MacPhee (ed.), Extinctions in near time: causes, contexts, and consequences. Plenum, New York.

--------. 1999a. The fossil record of North American mammals: Evidence for a Paleocene evolutionary radiation. Systematic Biology 48(1):107-118. PDF

Alroy, J., R. L. Bernor, M. Fortelius, and L. Werdelin. 1998. The MN system: regional or continental? Mitteilungen der Bayerischen Staatssamlung für Paläontologie und historische Geologie 38:243-258.

Alroy, J. 1998e. Equilibrial diversity dynamics in North American mammals. Pp. 232-287 in M. L. McKinney and J. A. Drake (eds.), Biodiversity dynamics: turnover of populations, taxa, and communities. Columbia University Press, New York.

--------. 1998b. Cope's rule and the dynamics of body mass evolution in North American mammals. Science 280:731-734. PDF

--------. 1998a. Diachrony of mammalian appearance events: implications for biochronology. Geology 26(1):23-27. PDF

--------. 1996. Constant extinction, constrained diversification, and uncoordinated stasis in North American mammals. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 127(1/4):285-311. PDF

--------. 1995. Continuous track analysis: a new phylogenetic and biogeographic method. Systematic Biology 44(2):152-178. PDF

Wing, S. L., J. Alroy, and L. J. Hickey. 1995. Plant and mammal diversity in the Paleocene to early Eocene of the Bighorn Basin. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 115:117-155. PDF

Alroy, J. 1994b. Four permutation tests for phylogenetic structure. Systematic Biology 43(3):430-437. PDF

--------. 1994a. Appearance event ordination: a new biochronologic method. Paleobiology 20(2):191-207. PDF

--------. 1992. Conjunction among taxonomic distributions and the Miocene mammalian biochronology of the Great Plains. Paleobiology 18(3):326-343. PDF

Comment and reply pieces

Alroy, J. 2011. On the flux ratio method and correcting incorrect forms of correct equations. Paleobiology 37(4):710-711.

--------. 2003a. Global databases will yield reliable measures of global biodiversity. Paleobiology 29(1):26-29. PDF

--------. 2002b. Stratigraphy in phylogeny reconstruction - reply to Smith (2000). Journal of Paleontology 76:587-589. PDF

--------. 2001b. Did human hunting cause mass extinction? Science 294:1459-1462.

--------. 1998d. Diachrony of mammalian appearance events: implications for biochronology: Reply. Geology 26(10):956-958. PDF

--------. 1998c. Cope's rule. Science 282:50-51.

Alroy, J., and A. Levine. 1994. Driving both ways: Wilson and Sober's conflicting criteria for the identification of groups as vehicles of selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17(4):608-610.

Manuscript and grant reviews

  • American Malacological Bulletin (1)
  • American Naturalist (6)
  • Association of Australasian Palaeontologists Memoirs (1)
  • Biology Letters (1)
  • Diversity and Distributions (1)
  • Ecological Reviews (2)
  • Ecology Letters (1)
  • Evolution (1)
  • Evolutionary Ecology Research (2)
  • Geology (5)
  • Geosphere (1)
  • Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (1)
  • Book chapter, MacPhee 1999 (1)
  • Book chapter, McKinney and Drake 1998 (1)
  • National Science Foundation (11)
  • Nature (4)
  • Nature Communications (1)
  • Book proposal, Oxford University Press (1)
  • Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (2)
  • Paleobiology (17)
  • PLoS ONE (1)
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA (6)
  • Royal Society Proceedings: Biological Sciences (3)
  • Science (5)
  • Systematic Biology (11)

Talks presented at national and international meetings

Underlined presentations were invited.

