Society News Media Guide SVP Media Response Team
The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and its leaders are excellent sources for vertebrate paleontology, evolution and climate change stories. Use the summary table below or scroll down to view more complete information for each individual.
Media Response Team member
Areas of expertise
General mission, operations, and policies of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and ethics issues involving vertebrate fossils
Dinosaur evolution and paleoecology
Primates and Cenozoic mammals
Evolution of birds, flight, systematic paleontology, evolution of morphology, and dinosaurs
Fossil mammals, paleobiology and climate/habitat change, SVP press releases
Kristi Curry Rogers
Dinosaur paleontology (especially sauropods) and general dinosaur evolution and paleobiology
Paleozoic fish and early Tetrapod evolution
Nicholas (Nick) C. Fraser
Early Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystems , mass extinctions, collecting on federal lands and commercial collecting
Anthony (Tony) Friscia
Mammalian paleontology (especially carnivores, whales and primates), biomechanics and paleoecology, SVP press releases
Mammalian evolution, evolutionary development, morphometrics, macroevolution, general paleobiology and wildlife conservation
Jason J. Head
Reptile paleontology, climate change, dinosaurs, evolution, evolutionary developmental paleontology and morphometrics
Paul L. Koch
Cenozoic mammals, marine mammals, Pleistocene extinctions, isotope biogeochemistry and paleoclimatology
Dinosaur and early bird evolution and paleobiology (with emphasis on Southern Hemisphere discoveries); paleontological fieldwork, collections, exhibitions, and educational outreach
Paleozoic fishes, origin of tetrapods, Australian dinosaurs and other fossils and general evolutionary theory
Carnivores living and fossil, African paleontology, evolutionary biology and conservation
Past-President, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Museum of Paleontology and Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI USA
Catherine Badgley's research areas include mammalian paleontology, terrestrial paleoecology and biogeography.
Areas of Expertise for Media Contacts: General mission, operations, and policies of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and ethics issues involving vertebrate fossils.
Phone: +1 734-763-6448 (with voicemail)
PAUL M. BARRETT
Researcher, Dinosaurs and Fossil Reptiles
Department of Palaeontology
The Natural History Museum, London
London, UNITED KINGDOM
Paul Barrett received his undergraduate degree and PhD from the University of Cambridge, and held research and faculty positions at both Cambridge and the University of Oxford. He is currently a research scientist at the Natural History Museum, London and is also heavily involved in the museum's outreach activities. Paul is a dinosaur specialist, though has also published on a wide variety of other extinct reptiles, including pterosaurs, marine reptiles, turtles, and lizards. In addition to this work, he is currently one of the Senior Editors of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
Areas of Expertise for Media Contacts: Dinosaur evolution and paleoecology.
Phone: +44 (0)207 942 5552
JONATHAN I. BLOCH
Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL USA
Jonathan I. Bloch is an Associate Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology in the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida. He received his MS and PhD from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his BS at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is Co-Editor for the journal Paleobiology and on the editorial board for the Journal of Mammalian Evolution. Jon's research focuses on primate origins and adaptations, Paleocene and Eocene mammalian paleontology, the response of vertebrate communities to climate change, evolutionary morphology and paleoecology of small mammals, and the origin of vertebrate diversity in the neotropics. Jon has done field work in North and South America, Asia and Africa.
Areas of Expertise for Media Contacts: Primates, Cenozoic mammals.
Phone: +1 352-273-1938 (office); +1 352-514-1270 (cell)
Department of Geological Sciences
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX USA
Julia Clarke is an Associate Professor in the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin. Julia’s research focuses on using phylogenetic methods and diverse data types to gain insight into the evolution of birds and avian flight and other transitions such as the co-option of the flight stroke for underwater diving. She is particularly interested in understanding shared patterns and potential causal factors in the evolution of living bird lineages. Her lab seeks new data to inform how avian diversity and distributions have changed across their deep histories. International collaborations and fieldwork (e.g., in Peru, New Zealand, Antarctica, Mongolia and China) provide new fossil data to approach these questions. She received her BA from Brown University and PhD from Yale University.
Areas of Expertise for Media Contacts: The evolution of birds, flight, systematic paleontology, evolution of morphology, dinosaurs.
Department of Anatomy
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, OH USA
Darin Croft is an associate professor in the Department of Anatomy at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and is a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History (New York), the Carnegie Museum (Pittsburgh), the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and The Field Museum (Chicago). He spends most of his time teaching anatomy to medical and graduate students in Cleveland and conducting museum collections research and paleontological research throughout the world, mainly in South America. Fieldwork has taken Darin to Australia, Madagascar, South America and the western United States. His research focuses on the evolution of mammals, especially those in South America. He also is interested in paleoecology (how extinct animals lived and interacted with each other) and the evolution of animals on island continents. Darin has taken part in many educational and outreach activities designed to teach people of all ages about paleontology, fossil hunting and mammals.
Areas of Expertise for Media Contacts: Living and extinct mammals, paleontological fieldwork, paleobiology and climate/habitat change
Phone: +1 216-368-5268; +1 216-496-1348 (cell)
KRISTI CURRY ROGERS
Biology and Geology Departments
St. Paul, MN USA
Kristi Curry Rogers earned a BS in biology from Montana State University and completed her MSc and PhD in anatomical sciences at Stony Brook University. Her research focuses on dinosaur anatomy, evolution and paleobiology. She is particularly interested in the long-necked sauropod dinosaurs and has conducted field and museum research around the world in search of their bones. Kristi is also interested in the growth rates of dinosaurs and other vertebrates and utilizes bone histology to better understand how extinct animals made their livings. She is currently a faculty member in the Biology and Geology Departments at Macalester College and holds an adjunct professorship in geoscience at the University of Minnesota.
