Research Scientist, Palaeobiology

Danielle Fraser.

Contact Information

Tel: 613.566.4722
Fax: 613.364.4027

Danielle Fraser studies the palaeoecology and evolution of Cenozoic-Era (66 million years to present) mammals.


  • Palaeoecology
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Functional morphology
  • Phylogenetic approaches
  • Mammals.


  • 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.

Professional Services

  • Adjunct Research Professor, Earth Sciences, Carleton University
  • Education and Outreach Grant Committee, Paleontological Society


  • Kim Duff (Carleton University)
  • Brigid Christison (Carleton University).



Refereed Journal Papers

Fraser, D. (In press). Can latitudinal richness gradients be measured in the fossil record? Paleobiology (PAB-OR-2016-00406).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Fraser, D. and N. Rybczynski. 2014. Complexity of ruminant masticatory evolution. Journal of Morphology 275: 1093–1102.

Fraser, D. and J.M. Theodor. 2013. Ungulate diets reveal patterns of grassland evolution in North America. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 369: 409–421.

Fraser, D. and J.M. Theodor. 2011. Comparing ungulate dietary proxies using discriminant function analysis. Journal of Morphology 272: 1513–1526.

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.

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.

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.