Welcome to the website of James C. Lamsdell,
Assistant Professor of Paleobiology at West Virginia University


I am an Assistant Professor of Paleobiology in the Department of Geology and Geography at West Virginia University, a public land-grant research-intensive (R1) institution and West Virginia's flagship university since its establishment in 1867.

My research focuses on macroevolution and paleoecology through the lens of paleontology and paleobiology, particularly in aquatic arthropods such as marine chelicerates (relatives of spiders, mites, scorpions etc.). I use phylogenetics to test the relationships of extinct organisms, and with these hypotheses of relationships I test for patterns of selectivity in macroevolutionary events such as mass extinctions. I have published extensively on fossil horseshoe crabs and the extinct eurypterids, and have ongoing research projects focusing on the Devonian of the Appalachian Basin and the Late Devonian extinction.

Interested in joining the lab? Contact me!

Transcripts and test scores are due December 15th, completed application due January 1st.
Check the Department of Geology and Geography's admission guidelines here.



My research combines primary paleontological data with macroevolutionary theory to explore the interrelationship of evolution and ecology in deep time. I have particular expertise in Paleozoic arthropods, including eurypterids and horseshoe crabs.

Learn More →

Lamsdell lab

The paleontology lab is constructed around a central work space for specimen study with microscopes and camera stand for specimen imaging. Alongside preparation and computing equipment, the lab hosts cabinets for safe specimen storage.

Explore the Lab →