515-271-1568 (Office Phone)
Areas of Expertise
|Instructor at Marshall University 2012-2013|
|Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center 2009-2012|
|Ph.D. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles 2008|
|M.S. Zoology, University of Florida, 2003|
|B.S. Zoology University of Florida, 2000|
I am a vertebrate paleontologist and a functional morphologist that specializes in mammalian carnivores. I am interested in how we can examine ecology in both living species and in the fossil record using morphology. I am particularly interested in how climate change and the extinction events at the end of the Pleistocene (10,000 years ago) have affected the morphology and ecology of living and Pleistocene species.
I am currently the lead investigator at Natural Trap Cave, where we are excavating Ice Age mammals each summer to determine the roles that climate change plays in both the morphology and genetics of the mammals found at this site. Additionally, we are using a microfaunal and pollen record to recreate Pleistocene climate in mid-latitude North America.
I am also involved in several other projects related to Pleistocene mammals, including dire wolves and sabertooth cats of Rancho La Brea, and an investigation of a frozen Beringian wolf puppy from the Yukon in Canada.
Asterisks indicate student authors.
- O’Keefe, F.R., R. E. Dunn, E. M. Weitzel, M. R. Waters, W. J. Binder, J. R. Southon, J. E. Cohen, J. A. Meachen, L.R.G. DeSantis, J. B. Coltrain, B. T. Fuller, A. B. Farrell, G. T. Takeuchi, E.L. Lindsey. In Revision. Climate change primed southern California for human-ignited ecosystem collapse 13,200 years ago. Science.
- DeSantis, L.R.G., R. Feranec, J. Southon, K. Fox-Dobbs, T. Cerling, J. Harris, W. Binder, J. Cohen, A. Farrell, E. Lindsey, J. Meachen, F. R. O’Keefe, and G. Takeuchi. In Review. On the relationship between collagen- and carbonate derived carbon isotopes with implications for the inference of carnivore dietary behavior. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.
- Cohen, J.E., K.A. Szymanski*, M.J. Davis*, N. Noriega*, J.A. Frederickson*, L.R.G. DeSantis, M.H. Engel, E.L. Lindsey, J.A. Meachen, F. R. O’Keefe, E. Scott, J.R. Southon, W.J. Binder. In Revision. Assessing migration in Pleistocene herbivores at Rancho La Brea – yea or neigh? Palaios.
- Grass, A., J. Jones*, A. Campbell, P. Higgins, J.A. Meachen. In Press. A geometric morphometric evaluation of equid tooth shape at Natural Trap Cave, Wyoming. Quaternary International, Special Issue.
- Higgins, P., J.A. Meachen, D. Lovelace. In Revision. Were pronghorns (Antilocapra) primary prey for North American cheetahs (Miracinonyx)? Quaternary International, Special Issue.
- Meachen, J.A., C.M. Redman, B.M. Gilbert, R. Reppen, S. Chomko, K. Lippincott, B.H. Breithaupt, D. Lovelace, and J. Laden. In Press. A history of paleontological excavations at the Pleistocene fossil site Natural Trap Cave, Wyoming. Journal of Paleontological Techniques.
- Mahan, S., J. R. Wood, D. M. Lovelace, J. Laden, J.L. McGuire, and J.A. Meachen. In Press. Illuminating a dark and dangerous hole: Interpreting historical and recently acquired geochronology, while making sense of the divergence of stratigraphy and ages at Natural Trap Cave, Wyoming. Quaternary International, Special Issue.
- McGuire, J.L., A. Woodruff, J. Iacono, J. Sethna*, J.A. Schap*, C. Redman and J.A. Meachen. In Press. Evaluating the taphonomic consistency of microvertebrate assemblages at Natural Trap Cave, Wyoming, USA. Quaternary International, Special Issue.
- Lovelace, D. C. M. Redman, B. Schubert, S. Mahan, T. Minckley, J. R. Wood, J. L. McGuire, J. Laden, K. Bitterman; H. Heiniger, L. Fenderson, A. Cooper, K. J. Mitchell, J. A. Meachen. In Press. An age-depth model and revised stratigraphy of vertebrate-bearing units in Natural Trap Cave, Wyoming. Quaternary International, Special Issue.
- Dunn, R.H., A. Beresheim, A. Gubatina, K. Bitterman, L. Butaric, K. Bejes*, S. Kennedy*, S. Markham*, D. Miller*, M. Mrvoljak*, L. Roge-Jones*, J. Stumpner*, C. Walter*, J. A. Meachen. In Press. Muscular anatomy of the forelimb of the tiger (Panthera tigris). Journal of Anatomy.
