Andrew Moore

Andrew Moore

Bell Hall 402

Sauropod dinosaurs are the largest terrestrial animals ever to have lived and are among the most diverse and abundant members of Mesozoic vertebrate faunas. Although no fewer than fifteen sauropod genera are recognized from the Middle Jurassic and early Late Jurassic of China, most of these taxa have not been adequately described and many have not been included in modern phylogenetic analyses. My dissertation focuses in large part on the anatomy and evolutionary relationships of two such poorly known Chinese sauropods, Klamelisaurus and Bellusaurus, from them Middle-Late Jurassic Shishugou Formation, both of which were briefly described over 20 years ago. A 2003 joint expedition led by my advisor, Dr. James Clark, and Dr. Xu Xing of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing recovered abundant additional material for Bellusaurus, including well-preserved representatives of many bones of the skull.

It is impossible to study sauropods without becoming interested in the axial skeleton, and the other half of my dissertation seeks to address broad questions about vertebral evolution. Specifically, I am interested in the evolution of vertebral count and regionalization in long-necked taxa like sauropods, as well as in understanding how the vertebral column accommodates macroevolutionary changes in body size. Because the fossil record is incomplete, I use modern birds - the closest living relatives of dinosaurs - to address these topics. Using the world class skeleton collections at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, I am documenting macroevolutionary patterns in axial regionalization in waterbirds and other extant avians. In addition, I am using micro-CT scans of stork vertebrae to assess how vertebral morphology responds to evolutionary changes in body size and extent of skeletal pneumaticity, and to test whether morphological variation is concentrated in particular regions of the vertebral column.
Jan. 2017  Jurassic Foundation 
Feb. 2016 Cosmos Scholars Grant Program of The Cosmos Club Foundation 
Aug. 2015 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Internship Program
Feb. 2015 National Science Foundation East Asian Pacific Summer Institutes 
May 2014 Zelma Reidling Warren Bannister and William Warren Graduate Fellowship Award 
Apr. 2014 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program 
Presentations and Talks
Moore A. A comprehensive, time-calibrated phylogeny of the diverse ‘waterbird’ assemblage  inferred using Bayesian total evidence methods: Applying Bayesian phylogenetics and  comparative methods to a case study of vertebral number in an avian clade. 2016 Annual  Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontologists.
Moore A., Redzio D., Clark J. 2016. Total evidence, time-calibrated phylogenetics and the evolution of
the axial skeleton in the ‘waterbird’ assemblage. 11th International Congress of Vertebrate
Moore A., Mo J., Clark J., Xu X. 2015. New cranial material of Bellusaurus sui (Dinosauria:
Sauropoda) from the Middle-Late Jurassic Shishugou Formation of China supports
neosauropod affinities. 2015 Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontologists.


Mentoring Experience

June-August 2016 Dominika Redzio, GWU undergraduate - Evolution of the avian axial skeleton: allometry and developmental dissociation
Sept.-Oct. 2015 Alexander Ruebenstahl, GWU undergraduate - Maxillary neurovasculature of Bellusaurus sui



Tonini J., Moore A., Stern D., Shcheglovitova M., Ortí G. Concatenation and Species Tree Methods Exhibit Statistically Indistinguishable Accuracy under a Range of Simulated Conditions. PLOS Currents Tree of Life. 2015 Mar 9. Edition 1. 
doi: 10.1371/currents.tol.34260cc27551a527b124ec5f6334b6be. 
Mooren, O., Kotova, T., Moore A., Schafer, D. 2009. Dynamin2 GTPase and cortactin remodel actin filaments. The Journal of Biological Chemistry 284:23995-24005.

Classes Taught

Graduate teaching, The George Washington University
BISC1005: Biology of Nutrition and Health laboratory (Fall 2012 & 2013)
BISC1006: Ecology and Evolution of Organisms laboratory (Spring 2013 & 2014)
BISC2332: Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (Spring 2015 & 2016)
BISC6207: Current Topics in Systematics (Spring 2016)
ANAT6120: Medical Gross Anatomy (Fall 2016)