Pedro L. Godoy

Pedro L. Godoy

Assistant Professor

University of São Paulo (Brazil)

I am a vertebrate paleontologist and evolutionary biologist working on the evolution of reptiles in deep time. I am currently an Assistant Professor at the University of São Paulo (Department of Zoology, Institute of Bioscience), in Brazil. I am also an honorary researcher affiliated with Dr. Alan Turner’s lab (at Stony Brook University, USA), as well as the current Phylogenetics Editor of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

My research interests include macroevolution and systematics of archosaurs and other reptiles. More specifically, my research has focused on the evolution of Crocodylomorpha, the >200-million-year old group that includes living crocodylians (crocodiles, alligators, caimans and gharials) and their extinct relatives.

  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Paleobiology
  • Macroevolution
  • Systematics
  • PhD in Earth Sciences, 2018

    University of Birmingham, UK

  • MSc in Comparative Biology, 2014

    University of São Paulo, Brazil

  • BSc in Biological Sciences, 2011

    University of São Paulo, Brazil


Research papers and book chapters


[20] Smith JA, Raja NB, Clements T, Dimitrijević D, Dowding EM, Dunne EM, Gee BM, Godoy PL, Lombardi EM, Mulvey LPA, Nätscher PS, Reddin CJ, Shirley B, Warnock RCM, Kocsis AT. Increasing the equitability of data citation in paleontology: Capacity building for the big data future. Under review.

[19] Bronzati M, Vieceli FM, Godoy PL, Montefeltro FC, Nassif JPM, Ribeiro D, Botezelli VS, Yan CYI, Werneburg I, Kohlsdorf T. Fossils, embryos, and the deep time origin of tympanic hearing in crown reptiles. Under review.

[18] Farina BM, Godoy PL, Benson RBJ, Langer MC, Ferreira GS (2023). Turtle body size evolution is determined by lineage-specific specializations rather than global trends. Ecology and Evolution, 13, e10201. [Preprint] [PDF] [Open Data] [Press release]

[17] Jones LA, Gearty W, Allen BJ, Eichenseer K, Dean CD, Galván S, Kouvari M, Godoy PL, Nicholl CSC, Buffan L, Dillon EM, Flannery-Sutherland JT, Chiarenza AA (2023). palaeoverse: a community-driven R package to support palaeobiological analysis. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 14, 2205–2215. [Preprint] [PDF] [Graphical abstract] [Open Data] [Open Software]

[16] Wilberg E, Godoy PL, Griffiths EF, Turner AH, Benson RBJ (2023). A new early diverging thalattosuchian (Crocodylomorpha) from the Early Jurassic (Pliensbachian) of Dorset, UK and implications for the origin and evolution of the group. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 42, e2161909. [PDF] [Press release]


[15] Dunne EM, Farnsworth A, Benson RBJ, Godoy PL, Greene SE, Valdes PJ, Lunt DJ, Butler RJ (2022). Climatic controls on the ecological ascendancy of dinosaurs. Current Biology, 33, 206–214. [PDF] [Press release] [Open Data]

[14] Fachini TS, Godoy PL, Marsola JCA, Montefeltro FC, Langer MC (2022). A large-sized mesoeucrocodylian from the Late Cretaceous of Brazil with possible neosuchian affinities. Historical Biology, 35, 1817–1830. [PDF] [Press release]

[13] Paiva ALS, Godoy PL, Souza RBB, Klein W, Hsiou AS (2022). Body size estimation of Caimaninae specimens from the Miocene of South America. Journal of South American Earth Sciences, 118, 103970. [PDF] [Open Data]

[12] Langer MC†, Godoy PL† (2022). So volcanoes created the dinosaurs? A quantitative characterization of the early evolution of terrestrial Pan-Aves. Frontiers in Earth Science, 10, 899562. (†Joint lead authors) [PDF] [Open Data]

