Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Selina R. (Lena) Cole

Department / Division
  • B.Sc., James Madison University
  • Ph.D., The Ohio State University
  • A.A., Danville Community College
Additional Resources

Have a look at Lena's Research Site here.

Curatorial Discipline

Fossil Crinoids; Paleozoic Invertebrates

Research Interests

Lena is a research geologist and curator of fossil crinoids and other fossil invertebrates at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. After receiving her PhD from The Ohio State University in 2017, Lena completed postdoctoral fellowships at the NMNH (2017-2018) and American Museum of Natural History (2018-2020). Her research uses the marine invertebrate fossil record to understand macroevolutionary patterns and their driving processes. In particular, Lena is an expert on fossil crinoids (Echinodermata; feather stars and sea lilies) and has described over 20 new crinoid species. Crinoid taxonomy and systematics constitutes a major part of her research, and she frequently uses the fossil record of crinoids as a model group for studying macroevolutionary questions. Research questions she focuses on primarily relate to (1) extinction, including extinction risk, recovery, and evolutionary consequences of mass extinctions and (2) community paleoecology, including the assembly and phylogenetic structure of communities and how they change through time.

  • Ausich, William, I., Wright, David F., Cole, Selina R., and Koniecki, Joseph M. 2018. "Disparid and hybocrinid crinoids (Echinodermata) from the Upper Ordovician (lower Katian) Brechin Lagerstatte of Ontario." Journal of Paleontology, 850–871. 92, (5), NEW YORK; 32 AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS, NEW YORK, NY 10013-2473 USA: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS.
  • Cole, Selina R., Ausich, William I., Wright, David F., and Koniecki, Joseph M. 2018. "An echinoderm Lagerstätte from the Upper Ordovician (Katian), Ontario: taxonomic re-evaluation and description of new dicyclic camerate crinoids." Journal of Paleontology, 488–505. 92, (3), Oxford, England: Cambridge University Press.
  • Cole, Selina R. 2017. "Phylogeny and morphologic evolution of the Ordovician Camerata (Class Crinoidea, Phylum Echinodermata)." Journal of Paleontology, 815–828. 91, (04),
  • Cole, Selina R., Ausich, William I., Colmenar, Jorge, and Zamora, Samuel. 2017. "Filling the Gondwanan gap: paleobiogeographic implications of new crinoids from the Castillejo and Fombuena formations (Middle and Upper Ordovician, Iberian Chains, Spain)." Journal of Paleontology, 715–734. 91, (4), New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Wright, David F., Ausich, William I., Cole, Selina R., Peter, Mark E., and Rhenberg, Elizabeth C. 2017. "Phylogenetic taxonomy and classification of the Crinoidea (Echinodermata)." Journal of Paleontology, 829–846. 91, (4), New York: Cambridge University Press.

... more... less