2012 SVP Election Slate

Gregg F. Gunnell

Current position: Director, Division of Fossil Primates, Duke Lemur Center, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Previous positions: Vertebrate Collection Coordinator, Museum of Paleontology, University of Michigan; Associate Research Scientist, Museum of Paleontology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Education: BA, Ma, PhD (1986) – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Professional service (SVP): Chair Morris Skinner Award Committee 1996-1997; Chair Gregory Award Committee 2009 to Present; Member Bryan Patterson Award Committee 2005 to Present.

Professional service (non-SVP): Book Series Editor, Cambridge University Press, 2008-2013; Editorial board, Journal of Human Evolution, 2003-2006; Editorial board, Palaios, 2006 to Present; Member, Advisory Board, North American Section of NOW; Member, Scientific Committee, 15th International Bat Research Conference, Prague, Czech Republic, 2009-2010; Member, Scientific Committee, 22nd International Senckenberg Conference, Frankfurt, Germany, 2010-2011; Member, University of Michigan Faculty Senate, Student Relations Advisory Committee, 2003-2006.

Research interests: Primate Evolutionary History, Origin of Anthropoid Primates, Origin of Bats and Bat Evolutionary History, Mammal evolution in Africa, Southeast Asia, and North America, Phylogenetic Systematics, Biochronology, Biostratigraphy, Paleobiogeography

Statement of Goals: SVP has grown from a group of less than 150 people when I first joined to its present status as one of the largest and most influential organizations promoting the field of vertebrate paleontology in the world. It has developed an international reputation as a strong voice advocating for ethical and proper treatment of the precious resources that vertebrate fossils represent. When I attend the annual meetings each year I always leave energized by the vitality of our organization and its membership, especially by the growing number of younger members in the society. Sadly, however, as I have learned from many members, this energy is often met at home institutions by disinterested administrators who view VP as a “pseudoscience” with little merit because it fails to generate the income that the “royal” sciences do. In my view, we as a society and as a group of scientists need to be as engaged as possible in promoting the unique perspective that the vertebrate fossil record can provide. We have a great deal of real information to offer concerning the effects of global climate change, habitat destruction, and loss or restructuring of biodiversity on local, regional, and global scales. I would hope to see SVP become an integral, international advocate in communicating to fiscally-focused universities and museums that whole animal biology and paleontology are still alive and viable fields that can offer fundamental data on some of the most vexing issues facing future generations.