Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Conrad Labandeira

Senior Research Geologist and Curator of Fossil Arthropods
Department / Division
  • B.A., California State University, Fresno
  • M.S., University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
  • Ph.D., University of Chicago
Research Interests

Interactions between plants and insects in the fossil record; terrestrial fossil arthropods, particularly insects; evolution of insect mouthparts; fossil insect diversity.


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  • Mccoy, Victoria E., Wappler, Torsten, and Labandeira, Conrad C. 2021. "Exceptional Fossilization of Ecological Interactions: Plant Defenses During the Four Major Expansions of Arthropod Herbivory in the Fossil Record." in Fossilization: Understanding the Material Nature of Ancient Plants and Animals, edited by Gee, C. T., Mccoy, Victoria E., and Sander, P. M., 187– 220. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 2019. "The fossil record of insect mouthparts: Innovation, functional convergence and associations with other organisms." in Insect Mouthparts--Form, Function, Development and Performance, edited by Krenn, Harald., 567– 671. Zoological Monographs (5). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. and Sues, Hans-Dieter. 2019. "Species Interaction.." in Foundations of Paleoecology: Classic Papers with Commentaries, edited by Lyons, S. Kathleen, Behrensmeyer, Anna K., and Wagner, Peter J., 497– 500. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 2018. "The deep-time history of insect biodiversity." in Insect biodiversity : science and society. Volume II, edited by Foottit, Robert G. and Adler, Peter H., 723– 788. Chichester, UK: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C., Anderson, John M., and Anderson, Heidi M. 2017. "Expansion of Arthropod Herbivory in Late Triassic South Africa: The Molteno Biota, Aasvoëlberg 411 Site and Developmental Biology of a Gall." in The Late Triassic World: Earth in a Time of Transition, edited by Tanner, Larry H., 623– 719. Topics in Geobiology. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, Cham.
  • Buatois, Luìs A., Labandeira, Conrad C., Mángano, M. Gabriela, Cohen, Andrew, and Voigt, Sebastian. 2016. "The Mesozoic Lacustrine Revolution." in The Trace Fossil Record of Major Evolutionary Events. Volume 2: Mesozoic and Cenozoic. (Topics in Geobiology v.40), edited by Mángano, M. G. and Buatois, Luis A., 179– 324. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 2016. "How I became a paleobiologist." in We Discover, edited by Guttman, Marc., 312– 328. Marc Guttman.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C., Rodríguez-Tovar, Francisco J., and Uchman, Alfred. 2016. "The End-Cretaceous Extinction and Ecosystem Change." in The Trace-Fossil Record of Major Evolutionary Events, edited by Mángano, M. Gabriela and Buatois, Luis A., 265– 300. Topics in Geobiology ; vol. 2.. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
  • Minter, Nicholas J., Buatois, Luis A., Mángano, M. Gabriela, Davies, Neil S., Gibling, Martin R., and Labandeira, Conrad C. 2016. "The Establishment of Continental Ecosystems." in The Trace-Fossil Record of Major Evolutionary Events. v.1: Precambrian and Paleozoic, edited by Mángano, M. Gabriela and Buatois, Luis A., 205– 324. Topics in Geobiology 39. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.
  • Wilf, Peter and Labandeira, Conrad C. 2015. "The Fossil Record of Mutualisms." in Mutualism, edited by Bronstein, Judith L., 39– 41. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 2014. "Why Did Terrestrial Insect Diversity Not Increase During the Angiosperm Radiation? Mid-Mesozoic, Plant-Associated Insect Lineages Harbor Clues." in Evolutionary Biology: Genome Evolution, Speciation, Coevolution and Origin of Life, edited by Pontarotti, Pierre., 261– 299. Springer International Publishing.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 2014. "Amber." in Reading and Writing of the Fossil Record: Preservational Pathways to Exceptional Fossilization: Presented as a Paleontological Society Short Course at the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America, Vancouver, British Columbia, October 18, 2014, edited by LaFlamme, M., Schiffbauer, J. D., and Darroch, S. A. F., 163– 215. Paleontological Society Papers v.20. Ithaca: Paleontological Society.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 2012. "Evidence for Outbreaks from the Fossil Record of Insect Herbivory." in Insect Outbreaks Revisited, edited by Barbosa, Pedro, Letourneau, Deborah K., and Agrawal, Anurag A., 267– 290. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 2010. "Pollination mutualism in insects before the evolution of flowers." in McGraw Hill encyclopedia of science & technology, edited by Licker, Marc, Blumel, David, and Malmoli, Stefan., 10th ed. 250– 252. McGraw Hill.
  • Shih, ChungKun, Labandeira, Conrad C., Ren, Dong, and Zhang, Weiing. 2010. "Pollination and "flower" visits." in Silent Stories--Insect Fossil Treasures from the Dinosaur Era of Northeastern China, edited by Ren, Dong, Shih, ChungKun, Gao, Taiping, Yao, Yunzhi, and Zhao, Yunyun., 296– 310. Beijing: Science Press.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 2008. "Neuroptera." in McGraw-Hill encyclopedia of Science for 2008, edited by Licker, Marc., McGraw-Hill.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 2007. "Assessing the fossil record of plant-insect associations: ichnodata versus body-fossil data.." in Sediment-Organism Interactions: A Multifaceted Ichnology, edited by Bromley, Richard G., Buatois, Luis A., Genise, Jorge F., Mágano, M. Gabriela, and Melchor, Ricardo N., 9– 26. SEPM Special Publication (88). Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 2007. "Devonian: Insect and other arthropod associations. Carboniferous: Insect associations. Permian: Insect associations. Triassic: Insect associations. Jurassic: Insect associations. Cretaceous: Insect associations. Tertiary: Insect associations." in Brief History of the Gymnosperms: Classification, Biodiversity, Phytogeography and Ecology, edited by Anderson, John M., Anderson, Heidi M., and Cleal, Chris J., 72– 87. Strelitzia (no. 20). Pretoria: South African National Biodiversity Institute.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 2005. "Fossil history of the Diptera and their associations with plants." in The Evolutionary Biology of Flies, edited by Wiegmann, B. and Yeates, D., 217– 273. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Kowalewski, Michal, Kelley, Patricia H., Bambach, Richard K., Baumiller, Tomasz K., Bengtson, Stefan, Brett, Carleton E., Chin, Karen, Culver, Stephen J., Dietl, Gregory P., Farlow, James O., Gahn, Forest J., Haynes, Gary, Holtz, Thomas Richard, Jr., Jenkins, Ian, Labandeira, Conrad C., Lipps, JereH, Van Valkenburgh, Blaire, Vermeij, Geerat J., and Walker, Sally E. 2002. "The fossil record of predation: methods, patterns, and processes." in The Fossil Record of Predation, edited by Kowalewski, Michal and Kelley, P. atricia H., 395– 398. Paleontological Society Special Papers (8). Cambridge University Press.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 2002. "Paleobiology of predators, parasitoids, and parasites: accommodation and death in the fossil record of terrestrial invertebrates.." in The Fossil Record of Predation, edited by Kowalewski, Michal and Kelley, Patricia H., 211– 250. Paleontological Society Special Papers (8). Cambridge University Press.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 2002. "The history of associations between plants and animals." in Plant-Animal Interactions: An Evolutionary Approach, edited by Herrera, C. and Pellmyr, O., 26– 74, 248-61. Oxford, U.K.: Blackwell Science.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C., Johnson, Kirk R., and Lang, Peter. 2002. "A preliminary assessment of insect herbivory across the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary: extinction and minimal rebound." in The Hell Creek Formation and the Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary in the Northern Great Plains-An Integrated Continental Record at the End of the Cretaceous, edited by Hartman, James H., Johnson, Kirk R., and Nichols, DonaldJ., 297– 327. Geological Society of America Special Papers (361). Geological Society of America.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 2001. "The rise and diversification of insects." in Palaeobiology II, edited by Briggs, D. E. G. and Crowther, P. R., 82– 88. Oxford: Blackwell Science.
  • Johnson, Kirk R., Nichols, Donald K., Labandeira, Conrad C., and Pearson, Dean. 2000. "Devastation of Terrestrial Ecosystems at the K-T Boundary in North America: The First Calibrated Record of Plant and Animal Response to the Chixulub Impact." in Catastrophic Events & Mass Extinctions: Impacts and Beyond (Vienna, July 9-12), 85– 86. Lunar and Planetary Institute Contribution (no. 1053). Houston, Texas: Lunar and Planetary Institute.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 2000. "The paleobiology of pollination and its precursors." in Phanerozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems, edited by Gastaldo, Robert A. and DiMichele, William A., 233– 269. Paleontological Society Papers.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 1999. "Myriapods." in Encyclopedia of Paleontology, edited by Singer, R., 767– 775. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 1999. "Insects and other hexapods." in Encyclopedia of Paleontology, edited by Singer, R., 603– 624. Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 1998. "The role of insects in Late Jurassic to Middle Cretaceous ecosystems." in Lower and Middle Cretaceous Terrestrial Ecosystems. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin, edited by Lucas, Spencer G., Kirkland, J. I., and Estep, J. W., 105– 124.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 1996. "Insects." in McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology 1996, 155– 158. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 1995. "Fossil insects." in McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology for 1996, edited by Parker, S. P., 255– 258. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Beall, B. S. and Labandeira, Conrad C. 1990. "Patterns of evolution of chelicerates and tracheates." in Arthropods: Notes for a Short Course, edited by Mikulic, Donald., 257– 284. Short Courses in Paleontology (3).
  • Labandeira, Conrad C. and Beall, B. S. 1990. "Arthropod Terrestriality." in "Arthropods: Notes for a Short Course", edited by Mikulic, D., 214– 256. Short Courses in Paleontology.

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  • Labandeira, Conrad C. 2018. "The global transition from a Mesozoic-aspect to a post-Mesozoic aspect world: Major patterns of ecological and evolutionary change in plant–insect interactions." 63– 64.
  • McCoy, Victoria, Boom, Arnould, Wappler, Torsten, and Labandeira, Conrad C. 2018. "Original compounds in copal and amber from the Cretaceous to the Recent: preliminary data for investigating the preservation of defensive chemicals in fossil plants." Terra Nostra 1: 84– 85.
Web Page
  • Labandeira, Conrad C., Dunne, Jennifer A., and Williams, Richard J. 2011. "The Messel food web." In , 95– 97.
  • Labandeira, Conrad C., Wilf, Peter, Johnson, Kirk R., and Marsh, F. 2007. Guide to Insect (and Other) Damage Types on Compressed Plant Fossils (version 3.0). Smithsonian Institution.
  • Damuth, J., Behrensmeyer, Anna K., DiMichele, William A., Labandeira, Conrad C., Potts, Richard, and Wing, Scott L. 1997. ETE Database Manual. Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems Consortium.