College of Science and Health > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Kenshu Shimada

Kenshu Shimada

Research Interests

Shimada is interested in the evolution of marine ecosystems over geologic time, particularly by examining the paleobiology of sharks and other marine vertebrates that lived during the ‘age of dinosaurs’ (Mesozoic). While he studies a variety of organisms in the context of paleoecology, his specialty is in a group of sharks called lamniforms that have been ecologically important in past and present oceans as they include top predators (e.g., mako and great white sharks) and large plankton feeders (e.g., basking and megamouth sharks). Shimada enjoys demonstrating the relationships of morphology in such aquatic vertebrates to their life history strategies, behavior, ecology, and evolution.
Classes Taught
  • General Biology II (Bio 192)
  • Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (Bio 270)
  • Introduction to Paleobiology (Bio 122)
  • Topics in Paleobiology (Bio 345/445)
  • Environmental Geology with Lab (Env 115)
  • Geology of the Environment (Env 116)
  • The Earth through Time with Lab (Env 117)
  • Natural History in Chicago (ISP 102: Explore Chicago)
Select Publications

Pimiento, C., J. L. Cantalapiedra, K. Shimada, D. J. Field, and J. B. Smaers. 2019. Evolutionary pathways towards shark gigantism. Evolution, 73(3):588–599.

Guinot, G., S. Adnet, K. Shimada, C. J. Underwood, M. Siversson, D. J. Ward, J. Kriwet, and H. Cappetta. 2018. On the need of providing tooth morphology in descriptions of extant elasmobranch species. Zootaxa, 4461(1):118–126.

​Shimada, K., R. E. Chandler, O. L. T. Lam, T. Tanaka, and D. J. Ward. 2017. A new elusive otodontid shark (Lamniformes: Otodontidae) from the lower Miocene, and comments on the taxonomy of otodontid genera, including the 'megatoothed' clade. Historical Biology, 29(5):704–714.

Bice, K., and K. Shimada. 2016. Fossil marine vertebrates from the Codell Sandstone Member (middle Turonian) of the Upper Cretaceous Carlile Shale in Jewell County, Kansas, USA. Cretaceous Research, 65:172-198.

Shimada, K., E. V. Popov, M. Siversson, B. J. Welton, and D. J. Long. 2015. A new clade of putative plankton-feeding sharks from the Upper Cretaceous of Russia and the United States. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 35:5, e981335, DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2015.981335​.

Professional Activities
  • Chair of Government Affairs Committee, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology 
  • Research Associate in Paleontology, Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Hays. Kansas 
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Fossil Research (Fossil Research Society of Japan)

Professional Society Memberships
  • American Elasmobranch Society
  • American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
  • Fossil Research Society of Japan
  • Kansas Academy of Science
  • Paleontological Society
  • Society of Vertebrate Paleontology