Susumu Tomiya

Program-specific Assistant Professor

CICASP

Research

Google Scholar page

Research Interests:

  • Evolution and extinction of mammals
  • Vertebrate morphology and paleontology
  • Use of paleontological data to inform biodiversity conservation

Background

Research Associate
Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago, USA), 2017-
University of California Museum of Paleontology (Berkeley, USA), 2013-

Postdoctoral Scholar
Des Moines University (Des Moines, USA), 2017-2018
Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago, USA), 2013-2016

Educational Background
Ph.D. (Integrative Biology), University of California, Berkeley
B.A. (Earth & Planetary Sciences), Johns Hopkins University

Current Projects

Morphological Evolution of Mammalian Milk Teeth

Mammalian teeth tell us a great deal about the evolutionary histories and relationships of mammals. Most of what we know about teeth, however, pertains to adult teeth. In contrast, a lot of basic information about milk teeth (such as what they look like!) is either lacking or scattered in the literature. My colleagues and I have been systematically documenting and measuring milk-tooth forms in extinct and living carnivorans (dogs, cats, and their relatives) to build a database and analyze their evolutionary patterns in comparison to those of the adult teeth. We are aiming to answer questions like:

(1) What drives the evolution of milk-tooth forms?
(2) To what degree do milk teeth and their adult counterparts evolve independently?
(3) Do milk-tooth forms preserve information about evolutionary relationships of animals that is not available from adult teeth?

We plan to extend this study to primates soon, using the osteological collection of the Primate Research Institute.

Collaborators: Dana Reuter (University of Oregon); Ben Sulser (American Museum of Natural History)

Selected Publications

Google Scholar page

Tomiya, S., and J.A. Meachen. 2018. Postcranial diversity and recent ecomorphic impoverishment of North American gray wolves. Biology Letters 14(20170613):1-6. [freely available online]

Tomiya, S., and Z.J. Tseng. 2016. Whence the beardogs?: reappraisal of Middle to Late Eocene “Miacis” from Texas, USA, and the origin of Amphicyonidae (Mammalia: Carnivora). Royal Society Open Science 3(160518):1-25. [freely available online; news articles in Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Science, The Guardian, WTTW Chicago Tonight, and elsewhere]

Tomiya, S. 2013a. Body size and extinction risk in terrestrial mammals above the species level. American Naturalist 182:E196-E214. [freely available online]

Tomiya, S. 2013b. New carnivoraforms (Mammalia) from the middle Eocene of California, USA, and comments on the taxonomic status of ‘Miacisgracilis. Palaeontologia Electronica 16(2; 14A):1-29. [freely available online]

Tomiya, S. 2011. A new caniform (Carnivora: Mammalia) from the middle Eocene of North America and remarks on the phylogeny of early carnivorans. PLoS ONE 6:e24146. [freely available online]

Tomiya, S., J.L. McGuire, R.W. Dedon, S.D. Lerner, R. Setsuda, A.N. Lipps, J.F. Bailey, K.R. Hale, A.B. Shabel, and A.D.  Barnosky. 2011. A report on late Quaternary vertebrate fossil assemblages from the eastern San Francisco Bay region, California. PaleoBios 30:50-71. [freely available online]

Barnosky, A.D., N. Matzke, S. Tomiya, G.O.U. Wogan, B. Swartz, T. Quental, C. Marshall, J.L. McGuire, E.L. Lindsey, K.C. Maguire, B. Mersey, and E.A. Ferrer. 2011. Has the Earth's sixth mass extinction already arrived? Nature 471:51-57. [link to abstract]

Tomiya, S., B.A. Swartz, and M. Batavia. 2011. The educational values of the University of California Museum of Paleontology. University Museums and Collections Journal 3:61-66. [freely available online]

Contributed open-access datasets

Tomiya, S., and J.A.M. Meachen. 2018. Data from: Postcranial diversity and recent ecomorphic impoverishment of North American gray wolves. Dryad Digital Repository.

Tomiya, S., and Z.J. Tseng. 2016. Data from: Whence the beardogs? Reappraisal of the Middle to Late Eocene ‘Miacis’ from Texas, USA, and the origin of Amphicyonidae (Mammalia, Carnivora). Dryad Digital Repository.

Tomiya, S. 2013. Data from: Body size and extinction risk in terrestrial mammals above the species level. Dryad Digital Repository. 

Contact

Mailing address:

Center for International Collaboration and 
Advanced Studies in Primatology (CICASP)
Kyoto University Primate Research Institute
41-2 Kanrin
Inuyama, Aichi 484-8506
Japan