Research Scientist, Palaeobiology, and Director, The Beaty Centre for Species Discovery
Danielle Fraser studies the palaeoecology and evolution of Cenozoic-Era (66 million years to present) mammals.
- Evolutionary biology.
- Stable-isotope palaeoecology.
- Historical ecology of extant megafauna.
- Functional morphology.
- Phylogenetic approaches.
- Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, District of Columbia, 2015–2016.
- Ph.D., Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, 2010–2015.
- M.Sc., University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, 2008–2010.
- B.Sc., University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, 2003–2007.
Danielle Fraser's research is focused on understanding how mammals and the communities in which they live have evolved. She is especially interested in the conditions that led to the formation of mammal communities as we know them today. Fraser broadly studies mammalian evolution with a particular focus on their feeding adaptations as well as mammal community ecology at both small (local) and large (continental) spatial scales. Fraser uses a variety of tools to study mammal palaeoecology including functional morphology, stable isotopes, phylogenetics and computational palaeobiology.
Fraser is particularly interested in the evolution of hoofed mammals (relatives of modern horses, pigs, sheep and deer), studying their diversification, morphological and dietary evolution during the Cenozoic of North America.
Main Research Project
- Using an eco-evolutionary framework to study Cenozoic (66 Ma to present) mammal responses to abiotic and biotic perturbation.
- Director, The Beaty Centre for Species Discovery.
- Adjunct Research Professor, Biology, Carleton University.
- Adjunct Research Professor, Earth Sciences, Carleton University.
- Research Collaborator, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
- Education and Outreach Grant Committee, Paleontological Society.
Matthew Brenning (Ph.D. student, Earth Sciences, Carleton University).
Brigid Christison (M.Sc. student, Biology, Carleton University).
Zoe Landry (M.Sc. student, Biology, Carleton University).
Blue Hunter-Moffatt (B.Sc. (Hons.) and NSERC USRA student, Earth Sciences, Carleton University).
Emily Dyer (B.Sc. (Hons.), Earth Sciences, Carleton University).
Personal research page
Google Scholar Profile
Education and Outreach Grant, Paleontological Society
Canadian Society of Vertebrate Palaeontology
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Biology, Carleton University
Earth Sciences, Carleton University
Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems
Refereed Journal Papers
S.A.F. Darroch, D. Fraser, and M.M. Casey. (In press). The preservation potential of terrestrial biogeographic patterns. Proceedings of the Royal Society B; RSPB-2020-0901.
Pineda-Munoz, S., A.M. Jukar, K. Amatangelo, W.M. Balk, W.A. Barr, A.K. Behrensmeyer, J.L. Blois, M. Davis, A. Du, J.T. Eronen, D. Fraser, N.J. Gotelli, C. Looy, J.H. Miller, L.C. Soul, A.B. Tóth, A. Villaseñor, S. Wing, S.K. Lyons. 2021. Body mass-related changes in mammal community assembly patterns during the late Quaternary of North America. Ecography 44: 56–66. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ecog.05027
Fraser, D., L.C. Soul, M.A. Balk, W.A. Barr, A.K. Behrensmeyer, A. Du, J. Eronen, J.T. Faith, N.J. Gotelli, G. Graves, A.M. Jukar, C.V. Looy, J.H. Miller, S. Pineda-Munoz, A.B. Shupinski, A.B. Tóth, A. Villaseñor, and S.K. Lyons. 2021. Investigating biotic interactions in deep time. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 38: 61–75. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169534720302500
Fraser, D. and S.K. Lyons. 2020. Mammal community structure across the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. The American Naturalist 196: 271–290. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/709819
Tóth, A., S.K. Lyons, W.A. Barr, A.K. Behrensmeyer, J.L. Blois, R. Bobe, M. Davis, A. Du, J.T. Eronen, J.T. Faith, D. Fraser, N.J. Gotelli, G.R. Graves, A.M. Jukar, J.H. Miller, S. Pineda-Munoz, L.C. Soul, A. Villaseñor, and J. Alroy. 2019. Reorganization of surviving mammal communities after the end-Pleistocene megafaunal extinction. Science 365: 1305–1308. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6459/1305
Fraser, D., R.J. Haupt, and W.A. Barr. 2018. Phylogenetic signal in tooth wear dietary niche proxies: what it means for those in the field. Ecology and Evolution 8: 11363–11367. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.4540