- Mitchell, K.J., P. Bover, A.T. Salis*, C. Mudge, H. Heiniger, M. Thompson, B. Hockett, L.S. Weyrich, A. Cooper, and J. A. Meachen. In Press. Genetic evidence for Pleistocene gene flow through the ice-free corridor from extinct horses and camels from Natural Trap Cave, Wyoming. Quaternary International, Special Issue.
- Schap*, J. A., J.A. Meachen, J.L. McGuire. In Press. Microfauna relative abundance through time at Natural Trap Cave, Wyoming. Quaternary International, Special Issue.
- Redman, C.M., J.M. Moore, D.M. Lovelace and J.A. Meachen. In Press. The Rank Abundance Distribution of Large-Bodied Vertebrates from Natural Trap Cave, Wyoming. Quaternary International, Special Issue.
- O’Keefe, F.R., J. Meachen, and P.D. Polly. In Press. On information rank deficiency in phenotypic covariance matrices. Systematic Biology.
- Salis*, A.T., G. Gower, B. W. Schubert, L. H. Soibelzon, H. Heiniger, A. Prieto, F. Prevosti, J. Meachen, A. Cooper, and K. J. Mitchell. In Press. Ancient genomes reveal hybridisation between extinct short-faced bears and the extant spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus). Current Biology.
- Salis*, A.T., S. Bray, M.S.Y. Lee, H. Heiniger, R. Barnett, J.A. Burns, V. Doronichev, D. Fedje, L. Golovanova, C. R. Harington, B. Hockett, P. Kosintsev, X. Lai, Q. Mackie, S. Vasil’ev, J. Weinstock, N. Yamaguchi, J. Meachen, A. Cooper, and K. J. Mitchell. In Press. Lions and brown bears colonized North America in multiple synchronous waves of dispersal across the Bering Land Bridge. Molecular Biology and Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.16267
- Redman, C. S. Tomiya, K. Bitterman, K. Cain, and J. Meachen. 2021. Utilizing inquiry-driven science outreach to curate Natural Trap Cave fossils and inspire the pursuit of STEM careers. Evolution: Education and Outreach 14: 13, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12052-021-00152-0.
- Sacks, B. N., K. J. Mitchell, C. B. Quinn, L. M. Hennelly, M.-H. Strander Sinding, J. Statham, S. Preckler-Quisquater, S. R. Fain, L. Kistler, S.L. Vanderzwan, L.A.F. Frantz, J. Meachen and E.A. Ostrander. 2021. Historical mitochondrial genomes reveal a Pleistocene origin of the red wolf. Molecular Ecology 30: 4292-4304.
- Cohen, J.E., L.R.G. DeSantis, E. Lindsey, J.A. Meachen, F.R. O’Keefe, J. Southon, and W.J. Binder. 2021. Dietary stability inferred from dental mesowear scores from the Late Pleistocene of Rancho La Brea and opportunistic feeding in large ungulates. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 570: 110360.
- Perri A. R., K. J. Mitchell, A. Mouton, S. Alvarez Carretero, A. Hulme-Beaman, J. Haile, A. Jamieson, J. Meachen, A. T. Lin, B. W. Schubert, C. Ameen, P. Bover, S. Brace, A. Carmagnini, C. Carøe, J. A. Samaniego Castruita, J. C. Chatters, K. Dobney, M. Dos Reis, A. Evin, P. Gaubert, S. Gopalakrishnan, G. Gower, H. Heinger, K. Helgen, J. Kapp, A. Linderholm, A. T. Ozga, S. Presslee, A. Salis, N. F. Saremi, C. Shew, K. Skerry, M. Thompson, M. J. Collins, M.-H. S. Sinding, M. T. P. Gilbert, A. C. Stone, B. Shapiro, B. Van Valkenburgh, R. K. Wayne, G. Larson, A. Cooper, and L. Frantz. 2021. Dire wolves were the last of an ancient New World canid lineage. Nature 591:87-91.
- Meachen, J.A., M. J. Wooller, B. D. Barst, J. Funck, C. Crann, J. Heath, M. Cassatt-Johnstone, B. Shapiro, E. Hall, S. Hewitson, and G. Zazula. 2021. A mummified Pleistocene gray wolf pup. Current Biology 30: R1467-R1468.
- Meachen, J.A., A. Schmidt-Künzel, L. Marker. 2020. Regional variation in the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) revisited: morphology of wild and captive populations. Zoo Biology 39:83-96.
