Advisory Board and Editors Paleontology

Nicholas D. Pyenson

Curator of Fossil Marine Mammals at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, Affiliate Curator at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, 2013-2015 Paleontological Society Distinguished Lecturer.

Philip Reno

I earned by Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology and Biomedical Sciences from Kent State University and then completed a postdoc in developmental biology at Stanford University. I am currently an Assistant Professor in the department of Anthropology at Penn State. My research focus is uncovering developmental mechanisms underlying human specific traits.

Erik R Seiffert

Erik Seiffert's research is focused on the phylogenetic relationships, adaptations, and historical biogeography of mammals, with an emphasis on the endemic placental mammals of Africa and Arabia. He has a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley (1995), an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin (1998), and a Ph.D. from Duke University (2003). He was previously Lecturer in Palaeobiology and Palaeoenvironments at University of Oxford and Curator of Geological Collections at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History (2004-2007), Assistant and Associate Professor of Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University (2007-2016), and is now a Professor of Integrative Anatomical Sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (2016-Present). He is also a Research Associate at the Duke Lemur Center's Division of Fossil Primates.

Clara Stefen

PhD in Biology in Bonn, Postdoc in Berkeley, Museum of Paleontology. Currently Curator of Senckenberg Naturhistorische Sammlungen Dresden.

Hans-Dieter Sues

M.Sc., University of Alberta (1977); M.A., Harvard University (1978); Ph.D., Harvard University (1984).

Research interests: Phylogeny and evolutionary morphology of late Paleozoic and Mesozoic tetrapods.

J. G. Thewissen

Ingalls-Brown endowed Professor of Anatomy at Northeast Ohio Medical University, and head of its Skeletal Biology Research Focus Area. Associate Editor of the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society and the Journal of the Palaeontological Society of India. Editor of the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals.

Sara Varela

I am working on Pleistocene mammal extinctions. Co-developer of R packages to download data from open access databases (rAvis and paleobioDB), and team member of, an open access repository to access climatic data for the past, present and future.

Mathew John Wedel

I am a vertebrate paleontologist, and my main areas of interest are sauropod dinosaurs and the evolution of pneumatic (air-filled) bones in dinosaurs and birds. I'm also interested in the evolution of heads and necks in vertebrates, and in the nervous systems of very large animals. I've been fortunate to coauthor three papers naming new dinosaurs: the sauropods Sauroposeidon (2000) and Brontomerus (2011), and the early horned dinosaur Aquilops (2014). I am currently an Associate Professor at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, where I teach gross anatomy. In 2016 my book "The Sauropod Dinosaurs: Life in the Age of Giants", with artist and lead author Mark Hallett, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

In my spare time I enjoy stargazing, and I write the monthly Binocular Highlights column and the occasional feature article for Sky & Telescope magazine.

Ingrid M Weiss

Head of Biomineralization at INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials, Saarbrücken, Germany and Private Lecturer "Biochemistry" at the University of Regensburg, Germany.

Peter D. Wilf

After an eclectic and non-geological undergrad career (B.A. Penn 1985), I spent three years teaching junior high school in New Jersey and then four years freelancing with my guitars in West Philly. I discovered geology and then paleobotany at the early age of 29 and have never looked back. I somehow moved from the street, almost literally, onto the doctoral track in Penn Geology and defended in 1998. Most of my thesis research was done in residence at the Smithsonian, on megafloral and paleoclimatic change across the Paleocene-Eocene boundary in southern Wyoming. During this time and in an ensuing Smithsonian postdoc, I began developing two major subsequent themes of my research: the fossil history of plant-insect associations and the unbelievable riches of Patagonian fossil floras. I spent three terrific years at Michigan, 1999-2002, as a Michigan Fellow and happily joined the Penn State Geosciences faculty in 2002, where I have been developing these and several other wonderful research projects with my students and colleagues all over the world.

Laura A. B. Wilson

ARC Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales (Australia) with an interest in the evolutionary morphology and palaeobiology of vertebrates. I apply quantitative methods to address macroevolutionary questions relating to the evolution of growth and development patterns.

Mark T Young

Researcher at the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh. Mark received his PhD in Earth Science from the University of Bristol, in collaboration with the Natural History Museum London. He specialises in the taxonomy, biomechanics, anatomy, and phylogeny of crocodylomorphs and marine reptiles. His current work is focused on the evolution of Mesozoic marine crocodylomorphs and the fossils of Scotland.