Tiago Simões

Tiago Simões

Alexander Agassiz Postdoctoral Fellow
Tiago Simões

Tiago started his career in his home city (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), where he obtained his BSc and MSc in Biological Sciences-Zoology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and began developing research on fossil reptiles at the National Museum of Brazil. He subsequently moved to Canada to pursue his PhD with Dr. Michael Caldwell at the University of Alberta, where he expanded his expertise on the evolution of lizards and snakes.

Tiago's research interests include combining data from living and extinct species, as well as morphological and molecular data, to investigate deep time problems in reptile evolution. In recent years, he has revised previous phylogenetic and biogeographic hypotheses into the early evolution of lizards in South America and used high resolution µCT scans of modern lizards to assess the adaptive role of the temporal region of the lizard skull. Recently, he published the largest dataset ever assembled to assess broad-scale reptile relationships, finding the first ever agreement between morphological and molecular hypotheses on the early evolution of lizards. Further, he demonstrated that the major reptile lineages first evolved prior to the greatest mass extinction in the history of complex life— the Permian-Triassic Mass extinction.

Currently, Tiago is investigating the impact of the Permian-Triassic Mass extinction on long-term evolutionary patterns in reptiles with Dr. Stephanie Pierce in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard Uniersity.

Publication list:

Journal articles

Garberoglio, F. F., Gómez, R. O., Simões, T. R., Caldwell, M. W. & Apesteguía, S. 2019. The evolution of the axial skeleton intercentrum system in snakes revealed by new data from the Cretaceous snakes Dinilysia and Najash. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 1276. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-36979-9.

Simões, T. R., Caldwell, M. W., Tałanda, M., Bernardi, M., Palci, A., Vernygora, O., Bernardini, F., Mancini, L. & Nydam, R. L. 2018. X-ray computed microtomography of Megachirella wachtleri. Scientific Data, 5, 180244. DOI: 10.1038/sdata.2018.244.

Chavarría-Arellano, M.L., Simões, T. R., Montellano-Ballesteros, M. 2018. New data on the Late Cretacous lizard Dicothodon bajaensis (Squamata, Borioteiioidea) from Baja California, Mexico reveals an unusual tooth replacement pattern in squamates. Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences. Ahead of print. DOI: 10.1590/0001-3765201820170563.

Xing, L., Caldwell, M.W., Chen, R., Nydam, R.L., Palci, A., Simões, T. R., McKellar, R. C., Lee, M. S. Y., Liu, Y., Shi, H., Wang, K., Bai, M. 2018. A mid-Cretaceous embryonic-to-neonate snake in amber from Myanmar. Science Advances 4(7), eaat5042. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat5042.

Simões, T.R., Caldwell, M.W. , Tałanda, M., Bernardi, M., Palci, A., Vernygora, O., Bernardini, F., Mancini, L. & Nydam, R.L. 2018. The Origin of Squamates Revealed by a Middle Triassic Lizard from the Italian Alps. Nature 557(7707), 706-709. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0093-3.

Simões, T. R., Caldwell, M. W., Palci, A. & Nydam, R. L. 2018. Giant taxon-character matrices II: a response to Laing et al. 2017. Cladistics, 34(6), 702-707. DOI: 10.1111/cla.12231.

Simões, T.R., Apesteguía, S., Hsiou, A.S., Daza, J.D. 2017. Lepidosaurs from Gondwana: An Introduction. Journal of Herpetology, 51(3), 297-299. DOI: 10.1670/17-053.

Simões T.R., Wilner E, Caldwell M.W., Weinschütz L.C., Kellner A.W.A. 2017. Mesozoic lizards from Brazil and their role in early squamate evolution in South America. Journal of Herpetology, 51(3), 307-315. DOI: 10.1670/16-007.

Jiménez-Huidobro, P., Simões, T. R. & Caldwell, M. W. 2017. Mosasauroids from Gondwanan continents. Journal of Herpetology, 51(3), 355-364. DOI: 10.1670/16-017.

