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Cynthia Looy
Curator/Associate Professor, Integrative Biology

Cynthia Looy


Phone: (510) 642-1607

Web page:

Her research: Cindy describes herself as "a plant ecologist who works in the past." She looks at the response of plants and their communities to major environmental change and the possible evolutionary consequences. Her question-driven research often requires an interdisciplinary approach, involving collaborations with colleagues at Berkeley and beyond.


Contreras, D.L., I.A.P. Duijnstee, S.L. Ranks, C.R. Marshall, C.V. Looy. 2017. The evolution of dispersal strategies in conifers: convergence and divergence in the morphology of diaspores. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics. 24:93−117.  Read it

Looy, C.V. 2013. Natural history of a plant trait: branch system abscission in Paleozoic conifers and its environmental, autecological and ecosystem implications. Paleobiology. 39:235-252.

Looy, C.V., and I.A.P. Duijnstee. 2013. Characterizing morphologic variability in foliated Paleozoic conifer branches — a first step in testing its potential as proxy for taxonomic position. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin. 60:215-223.

Tabor, N.J., C.M. Romanchock, C.V. Looy, C. Hotton, W.A. DiMichele, and D.S. Chaney. 2013. Biome dynamics and niche-conservatism of Late Pennsylvanian vegetation in western equatorial Pangaea. Journal of the Geological Society of London Special Publication. 376: 201-234.

Prevec R, Gastaldo RA, Neveling J, Reid SB and Looy CV, 2010. An autochthonous glossopterid flora with latest Permian palynomorphs and its depositional setting in the Dicynodon Assemblage Zone of the southern Karoo Basin, South Africa. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 292:391-408.

Bennington, J.B., W.A. DiMichele, C. Badgley, R.K. Bambach, P. Barrett, A.K. Behrensmeyer, R. Bobe, R. Burnham, T. Daeschler, J. Van Dam, J. Eronen, D.H. Erwin, S. Finnegan, S. Holland, G. Hunt, D. Jablonski, S.T. Jackson, B. Jacobs, S.M. Kidwell, P. Koch, M. Kowalewski, C. Labandeira, C. Looy, S.K. Lyons, P.M. Novack-Gottshall, R. Potts, P. Roopnarine, C. Strömberg, H. Sues, P. Wagner, P. Wilf, and S. Wing. 2009. Critical issues of scale in paleoecology. Palaios 24(1):1-4

Falcon-Lang, H.J.W., J. Nelson, S.D. Elrick, C.V. Looy, P.R. Ames, and W.A. DiMichele. 2009. Incised channel fills containing conifers indicate that seasonally dry vegetation dominated Pennsylvanian tropical lowlands. Geology. 37:923-926.

Prevec, R., C.C. Labandeira, J. Neveling, R.A. Gastaldo, C.V. Looy, and M. Bamford. 2009. Portrait of a Gondwanan ecosystem: A new late Permian fossil locality from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology. 156(3-4):454-493.

Sephton, M.A., H. Visscher, C.V. Looy, A.B. Verchovsky, and J.S. Watson. 2009. Chemical constitution of a Permian-Triassic disaster species. Geology. 37:875-878.