2012 SVP Election Slate

Chris Beard

Current Position: Curator & Mary R. Dawson Chair, Section of Vertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH), Pittsburgh PA, USA.

Previous Positions: Assistant Curator, CMNH (1989-1992); Associate Curator, CMNH (1993-2000); Associate Dean of Science, CMNH (1997-2000).

Education: AB (Zoology & Anthropology), University of North Carolina, 1984; PhD (Functional Anatomy & Evolution), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1990.

Previous service to SVP: Associate Editor, JVP (1990-1993); Member, Annual Meeting Host Committee (1995); Chair, Media Liaison Committee (2000-2004); Member-at-Large, Executive Committee (2003-2006); Co-Chair, Annual Meeting Host Committee (2010). 

Professional service (non-SVP): Panelist, Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowships Program (2003-present); Course Director, Natural History of Medicine mini-electives, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Associate Editor, Journal of Human Evolution (1992-1994, 1996-1999, 2008-2011); Associate Editor, Journal of Mammalian Evolution (2006-present); Editor-in-Chief, Annals of Carnegie Museum (1992-1995).

Research Interests: I study the evolution of early Cenozoic mammals, with a special focus on primates and their close relatives. I’m interested in how macroevolutionary and biogeographic changes in mammalian faunas are related to perturbations of the physical environment, such as climate change, tectonics, and eustatic sea-level fluctuations.

Goals for SVP: I’ve been a member of SVP since entering graduate school in 1984, and I’ve always found its annual meetings to be the most rewarding and engaging that I attend. To a large extent, the most important future goal of SVP should be to ensure that the society, its annual meeting and flagship journal continue to exceed the expectations of its membership. As a museum professional, I am deeply concerned by the “infrastructure” of our discipline, by which I mean paleontological collections and their accessibility by the scientific community. I hope that SVP can work with museums, especially in the developing world, to emphasize the need for appropriate funding and staffing to ensure the long-term integrity and accessibility of this fundamental resource for our discipline. To the extent possible, the society also needs to work to maintain the high profile that our science enjoys with the lay public and to help translate this popularity into additional funding and jobs for our membership.