Staff Profiles

Allison Bronson

PhD Student, Richard Gilder Graduate School
PhD Student, Richard Gilder Graduate School

Curriculum Vitae (short version)
  • Education

      • PhD in Comparative Biology, Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History, expected graduation: 2018.
      • BS, cum laude, Marine Biology & Zoology (Minor, Botany & Scientific Diving), Humboldt State University, 2014.
  • Research Interests

    Research Interests

      An alumna of Humboldt State University, Allison has worked on numerous projects in diverse disciplines, including the olfaction of toxic newts, description of Cretaceous fungi and Devonian plants, and ecology of predatory marine snails. She is drawn to ‘understudied’ systems and questions.

      As a PhD candidate with John G. Maisey at the AMNH, Allison studies the evolution and systematics of fossil Chondrichthyes from North America. Exceptionally preserved fossil cartilage provides new and exciting opportunities for chondrichthyan paleontology. Using high resolution CT and synchrotron scanning elucidates internal anatomical features of fossils without damaging valuable specimens. New fossils from the Mississippian (320 Ma) Fayetteville Shale of Arkansas are providing valuable insight into the ‘stem group’ of chondrichthyans, and this assemblage serves as a window into post-extinction diversification, as it falls right after the end-Devonian mass extinction. Allison studies the morphology and anatomy of these stem cartilaginous fishes to better understand the chondrichthyan Tree of Life, and uses the paleoenvironment and community dynamics of the Fayetteville Shale to draw conclusions about the diversification of early sharks.

      Stemming from her undergraduate work on newt olfaction, she is also working with Dr. Melanie Stiassny to characterize the unique olfactory mechanisms of Claroteid catfishes (family Auchenoglanidinae) from the Congo River Basin. Allison has long been interested in histological laboratory techniques, and this work combines serial sectioning, histological staining, and soft tissue CT scanning.

  • Teaching Experience

    Teaching Experience