November, 2014 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Berlin.
November, 2013 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Los Angeles, California.
November, 2013 14th Conference on Australasian Vertebrate Evolution Palaeontology and Systematics, Adelaide, South Australia.
October, 2012 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Raleigh, North Carolina.
August, 2012 International Geological Congress, Brisbane, Queensland.
October, 2011 Geological Society of America, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
April, 2011 13th Conference on Australasian Vertebrate Evolution Palaeontology and Systematics, Perth, Western Australia.
October, 2010 Geological Society of America, Denver, Colorado (short course co-organizer).
October, 2010 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
October, 2009 Geological Society of America, Portland, Oregon.
September, 2009 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Bristol, United Kingdom.
October, 2008 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Cleveland, Ohio.
October, 2008 Geological Society of America, Houston, Texas.
December, 2007 Sackler Colloquium on Biodiversity and Extinction, Irvine, California.
October, 2007 Geological Society of America, Denver, Colorado.
October, 2007 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Austin, Texas.
March, 2007 BES Symposium on Speciation and Ecology, University of Sheffield.
October, 2006 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Ottawa, Ontario.
June, 2006 Second International Palaeontological Congress, Beijing.
April, 2006 Future Research Directions in Paleontology Workshop, Washington, DC.
October, 2005 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Mesa, Arizona.
October, 2005 Geological Society of America, Salt Lake City, Utah.
August, 2005 Ecological Society of America, Montreal, Canada.
June, 2005 North American Paleontological Convention, Halifax, Canada.
Dec., 2004 Palaeontological Association, Lille, France.
November, 2004 Geological Society of America, Denver, Colorado.
November, 2004 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Denver, Colorado.
January, 2004 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, New Orleans, Louisiana.
November, 2003 Geological Society of America, Seattle, Washington.
October, 2003 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, St. Paul, Minnesota.
October, 2003 EarthTime workshop, Washington, D.C.
June, 2003 Society of Systematic Biologists, Chico, California.
March, 2003 International Paleobiology Database Symposium, Berlin (symposium co-organizer).
October, 2002 Geological Society of America, Denver, Colorado.
October, 2002 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Norman, Oklahoma.
September, 2002 Extinction Thresholds Conference, Helsinki.
August, 2002 Ecological Society of America, Tucson, Arizona.
June, 2002 American Society of Mammalogists, Lake Charles, Louisiana.
March, 2002 Society for American Archaeology, Denver, Colorado.
February, 2002 Rubey Colloquium on Impacts and the Origin, Evolution, and Extinction of Life, University of California, Los Angeles.
November, 2001 Geological Society of America, Boston, Massachusetts.
October, 2001 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Bozeman, Montana.
June, 2001 North American Paleontological Convention, Berkeley, California.
November, 2000 Geological Society of America, Reno, Nevada (symposium co-organizer).
October, 2000 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Mexico City.
October, 2000 Sepkoski Memorial Symposium, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.
June, 2000 Society of Systematic Biologists, Bloomington, Indiana (symposium co-organizer).
May, 2000 Origin and Evolutionary Transformations of Mammals, Berlin.
October, 1999 Geological Society of America, Denver, Colorado.
October, 1999 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Denver, Colorado.
June, 1999 Society of Systematic Biologists, Madison, Wisconsin.
October, 1998 Geological Society of America, Toronto, Ontario.
October, 1998 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Snowbird, Utah.
July, 1998 Origins of the Mammal Orders Conference, Hayama, Japan.
June, 1998 10th International Gondwana Conference, Cape Town, South Africa.
June, 1998 Society of Systematic Biologists, Vancouver, British Columbia.
October, 1997 Geological Society of America, Salt Lake City, Utah.
October, 1997 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Chicago, Illinois.
June, 1997 Society of Systematic Biologists, Boulder, Colorado.
May, 1997 American Geophysical Union, Baltimore, Maryland.
April, 1997 Center for Biodiversity and Conservation Spring Symposium, American Museum of Natural History, New York.
October, 1996 Geological Society of America, Denver, Colorado.
October, 1996 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History, New York.
June, 1996 North American Paleontological Convention, Field Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.
November, 1995 Geological Society of America, New Orleans, Louisiana.
November, 1995 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
July, 1995 Society of Systematic Biologists, Montreal, Quebec.
October, 1994 Geological Society of America, Seattle, Washington.
October, 1994 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
August, 1994 Ecological Society of America, Knoxville, Tennessee.
June, 1994 Society of Systematic Biologists, Athens, Georgia.
October, 1993 Geological Society of America, Boston, Massachusetts.
October, 1993 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
June, 1993 Society of Systematic Biologists, Snowbird, Utah.
October, 1992 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario.
October, 1992 Geological Society of America, Cincinatti, Ohio.
July, 1992 North American Paleontological Convention, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, Illinois.
October, 1991 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, San Diego Natural History Museum, San Diego, California.
October, 1991 Geological Society of America, San Diego, California.
October, 1990 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Ks.
October, 1988 Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta.

Invited seminars

  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Cambridge University
  • CosmoCaixa Museum, Madrid
  • Dartmouth College
  • Estacion Biologica de Doñana, Sevilla
  • Field Museum of Natural History
  • Harvard University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Macquarie University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin
  • National Museum of Natural History
  • Oxford University
  • San Diego State University
  • Santa Fe Institute
  • Stanford University
  • State University of New York, Stony Brook
  • Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • Universität Leipzig
  • University of Arizona
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, Riverside
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Colorado, Boulder
  • University of Michigan
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Southern California
  • University or Sydney
  • University of Washington