Lena is a research geologist and curator of fossil crinoids and other fossil invertebrates at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. After receiving her PhD from The Ohio State University in 2017, Lena completed postdoctoral fellowships at the NMNH (2017-2018) and American Museum of Natural History (2018-2020). Her research uses the marine invertebrate fossil record to understand macroevolutionary patterns and their driving processes. In particular, Lena is an expert on fossil crinoids (Echinodermata; feather stars and sea lilies) and has described over 20 new crinoid species. Crinoid taxonomy and systematics constitutes a major part of her research, and she frequently uses the fossil record of crinoids as a model group for studying macroevolutionary questions. Research questions she focuses on primarily relate to (1) extinction, including extinction risk, recovery, and evolutionary consequences of mass extinctions and (2) community paleoecology, including the assembly and phylogenetic structure of communities and how they change through time.
Macroevolutionary patterns and processes in the marine invertebrate fossil record; phylogeny, systematics, and diversity of Paleozoic crinoids; extinction risk, recovery, and evolutionary consequences of mass extinctions; community paleoecology and niche evolution; phylogenetic comparative methods.
Cole, Selina R., Ausich, William, I., and Wilson, Mark A. 2020. "A Hirnantian Holdover from the Late Ordovician Mass Extinction: Phylogeny and Biogeography of a New Anthracocrinid Crinoid from Estonia." Papers in Palaeontologyhttps://doi.org/10.1002/spp2.13452020
Wright, David F., Cole, Selina R., and Ausich, William I. 2020. "Biodiversity, systematics, and new taxa of cladid crinoids from the Ordovician Brechin Lagerstätte." Journal of Paleontology 94 (2):334-357. https://doi.org/10.1017/jpa.2019.812020
Cole, Selina R., Wright, David F., Ausich, William I., and Koniecki, Joseph M. 2020. "Paleocommunity composition, relative abundance, and new camerate crinoids from the Brechin Lagerstatte (Upper Ordovician)." Journal of Paleontology 94 (6):1103-1123. https://doi.org/10.1017/jpa.2020.322020
Zamora, Samuel, Wright, David F., Mooi, Rich, Lefebvre, Bertrand, Guensburg, Thomas E., Gorzelak, Przemysław, David, Bruno, Sumrall, Colin D., Cole, Selina R., Hunter, Aaron W., Sprinkle, James, Thompson, Jeffrey R., Ewin, Timothy A. M., Fatka, Oldřich, Nardin, Elise, Reich, Mike, Nohejlová, Martina, and Rahman, Imran A. 2020. "Re-evaluating the phylogenetic position of the enigmatic early Cambrian deuterostome Yanjiahella." Nature Communications 11 (1):https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-14920-x2020
Cole, Selina R. and Toom, Ursula. 2019. "New camerate crinoid genera from the Upper Ordovician (Katian) of Estonia: evolutionary origin of family Opsiocrinidae and a phylogenetic assessment of Ordovician Monobathrida." Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 17 (7):597-611. https://doi.org/10.1080/14772019.2018.14475192019
Cole, Selina R., Wright, David F., and Ausich, William I. 2019. "Phylogenetic community paleoecology of one of the earliest complex crinoid faunas (Brechin Lagerstatte, Ordovician)." Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 521:82-98. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2019.02.0062019
Ausich, William, I., Wright, David F., Cole, Selina R., and Koniecki, Joseph M. 2018. "Disparid and hybocrinid crinoids (Echinodermata) from the Upper Ordovician (lower Katian) Brechin Lagerstatte of Ontario." Journal of Paleontology 92 (5):850-871. https://doi.org/10.1017/jpa.2017.1542018
Cole, Selina R., Ausich, William I., Colmenar, Jorge, and Zamora, Samuel. 2017. "Filling the Gondwanan gap: paleobiogeographic implications of new crinoids from the Castillejo and Fombuena formations (Middle and Upper Ordovician, Iberian Chains, Spain)." Journal of Paleontology 91 (4):715-734. https://doi.org/10.1017/jpa.2016.1352017
Wright, David F., Ausich, William I., Cole, Selina R., Peter, Mark E., and Rhenberg, Elizabeth C. 2017. "Phylogenetic taxonomy and classification of the Crinoidea (Echinodermata)." Journal of Paleontology 91 (4):829-846. https://doi.org/10.1017/jpa.2016.1422017
Cole, Selina R. 2017. "Phylogeny and morphologic evolution of the Ordovician Camerata (Class Crinoidea, Phylum Echinodermata)." Journal of Paleontology 91 (04):815-828. https://doi.org/10.1017/jpa.2016.1372017