Professor Ivany’s work fits broadly into the fields of earth history and paleobiology. Most research projects lie at the intersection of marine paleoecology and paleoclimate, and relate to how ecosystems and their component taxa evolve and respond to changes in the physical environment on a variety of temporal and spatial scales. Many studies incorporate the stable isotopic chemistry of accretionary skeletal hard parts to reconstruct records of life history, seasonality, and environment in deep time.
She has particular interest in the biotic and climatic evolution of the early Cenozoic, with longstanding projects in the molluscan records of the US Gulf Coastal Plain and Antarctica. Work on the chemistry of Permian and Cretaceous bivalves relates to paleoseasonality and the oxygen isotopic composition of seawater. Research on growth rate and lifespan explores the evolution of life histories in deep time, including the evolution of extreme longevity. Other interests include the long-term dynamics of ecological assemblages, including the proposed pattern of coordinated stasis, and how the architecture and composition of the sedimentary record influence metrics of Phanerozoic diversity.