[11] Bestwick J, Godoy PL, Maidment, SCR, Ezcurra MD, Wroe M, Raven TJ, Bonsor, JA, Butler RJ (2022). Relative skull size evolution in Mesozoic archosauromorphs: potential drivers and morphological uniqueness of erythrosuchid archosauriforms. Palaeontology, 65, e12599. [PDF]

[10] Benson RBJ, Godoy PL, Bronzati M, Butler RJ, Gearty W (2022). Reconstructed evolutionary patterns for crocodile-line archosaurs demonstrate impact of failure to log-transform body size data. Communications Biology, 5, 171. [Preprint] [PDF] [Open Data]

2014 - 2020

[09] Godoy PL, Turner AH (2020). Body size evolution in crocodylians and their extinct relatives. In: eLS, 1, 442–452. [PDF]

[08] Godoy PL, Cidade GM, Montefeltro FC, Langer MC, Norell MA (2020). Redescription and phylogenetic affinities of the caimanine Eocaiman cavernensis (Crocodylia, Alligatoroidea) from the Eocene of Argentina. Papers in Palaeontology, 7, 1205–1231. [PDF] [Prize] [Open Data]

[07] Montefeltro FC, Lautenschlager S, Godoy PL, Ferreira GS, Butler RJ (2020). A unique predator in a unique ecosystem: modelling the apex predator from the Late Cretaceous crocodyliform-dominated fauna in Brazil. Journal of Anatomy, 237, 323–333. [Preprint] [PDF] [Recognition]

[06] Godoy PL (2019). Crocodylomorph cranial shape evolution and its relationship with body size and ecology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 33, 4–21. [Preprint] [PDF] [Recognition]

[05] Godoy PL, Benson RBJ, Bronzati M, Butler RJ (2019). The multi-peak adaptive landscape of crocodylomorph body size evolution. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 19, 167. [Preprint] [PDF]

[04] Mannion PD, Chiarenza AA, Godoy PL, Cheah YN (2019). Spatiotemporal sampling patterns in the 230 million year fossil record of terrestrial crocodylomorphs and their impact on diversity. Palaeontology, 62, 615–637. [PDF] [Open Data]

[03] Godoy PL, Ferreira GS, Montefeltro FC, Vila Nova BC, Butler RJ, Langer MC (2018). Evidence for heterochrony in the cranial evolution of fossil crocodyliforms. Palaeontology, 61, 543–558. [PDF] [Blog post] [Open Data]

[02] Godoy PL†, Bronzati M†, Eltink E, Marsola JCA, Cidade GM, Langer MC, Montefeltro FC (2016). Postcranial anatomy of Pissarrachampsa sera (Crocodyliformes, Baurusuchidae) from the Late Cretaceous of Brazil: insights on lifestyle and phylogenetic significance. PeerJ, 4, e2075. (†Joint lead authors). [PDF] [Press release/interview]

[01] Godoy PL, Montefeltro FC, Norell MA, Langer MC (2014). An additional baurusuchid from the Cretaceous of Brazil with evidence of interspecific predation among Crocodyliformes. PLoS ONE, 9, e97138. [PDF] [Press release] [Recognition]

Other publications

[05] 500 Women Scientists, Earth Science Women’s Network, Pal(a)eoPERCS, Aspen Global Change Institute (2023). Guide to Inclusive Scientific Meetings 2023 (where to begin)- 500 Women Scientists. [PDF]

[04] Bhatia R, Burke J, Godoy PL, Sekhon N, Hall C, Sibert E (2022). A global palaeo-science community: an interview with Pal(a)eoPERCS. Communications Biology, 5, 978. [PDF]

[03] Godoy PL (2019). Climate change created today’s large crocodiles. The Conversation.

[02] Benson RBJ, Godoy PL (2019). Evolution: much on the menu for ancient crocs. Current Biology, 29, PR683–R685. [PDF]

[01] Godoy PL, Ferreira GS, Dassie ECG, Corrêa ACM, Hsiou AS (2017). Continuing education on Paleontology: the experience with the project “Workshop on Paleontology: fossils inside the classroom”. Revista de Cultura e Extensão USP, 17 (supl.), 11–19. [PDF]


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  • University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil