Advisory Board and Editors Paleontology

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Stephanie E Pierce

Assistant Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University.

Stephanie E. Pierce is a trained paleontologist, anatomist, functional morphologist and evolutionary biomechanist. She completed a BSc degree in paleontology at the University of Alberta, Canada, which included an honors thesis on the anatomy and evolution of hadrosaurian dinosaurs. Directly following this, Stephanie pursued a MSc degree by research in Systematics and Evolution at the University of Alberta studying the anatomy and evolutionary relationships of extinct marine lizards. Her love of vertebrate evolution brought her to the University of Bristol, UK where she embarked on a PhD degree which focused on assessing the interplay between skull shape variation and biomechanical performance in extant and extinct crocodiles. Since finishing her studies, Stephanie has focused her main efforts on examining and reconstructing the 3D anatomy and locomotion potential of early tetrapods (Devonian and Carboniferous) to test hypotheses of limbed movement across the water-land transition.

Graciela Piñeiro

Professor at Departamento de Evolución de Cuencas, Facultad de Ciencias, Montevideo, Uruguay. Investigator Level 1, Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación (ANII). Investigator Gº 3 of the Programa de Desarrollo de las Ciencias Básicas in Biological and in Geological Fields. Responsible for several research projects on Late Paleozoic communities, including comparative anatomy, systematics, paleobiology, taphonomy, biostratigraphy, paleobiogeography and paleoenvironments.

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 Associate Professor of Anatomy in the department of Bio-Medical Sciences at PCOM. 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 and in the Department of Mammalogy, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

Matt Sponheimer

Matt does research on the ecology of early hominins and associated fauna in Africa. He has also directed and co-directed several multidisciplinary projects on the ecology of living mammals, both large and small, in South Africa. He is the director of the Nutritional and Isotopic Ecology Lab (NIEL) at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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.