Gary Motz

Gary Motz

Research Associate, Project Coordinator
Center for Biological Research Collections

Offices: GY 519 and Smith Research Center 130C
Phone:   812-856-3500 (GY office) and 812-855-5007 (SRC office)

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. Candidate (Geology), University of Cincinnati
    Dissertation Title: Morphologic variation and taxonomic diversity in a highly escalated system: Neogene predator/prey interactions of the Indo-Pacific
  • M.S. (Geology), 2010, The University of Akron
    Thesis Title: Mollusc Diversity in the Marine and Continental Realms: A Case Study of the Estuary Effect
  • B.S. (Biology and Geology), 2008, The University of Dayton, Graduated cum laude with Honors designated degree
    Thesis Title: A Revised Graptolite Biostratigraphy of the Phi Kappa Formation in the Trail Creek Region of Central Idaho

Research Interests

Gary’s research is focused on a number of paleobiological problems, many of which involve some aspect of mollusc (gastropod and bivalve) biodiversity in modern and deep time environments. Phanerozoic biodiversity and onshore/offshore dynamics of gastropods and their contribution to the diversification of molluscan clades, primarily via a diversification mechanism known as the "estuary effect," was the main focus of his work for his masters thesis. Gary has also spent a fair amount of time examining the diversity, biogeography and integrated biostratigraphy of graptolites and conodonts around the Ordovician/Silurian boundary in central Idaho

Gary’s dissertation research focuses on the contributions of changes in shell shape and form to taxonomic diversification. Gary uses geometric morphometrics of venerid bivalves in order to diagnose potential contributions of prey defense mechanisms these burrowing clams use to escape from their predators, particularly shell driling snails. In this context of predator and prey interactions, Gary hopes to elucidate patterns of biotic response in morphodiversity and biodiversity of the Indo-Pacific.