- Dunn, R.H., C. Cooper*, J. Lemert*, N. Mironov*, and J.A. Meachen. 2019. Ecological signal in the scapholunar of living and extinct carnivorans. Journal of Morphology 280: 1197-1206. (Corresponding author)
- Richards, S.M., N. Hovhannisyan, M. Gilliham, B. Lindberg-Møeller, B. Skadhauge, H. Heiniger, B. Llamas, K. J. Mitchell, J. Meachen, G. B. Fincher, J. J. Austin, and A. Cooper. 2019. In-house synthesis of RNA probes for hybridization capture enrichment of modest size targets. PLoS ONE: e0209499. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0209499
- Tomiya, S. and J.A. Meachen. 2018. Postcranial diversity and recent ecomorphic impoverishment of North American gray wolves. Biology Letters 14: 20170613.
- Binder, W.J., K. Cervantes* and J.A. Meachen. 2016. Measures of relative dentary strength in La Brea Smilodon fatalis over time. PLoS ONE 11: e0162270.(Binder and Meachen are dual senior authors)
- Meachen, J.A., A.L. Brannick* and T.J. Fry*. 2016. Extinct Beringian wolf morphotype found in the continental U.S. has implications for wolf migration and evolution. Ecology and Evolution 6: 3430–3438.
- Brannick, A.L.*, J.A. Meachen and F.R. O’Keefe. 2015. Microevolution of jaw morphometrics in the dire wolf, Canis dirus, at Rancho La Brea. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Science Series 42: 23-32.
- Meachen, J.A., R.H. Dunn and L. Werdelin. 2015. Carnivore postcranial disparity: adaptation to climate and habitat. Ecography 39: 553-560.
- Goswami, A., W.J. Binder, J.A. Meachen and F.R. O’Keefe. 2015. From shrews to sabre-toothed cats: a deep time perspective on phenotypic integration and modularity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 112: 4891-4896.
- Meachen, J.A., A.C. Janowicz*, J.E. Avery* and R.W. Sadleir. 2015. Ecological changes in coyotes (Canis latrans) in response to the Ice Age megafaunal extinctions. PLoS ONE 9: e116041.
- Meachen, J., F.R. O’Keefe and R.W. Sadleir. 2014. Evolution in the sabertooth cat, Smilodon fatalis in response to Pleistocene climate change. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 27: 714-723.
- Meachen, J. and T.E. Roberts. 2014. A novel multi-scale assessment of community assembly across time, space, and functional niche. The American Naturalist 183: 585-599.
- O’Keefe, F.R., J. Meachen, E.V. Fet* and A. Brannick*. 2013. Clinal shape variation in the cranium of the North American gray wolf and its correlation with geographic and climatic variables. Journal of Mammalogy 94:1223-1236.
- Samuels, J.X., J. Meachen and S.A. Sakai*. 2013. Postcranial morphology and locomotor habits of living and extinct carnivorans. Journal of Morphology 274: 121-146.
- Meachen, J. and J.X. Samuels. 2012. Evolution in coyotes (Canis latrans) in response to the megafaunal extinction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 109: 4191-4196.
- Meachen-Samuels, J. 2012. Morphological convergence of the prey-killing arsenal of sabertooth predators. Paleobiology 38: 1-14. The first featured article for the journal Paleobiology.
- Van Valkenburgh, B., A. Curtis, J. X. Samuels, D. Bird, B. Fulkerson, J. Meachen-Samuels, and G. Slater. 2011. Aquatic adaptations in the nose of carnivorans: evidence from the turbinates. Journal of Anatomy 218: 298-310.
- Meachen-Samuels, J. and B. Van Valkenburgh. 2010. Radiographs reveal exceptional forelimb strength in the sabertooth cat, Smilodon fatalis. PLoS ONE 5: e11412.
- Meachen-Samuels, J. 2010. Radiographic analysis of the humerus in the Felidae and the Canidae. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 17: 193-209.
- Meachen-Samuels, J. and W. J. Binder. 2010. Age determination and sexual dimorphism in Panthera atrox and Smilodon fatalis (Felidae) from Rancho La Brea. Journal of Zoology, London 280: 271-279.
- Samuels, J.X., J.A. Meachen-Samuels and P.A. Gensler. 2009. The first Mid-Blancan occurrence of Agriotherium (Ursidae) in North America: a record from Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, Idaho. Journal of Paleontology 83: 597-603. First and second authors contributed equally
- Meachen-Samuels, J. and B. Van Valkenburgh. 2009. Forelimb indicators of prey-size preference in the Felidae. Journal of Morphology 270: 729-744.
- Meachen-Samuels, J. and B. Van Valkenburgh. 2009. Craniodental indicators of prey size preference in the Felidae. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 96: 784-799.
- Meachen, J. 2005. A new species of Lamine from the Plio-Pleistocene of Florida. Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History 45(4): 435-447.
- Webb, S. D. and J. Meachen. 2004. On the origin of the Lamine Camelidae with a new genus from the late Miocene of the high plains. Bulletin of Carnegie Museum 36: 349-362.