2007 Gregory Award Recipient

John J. Flynn

John J. Flynn

John Flynn received his BA in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University (1977), and his MA (1979) and PhD (1983) in Geological Sciences from Columbia University.  He joined the American Museum of Natural History as Frick Curator of Fossil Mammals in the autumn of 2004, was appointed Chairman of the Division of Paleontology in November 2005, and was selected as the first Dean of the new Richard Gilder Graduate School in January 2007.  Prior to joining the American Museum he was John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Curator of Fossil Mammals at the Field Museum in Chicago, where he also served as Chair of the Department of Geology for 8 years (1992-2000), scientific coordinator of the museum's SUE (the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex) project, and curator for many permanent and temporary exhibits.  Flynn was Assistant Professor at Rutgers University before joining the Field Museum staff, and holds or has held faculty appointments at Columbia University, the City University of New York, the New York Consortium for Evolutionary Primatology (NYCEP), the University of Chicago (where he was Associate Chair of the Committee on Evolutionary Biology PhD program from 1995-2004) and the University of Illinois, Chicago. Supported by a John S. Guggenheim Fellowship, John spent 2001-2002 in Chile, together with his wife Alison and children Rachel and Peter. 

Author of more than 100 scientific publications, Flynn's research focuses on the evolution of mammals and dinosaurs, geological dating, plate tectonics (continental drift), and biogeography.  He also has contributed articles to Scientific American, Natural History, and National Geographic, provided scientific expertise for several popular science books, and been featured in numerous television and radio shows (A&E, National Geographic Explorer, Today Show, Early Show, CNN, 20/20, NPR, etc.), newspapers and magazines.  Achieving a boyhood goal, John was thrilled to show fossils to a clown, appearing twice on the Bozo Show.  Also fulfilling his Yale yearbook career objective ("bone hunter"), John has led more than three dozen paleontological expeditions to Chile, Peru, Colombia, Madagascar, India and the Rocky Mountains, supported by the US National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, NASA, and other organizations.   Flynn now serves on the Advisory Board of the Peabody Museum at Yale University and was President (1999-2001) and member of the Board/Executive Committee (1993-2002) of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, the world's largest organization of professionals in this field.

Photo courtesy of John J. Flynn.