Fraser, D., R.J. Haupt, and W.A. Barr. 2018. Phylogenetic signal in tooth wear dietary niche proxies. Ecology and Evolution 8: 5355–5368. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ece3.4052
Fraser, D. and S.K. Lyons. 2017. Biotic interchange has structured Western Hemisphere mammal communities. Global Ecology and Biogeography 26: 1408–1422. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/geb.12667/abstract
Boessenecker, R.W., D. Fraser, M. Churchill, and J.H. Geisler. 2017. A toothless dwarf dolphin (Odontoceti: Xenorophidae) points to explosive feeding diversification in modern whales (Neoceti). Proceedings of the Royal Society B 284: 20170531. http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/284/1861/20170531
Fraser, D. 2017. Can latitudinal richness gradients be measured in the fossil record? Paleobiology 43: 479–494. http://paleobiol.geoscienceworld.org/content/43/3/479
Lyons, S.K., J.H. Miller, D. Fraser, F.A. Smith, A. Boyer, E. Lindsey, A.M. Mychajliw. 2016. The changing role of mammal life histories in late Quaternary extinction vulnerability on continents and islands. Biology Letters 12: 20160342. http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/12/6/20160342.abstract
Fraser, D., R. Gorelick and N. Rybczynski. 2015. Macroevolution and climate change influence phylogenetic community assembly of North American hoofed mammals. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 114: 485–494. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bij.12457/abstract
Hoffmann, J., D. Fraser and M.T. Clementz. 2015. Controlled feeding trials with ungulates: A new application of in vivo dental molding to assess the abrasive factors of microwear. Journal of Experimental Biology 218: 1538–1547. http://jeb.biologists.org/content/early/2015/04/06/jeb.118406.abstract
Fraser, D., C. Hassall, R. Gorelick and N. Rybczynski. 2014. Climate drives spatiotemporal patterns of Cenozoic mammal beta diversity and latitudinal turnover gradients in North America. PLOS One 9: e106499. http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0106499
Cullen, T.M., D. Fraser, N. Rybczynski and C. Schroder-Adams. 2014. Early evolution of sexual dimorphism and polygyny within Pinnipedia. Evolution 68: 1469–1484. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/evo.12360/abstract
Fraser, D., T. Zybutz, E. Lightner and J.M. Theodor. 2014. Scoring mesowear in the mandibular cheek teeth of ruminants: a new scheme for increasing paleoecological sample sizes. Journal of Zoology 294: 41–48. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jzo.12149/abstract
Fraser, D. and N. Rybczynski. 2014. Complexity of ruminant masticatory evolution. Journal of Morphology 275: 1093–1102. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jmor.20284/abstract
Fraser, D. and J.M. Theodor. 2013. Ungulate diets reveal patterns of grassland evolution in North America. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 369: 409–421. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031018212006311
Fraser, D. and J.M. Theodor. 2011. Comparing ungulate dietary proxies using discriminant function analysis. Journal of Morphology 272: 1513–1526. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jmor.11001/full
Fraser, D. and J.M. Theodor. 2011. Anterior dentary shape as an indicator of diet in ruminant artiodactyls. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 31: 1366–1375. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02724634.2011.605404
Fraser, D. and J.M. Theodor. 2010. The use of gross dental wear in dietary studies of extinct lagomorphs. Journal of Paleontology 84: 720–729. http://jpaleontol.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/content/abstract/84/4/720
Fraser, D., J.C. Mallon, R. Furr and J.M. Theodor. 2009. Improving the repeatability of low magnification microwear methods utilizing high dynamic range imaging. PALAIOS 24: 818–825. http://palaios.sepmonline.org/content/24/12/818.abstract
In the Museum's Blog
Science in Isolation: Online Resources Keep Palaeobiologists Busy
Evolutionary family trees are often constructed based on observations of the specimens in museum collections. But without current access to these collections, how are palaeobiologists and evolutionary biologists able to continue working? Join the museum’s Danielle Fraser as she explores the wide range of resources available online to help keep researchers busy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biting into the Past
Paleontologist Danielle Fraser blogs about why finding a fossil tooth always gives her a big smile. Continue reading