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Dipl.-Biol. Rica Stepanek



Curriculum vitae

Publications

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Education

Since 09.2010 PhD student at the Department of Paleontology, University of Vienna
Thesis: The phylogenetic signal of stingray characters (Chondrichthyes, Myliobatiformes) for inferring their evolutionary history.
05.2009 Diplom (MSc equivalent) in Biology at the Free University of Berlin
03.2006-05.2009 Diplom (MSc equivalent) student at the Institute of Biology, Free University of Berlin
Thesis: Skeletal anatomy and systematic of the freshwater stingray Potamytrogon
02.2006 Vordiplom (BSc equivalent) in Biology at the Free University of Berlin
04.2000-02.2006 Vordiplom (BSc equivalent) student at the Institute of Biology, Free University of Berlin
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Professional Background

Since 09.2010 Prae Doc/Assistant at the Department of Paleontology, University of Vienna
04.2008-06.2008 Assistant at the Institute of marine biology / Campese Diving Center at the Giglio (Toscana/Italy)
10.2007-03.2008 Scientific volunteer at the Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Malacology)
08.2007 Student assistant at the Free University of Berlin, Institute of Geosciences
Expedition in Ladakh (India, Himalaya) for the project: Interdisciplinary Center of Ecosystem Dynamics in Central Asia
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Membership in professional organizations

Paläontologische Gesellschaft
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Research Statement

The focus of my research is the morphology and evolution of the batoid family Dasyatidae (Myliobatiformes). First of all a complete morphological revision of different species within this family is necessary to evaluate and establish distinct characters. Furthermore, differences between males and females, and the evolution of a variety of altering features during the embryonic and ontogenetic stages will be studied. For these investigations different growth series will be examined as well as fossil skeletons if available. Among others applied methods will be clearing and staining and Micro CT analyses.
A second main interest of my research concerns the adaptation of stingrays to freshwater environments. Main questions include the search for the sister group of potamotrygonids to reconstruct whether the freshwater adaptation was directly from a marine ancestor or through a brackish stage, and estimating the timing of this adaptation.

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Academic Grants and Awards

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Conferences and Symposia

  • 11. Tagung der Gesellschaft für Ichthyologie, Stralsund, Germany (2014)
  • Poster Skeletal morphology of the South American freshwater stingray Paratrygon aiereba (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae). (Co-authored by J. Kriwet).
  • BioSyst.EU 2013 Global systematics, Vienna, Austria (2013)
  • Poster Skeletal morphology and growth of freshwater stingray Potamotrygon falkneri (Chondrichthyes, Myliobatiformes) (Co-authored by J. Kriwet).
  • 5. Graduiertenforum Morphologie (Integrative Morphologie), Deutsche Zoologische Gesellschaft, Tübingen, Germany (2012)
  • Poster Morphologische Unterschiede zwischen adulten und juvenilem weiblichen Potamotrygon falkneri aus Südamerika (Co-authored by J. Kriwet).
  • 16th Annual Scientific Conference of the European Elasmobranch Association, Milan, Italy (2012)
  • Poster Morphological description and comparison of a growth series of Potamotrygon falkneri from South America (Co-authored by J. Kriwet).
  • 15th Annual Scientific Conference of the European Elasmobranch Association, Berlin, Germany (2011)
  • Poster A review of the evolution of potamotrygonid freshwater stingrays (Chondrichthyes, Myliobatiformes) (Co-authored by J. Kriwet).
  • 82nd Annual Meeting of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft, Vienna, Austria (2011)
  • Poster The evolution of freshwater stingrays (Myliobatiformes, Potamotrygonidae) revisited (Co-authored by J. Kriwet).
  • 81st Annual Meeting of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft, Munich, Germany (2010)
  • International Conference on Asian Monsoon Variability during the Past Global Changes, Nainital, India (2007)
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    Peer-reviewed papers

    • Stepanek, R. & Kriwet, J. 2015, online first. Comparative morphology of the juvenile skeleton in freshwater stingrays with special focus on Paratrygon aiereba (Myliobatiformes: Potamotrygonidae). Zoologischer Anzeiger doi: 10.1016/j.jcz.2014.12.002. Link to article
    • Stepanek, R. & Kriwet, J. 2012. Contributions to the skeletal anatomy of freshwater stingrays (Chondrichthyes, Myliobatiformes): 1. Morphology of male Potamotrygon motor from South America. Zoosystematics and Evolution 88 (2): 145-159.
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    Non peer-reviewed papers

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    Published conference presentations

    • Kriwet, J., Engelbrecht, A., Mörs, T., Reguero, M., Tambussi, C. & Stepanek, R. 2012. First chimeroid, batoid and shark records (Chondrichthyes: Holocephali, Elasmobranchii) from the uppermost horizons (Late Eocene, Telms 6 and 7) of the La Meseta Formation, Seymour Island, Antarctica. Terra Nostra 2012 (3): 100.
    • Stepanek, R. & Kriwet, J. 2011. The evolution of freshwater stingrays (Myliobatiformes, Potamotrygonidae) revisited. Beiträge zur Paläontologie 32: 77.
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    Unpublished conference presentations

    • Stepanek, R. & Kriwet, J. 2014. Skeletal morphology of the South American freshwater stingray Paratrygon aiereba (Chondrichthyes: Potamotrygonidae). Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Ichthyologie 2014, Abstracts: 40.
    • Stepanek, R. & Kriwet, J. 2013. Skeletal morphology and growth of freshwater stingray Potamotrygon falkneri (Chondrichthyes, Myliobatiformes). BioSyst.EU 2013 Global systematics: 212.
    • Stepanek, R. & Kriwet, J. 2012. Morphological description and comparision of a growth series of Potamotrygon falkneri from South America. Book of Abstracts EEA 2012: 96.
    • Stepanek, R. & Kriwet, J. 2012. Morphologische Unterschiede zwischen adulten und juvenilem weiblichen Potamotrygon falkneri aus Südamerika. Programm Heft DZG 2012: 36.
    • Stepanek, R. & Kriwet, J. 2011. A review of the evolution of potamotrygonid freshwater stingray (Chondrichthyes, Myliobatiformes). Programme Booklet EEA 2011: 66. Published online: PDF
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    Miscellaneous

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    Contact

    Department of Paleontology
    University of Vienna
    Geozentrum
    Althanstrasse 14
    1090 Vienna
    Austria
    phone: +43 (0)1 4277 535 22
    fax: +43 (0)1 4277 9535



    mail: rica.stepanek@univie.ac.at