Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Richard Bambach

Research Associate
Department / Division
  • Ph. D. Yale University 1969
  • M. S. Yale University 1964
  • B. A. Johns Hopkins University 1957
Research Interests

My main focus is on paleoecology, especially paleocommunity ecology, change in ecosystem structure over time, and patterns of change in marine diversity over time. More specific topics include:
   1) Utilization of ecospace and change in ecosystems over time
   2) The influence of ecospace utilization on diversity
   3) Distinguishing biological signals from taphonomic noise in fossil assemblages
   4) The varied nature of mass extinction events
   5) The implications of periodicity signals detected in diversity over time
   6) The interaction between origination and extinction in controlling diversity
   7) The asymmetry of trends in origination and extinction over time within taxa

  • Bennington, J. Bret, DiMichele, William A., Badgley, Catherine, Bambach, Richard K., Barrett, Paul M., Behrensmeyer, Anna K., Bobe, Rene, Burnham, Robyn J., Daeschler, Edward B., Van Dam, Jan, Eronen, Jussi T., Erwin, Douglas H., Finnegan, Seth, Holland, Steven M., Hunt, Gene, Jablonski, David, Jackson, Stephen T., Jacobs, Bonnie E., Kidwell, Susan M., Koch, Paul L., Kowalewski, Michal J., Labandeira, Conrad C., Looy, Cindy V., Lyons, Sara K., Novack-Gottshall, Philip M. et al. 2009. "Critical Issues of Scale in Paleoecology." Palaios 24 (1-2): 1– 4.
  • Bambach, Richard K., Bush, A. M., and Erwin, Douglas H. 2007. "Autecology and the realized ecospace of marine metazoa." Palaeontology 50: 1– 22.
  • Bambach, Richard K., Bush, Andrew M., and Erwin, Douglas H. 2007. "Autecology and the filling of ecospace: Key metazoan radiations." Palaeontology 50: 1– 22.
  • Bush, A. M., Kowalewski, M., Hoffmeister, A. P., Bambach, Richard K., and Daley, G. M. 2007. "Potential paleoecologic biases from size-filtering of fossils: Strategies for sieving." Palaios 22 (6): 612– 622.
  • Bush, Andrew M., Bambach, Richard K., and Daley, Gwen M. 2007. "Changes in theoretical ecospace utilization in marine fossil assemblages between the mid-Paleozoic and late Cenozoic." Paleobiology 33 (1): 76– 97.
  • Bambach, Richard K. 2006. "Phanerozoic biodiversity mass extinctions." Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 34: 127– 155.

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  • Bush, Andrew M., Bambach, Richard K., and Erwin, Douglas H. 2011. "Ecospace Utilization During the Ediacaran Radiation and the Cambrian Eco-explosion." in Quantifying the Evolution of Early Life : Numerical Approaches to the Evaluation of Fossils and Ancient Ecosystems, edited by Laflamme, Marc, Schiffbauer, James D., and Dornbos, Stephen Q., 111– 133. Topics in Geobiology. Springer Netherlands.
  • Bambach, Richard K. 2009. "From empirical paleoecology to evolutionary paleobiology: a personal journey." in The paleobiological revolution: essays on the growth of modern paleontology, edited by Sepkoski, David and Ruse, Michael., 398– 415. Chicago & London: University of Chicago 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.