Simões, T. R., Vernygora, O., Paparella, I., Jimenez-Huidobro, P. & Caldwell, M. W. 2017. Mosasauroid phylogeny under multiple phylogenetic methods provides new insights on the evolution of aquatic adaptations in the group. PLoS ONE, 12(5), e0176773. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0176773.

Simões, T. R., Caldwell, M. W., Palci, A. & Nydam, R. L. 2017. Giant taxon-character matrices: quality of character constructions remains critical regardless of size. Cladistics, 33(2), 198-219. DOI: 10.1111/cla.12163.

Simões, T. R., Caldwell, M. W., Nydam, R.L., ­­Jiménez-Huidobro, P. 2017. Osteology, phylogeny and functional morphology of two Jurassic lizard species and the early evolution of scansoriality in geckoes. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 180(1), 216-241. DOI: 10.1111/zoj.12487.

Apesteguía, S., Daza, J.D., Simões, T.R., Rage, J.C. 2016. The first iguanian lizard from the Mesozoic of Africa. Royal Society Open Science, 3:160462. DOI:10.1098/rsos.160462.

Jiménez-Huidobro, P., Simões, T. R. & Caldwell, M. W. 2016. Re-characterization of Tylosaurus nepaeolicus (Cope, 1874) and Tylosaurus kansasensis Everhart, 2005: Ontogeny or sympatry? Cretaceous Research, 65, 68-81. DOI: 10.1016/j.cretres.2016.04.008.

Simões, T. R., Funston, G. F., Vafaeian, B., Nydam, R. L., Doschak, M. R. & Caldwell, M. W. 2016. Reacquisition of the lower temporal bar in sexually dimorphic fossil lizards provides a rare case of convergent evolution. Scientific Reports, 6 (24087). DOI: 10.1038/srep24087.

Simões T.R., Wilner E, Caldwell M.W., Weinschütz L.C., Kellner A.W.A. 2015. A stem acrodontan lizard in the Cretaceous of Brazil revises early lizard evolution in Gondwana. Nature Communications, 6 (8149), DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9149.

Simões, T. R., Caldwell, M. W. & Kellner, A. W. A. 2015. A new Early Cretaceous lizard species from Brazil, and the phylogenetic position of the oldest known South American squamates. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 13(5-8), 601-614. DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2014.947342.

Simões, T.R. 2012. Redescription of Tijubina pontei, an Early Cretaceous lizard (Reptilia; Squamata) from the Crato Formation of Brazil. Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, 84(1), 79-93. DOI: 10.1590/S0001-37652012005000001.

Kellner, A.W.A., Simões, T.R., Riff, D., Grillo, O., Romano, P., De Paula, H., Ramos, R.R.C., Carvalho, M.D.A., Sayão, J., Oliveira, G., & Rodrigues, T. 2011. The oldest plesiosaur (Reptilia, Sauropterygia) from Antarctica. Polar Research, 30, 7265, DOI: 10.3402/polar.v30i0.7265.


Book chapters/entries

Simões, T.R. & Trece, B. 2017. Fósseis: um patrimônio científico e cultural [Fossils: a cultural and scientific heritage]. In: Bens Culturais e Relações Internacionais: o patrimônio como espelho do Soft Power, Christofoletti, R. (ed.).pp. 349-361. Editora Universitária Leopoldianum. Santos-SP, Brazil.

Simões, T. R. & Caldwell, M. W. 2014. Mesozoic Marine Reptiles of Antarctica. In: Antarctica and the Arctic Circle: A Geographic Encyclopedia of the Earth's Polar Regions. A.J. Hund (ed). Pp. 477-479. ABC-CLIO. Santa Barbara, Denver, Oxford.

Simões, T. R. & Kellner, A.W.A. 2014 Paleoecology of Antarctica. In: Antarctica and the Arctic Circle: A Geographic Encyclopedia of the Earth's Polar Regions. A.J. Hund (ed). Pp. 558-560. ABC-CLIO. Santa Barbara, Denver, Oxford.

Contact Information

Museum of Comparative Zoology
Room 103A
26 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Twitter: @paleoTsimoes