Professor of the Graduate School
Phone: (510) 642-3429
My research seeks new understanding of the diversity of structure and function in living and fossil organisms by integrating formal (morphogenetic) historical (phylogenetic) and functional (adaptive) explanations. Theoretical, constructional, evolutionary, and develop-mental morphology provide the conceptual and practical tools that I use to analyze structure and function. Molluscs are the primary subject organisms for defining principles of structure. I have developed new model systems: the gastropod radula, suspension feeding devices, and the gastropod larval shell, as well as novel tools that include design spaces, ecospaces, ethospaces, and developmental spaces in which phylogenetic trajectories illustrate macroevolutionary trends and patterns.
As paleobiologist and geologist, I am investigating the taphonomic assembly and patterning of shell beds in the fossil record and the responses of community architecture to global climate change during the Cenozoic Era. Recently completed projects include an astrobiological theory of the role of microbial-metazoan interactions in extreme environments, an analysis of the "problem of similarity," and an analysis of changes in shell biomineralization at metamorphosis that are reflected in funeous composite bioinorganic materials. Students in my laboratory develop their own research questions and systems. We share a common passion for evolutionary history and structure that includes the use of molecular tools.
Hickman, C.S. 2003. Evidence for abrupt EoceneÃ?Oligocene molluscan faunal change in the Pacific Northwest. Chapter 5, In From Greenhouse to Icehouse: The Marine EoceneÃ?Oligocene Transition, 71Ã?87, ed. D.R. Prothero, E.A. Nesbitt, and L. Ivany. New York: Columbia University Press, 541 pp.
Hickman, C.S. and M.G. Hadfield. 2001. Larval muscle contraction fails to produce torsion in a trochoidean gastropod. Biological Bulletin200:257-260.
Hickman, C.S. 2001. Evolution and development of gastropod larval shell morphology: experimental evidence for mechanical defense and repair. Evolution & Development 3(1):18-23.
Hickman, C.S. 1999. Larvae in invertebrate development and evolution. In The origin and evolution of larval forms , ed. B.K. Hall and M.H. Wake, 21-59. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 425 pp.
Hickman, C.S. 1999. Adaptive function of gastropod larval shell features. Invertebrate Biology 118(4):346-356.