Todd Cook, Ph.D.

Todd Cook, Ph.D.
Department Chair and Associate Professor, Biology
160 Nick
Mailing Address:

ERIE PA 16563

Todd is a vertebrate paleontologist from Alberta, which is well known for its vast paleontological riches. He studies ancient sharks and rays from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic of North America, North Africa, and Australia.

His research on ancient sharks and rays has provided him with the opportunity to study fossils not only from that Canadian province but also from other regions of North America and Northern Africa. Recently, Todd was granted a Research Associate appointment at the Western Australian Museum through the Australian Endeavour Award where he has been comparing high paleolatitudinal shark assemblages from Canada with those from Australia. As part of his postdoctoral work, Todd traveled to a remote location high in the Mackenzie Mountains of the Northwest Territories with a team from the University of Alberta on a National Geographic funded expedition to collect some of the oldest fossil sharks. This material is currently under study. 

Teaching Specialties

Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates

I teach comparative anatomy which involves the study of structure and function of major organ systems and the similarities and/or differences of these systems among various groups of vertebrates in an evolutionary context. This area of biology is of particular interest to me as a vertebrate paleontologist; however, those students who intend to enter the health sciences or attend graduate school will also benefit from this course. Knowing the evolutionary history of particular anatomical structures provides a deeper understanding of our own anatomy.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the functional morphology, phylogeny, paleoecology, and paleobiogeography of sharks and rays from Mesozoic and Cenozoic deposits throughout North America, Australia, and Northern Africa. In addition, I am interested in the origin and evolution of the earliest chondrichthyans, as revealed by specimens preserved in exceptional fossil deposits from Northern Canada. 

Functional Morphology, Phylogeny, Paleoecology, Paleobiogeography of Elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) from Mesozoic and Cenzoic deposits

Complex microstructure of †Ischyrhiza mira rostral spines, Journal of Anatomy - April, 2022

Middle Campanian euselachian diversity of the southern region of the Atlantic Coastal Plain of North America, Vertebrate Anatomy Morphology Palaeontology - 2019
Collaborators: Gerard Case; Taylor Kightlinger; Paul Borodin

Anacoracid shark teeth and calcareous nannofossil stratigraphy of the mid-Cretaceous ‘upper’ Gearle Siltstone and Haycock Marl in the lower Murchison River area, Western Australia, Alcheringa - 2018
Collaborators: Mikael Siversson; Helen Ryan; David Watkins; Nikolai Tatarnic ; Michael Newbrey

The upper Coniacian to upper Santonian drowned Arabian carbonate platform of the Mardin-Mazidag area, SE Turkey: sedimentology. stratigraphy, and ichthyofaunal records, Cretaceous Research - 2018
Collaborators: Ismail Yilmaz; Izzet Hosgor; Michael Wagreich; Katherine Rebman; Alison Murray

An upper Campanian selachian assemblage from the northern region of the Western Interior Seaway, Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences - 2017
Collaborators: Eric Brown; Patricia Ralrick; Takuya Konishi

A late Maastrichtian selachian assemblage from the Peedee Formation of North Carolina, USA, Vertebrate Anatomy Morphology Palaeontology - 2017
Collaborators: Gerard Case; Eric Sadorf; Kevin Shannon

Overview of the Late Cretaceous fishes of the northern Western Interior Seaway , New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin - 2016
Collaborator: Alison Murray

A new elasmobranch assemblage from the early Eocene (Ypresian) Fishburne Formation of Berkeley County, South Carolina, USA, Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences - 2015
Collaborators: Gerard Case; Mark Wilson

Early Campanian (Late Cretaceous) Squatiniform and Synechodontiform selachians from the Åsen locality, Kristianstad Basin, Sweden, Geological Society, London, Special Publications - 2015
Collaborators: Mikael Siversson; Peter Cederström; Helen Ryan

Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian-Campanian) mid-palaeolatitude sharks of Cretalamna appendiculata type, Acta Palaeontologica Polonica - 2015
Collaborators: Mikael Siversson; Johan Lindgren ; Michael Newbrey; Peter Cederström

Vertebral morphology, dentition, age, growth, and ecology of the large lamniform shark Cardabiodon ricki, Acta Palaeontologica Polonica - 2015
Collaborators: Michael Newbrey; Mikael Siversson; Allison Fotheringham,; Rebecca Sanchez

A fish assemblage from an early Miocene horizon from Jabal Zaltan, Libya, Journal of African Earth Sciences - 2015
Collaborators: Thodoris Argyriou; Ahmed Muftah; Paris Pavlakis; Noel Boaz; Alison Murray; Array Array

A new genus and species of freshwater stingray (Myliobatiformes: Dasyatoidea) from the latest Middle Eocene of Utah, USA, Journal of Paleontology - 2014
Collaborators: Jeffery Eaton; Michael Newbrey; Mark Wilson

Freshwater euselachians from the Hell Creek Formation of Montana with a comparison to other Maastrichtian North American localities, Geological Society of America Special Publication - 2014
Collaborators: Michael Newbrey; Doanld Brinkman; James Kirkland

Palaeobiogeographic relationships and palaeoenvironmental implications of an earliest Oligocene Tethyan ichthyofauna from Egypt, Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences - 2014
Collaborators: Alison Murray; Thodoris Argyriou

Age and growth in Myledaphus bipartitus, a Late Cretaceous freshwater guitarfish from Alberta, Canada, Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences - 2014
Collaborators: Alycia Wilson; Michael Newbrey; Donald Brinkman; Andrew Neuman

A high latitude euselachian assemblage from the early Turonian of Alberta, Canada, Journal of Systematic Palaeontology - 2013
Collaborators: Mark Wilson; Alison Murray; A Plint; Michael Newbrey; Michael Everhart

A new species of sclerorhynchid sawfish Borodinopristis from the Campanian (Upper Cretaceous) of North Carolina, USA, Historical Biology - 2012
Collaborators: Gerard Case; Mark Wilson

A new genus and species of fossil myliobatoid ray from the Jamestown Member of the Fishburne Formation (Lower Eocene/Ypresian) of Berkeley County, South Carolina, Historical Biology - 2011
Collaborators: Gerard Case; Mark Wilson

A partial skeleton of the Late Cretaceous lamniform shark, Archaeolamna kopingensis, from the Pierre Shale of western Kansas, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology - 2011
Collaborators: Michael Newbrey; Alison Murray; Mark Wilson; Kenshu Shimada; Gary Takeuchi; J. Stewart

A Miocene euselachian fauna from Moghra, Egypt, Historical Biology - 2010
Collaborators: Alison Murray; Elwyn Simons; Yousry Attia; Prithijit Chatrath

A mixed freshwater and marine ichthyofauna from the late Eocene Birket Qarun Formation, Fayum, Egypt, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology - 2010
Collaborators: Yousry Attia; Prithijit Chatrath; Elwyn Simons

Mid-Cretaceous vertebrate faunas of the Western Interior Seaway of North America and their evolutionary, paleobiogeographical, and paleoecological implications, Paleoecology, Paleoclimatology, Paleogeograghy - 2010
Collaborators: Stephen Cumbaa; Kenshu Shimada

The first record of the large lamniform shark, Cardabiodon ricki, from North America and a new empirical test for its presumed antitropical distribution, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology - 2010
Collaborators: Mark Wilson; Michael Newbrey

A middle Cenomanian euselachian assemblage from the Dunvegan Formation of northwestern Alberta, Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences - 2008
Collaborators: Mark Wilson; Alison Murray

Ph D, Evolution and Systematics, The University of Alberta

BS, Specialization in Zoology, The University of Alberta