Areas of Expertise for Media Contacts: Dinosaur paleontology (especially sauropods) and general dinosaur evolution and paleobiology
Phone: +1 651-696-6799 (office); +1 651-331-6815 (cell)
Department of Vertebrate Zoology
Academy of Natural Sciences
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Ted Daeschler is an Associate Curator in the Center for Systematic Biology and Evolution at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. He has an active research program working on Devonian-age fossil vertebrates. Exploration and collecting includes two decades of fieldwork in Devonian strata along highway roadsides in Pennsylvania, and in remote areas of the Nunavut Territory in the high Canadian Arctic. Discoveries and research have focused on the "fish-tetrapod transition" within the context of significant geobiological change during the Devonian Period. The ongoing work on Tiktaalik roseae (first described in 2006) provides details of a well-preserved intermediate form elucidating the details associated with the transition from finned to limbed members of the tetrapod stem lineage.
Areas of Expertise for Media Contacts: Fish-tetrapod transition, early tetrapod evolution, early terrestrial environments, paleozoic fishes, taphonomy, museum education
Phone: +1-215-299-1133 (office), +1-267-222-2213 (cell)
NICHOLAS (NICK) C. FRASER
Keeper of Natural History
National Museums Scotland
Edinburgh UNITED KINGDOM
After receiving his PhD in geology from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland in 1984, Nick Fraser spent the next six years at Cambridge University as a fellow of Girton College studying Triassic reptiles. In 1990 he became the curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Virginia Museum of Natural History (VMNH) in Martinsville, Virginia. He recently moved back to Edinburgh, Scotland where he is now keeper of natural sciences at National Museums Scotland. Nick's research centers on terrestrial vertebrate faunal change across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. Nick is also very interested in public education, and for the past nine summers he has taken teachers, students and other volunteers to the badlands of Bighorn County, Wyoming, where he is excavating a very extensive Jurassic dinosaur bone bed. Most recently he has been working on Triassic terrestrial deposits in Liaoning Province, China, together with colleagues at the National Geological Museum, Beijing. Nick also currently serves as editor of the memoirs series for the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.
Areas of Expertise for Media Contacts: Early Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystems , mass extinctions, collecting on federal lands and commercial collecting
Phone: + (0) 131 247 4007 (office); + (0) 7526315501(mobile)
University of California, Los Angeles
Undergraduate Education Initiatives / Physiological Sciences
Los Angeles, CA USA
Anthony (Tony) Friscia earned a BA in anthropology from Washington University under D. Tab Rasmussen. Tony started on the road to field work with Tab one summer in Utah's Uinta Basin, where Tony now runs his own research. Because of his work there, Tony also got a chance to participate in the Fayum project with Duke University and Elwyn Simons. He moved on to a Masters degree under Hans Thewissen, studying the carnivorous mammals from the Uintan Eocene deposits, and traveled with Hans to Pakistan to look for fossil whales. Anthony received his PhD in biology from the University of California, Los Angeles under Blaire Van Valkenburgh. His current research includes the paleoecology and ecomorphology of living and extinct mammalian carnivores, especially those of the Eocene, as well as taphonomic studies of more recent deposits such as the Pleistocene La Brea Tar Pits. He currently is a faculty member at UCLA helping to shape their undergraduate general education science program.
Areas of Expertise for Media Contacts: Mammalian paleontology (especially carnivores, whales and primates), biomechanics and paleoecology
Phone: +1 310-206-6011 (office); +1 310-775-3538 (cell)
Department of Genetics, Evolution, and Environment
Department of Earth Sciences
University College London
London UNITED KINGDOM
Anjali Goswami is a lecturer in paleobiology, appointed jointly in the Department of Genetics, Evolution, and Environment and the the Department of Earth Sciences at University College London. Her main research interests are in mammalian evolution and development, especially using quantitative methods, such as morphometrics, to test for genetic and developmental constraints on large-scale patterns of morphological evolution. Her research has focused on Carnivora, Primates, Mesozoic mammals, and, most recently, on the Marsupial-Placental dichotomy. Anjali has also previously worked in wildlife conservation in central India. She currently conducts fieldwork in the Cretaceous of India and the Paleogene of Svalbard and has previously been involved in fieldwork in the western United States, Chile, Peru and Madagascar.
Areas of Expertise for Media Contacts: Mammalian evolution, evolutionary development, morphometrics, macroevolution, general paleobiology and wildlife conservation
Phone: +44 (0)20 7679 7411 (office), +44 (0)7707 616517 (mobile)
JASON J. HEAD
Department of Biology
University of Toronto Mississauga
Mississauga, ON CANADA
Jason Head received a BS in biology from the University of Michigan in 1995, a MS in geology from Southern Methodist University in 1997, and a PhD from Southern Methodist University in 2002. Jason is a vertebrate paleontologist and biologist interested in the relationship between evolutionary patterns in reptiles and climate over the past 66.5 million years, as well as the origin and evolutionary relationships of snakes, lizards, turtles and crocodilians. He is currently an assistant professor of biology at the University of Toronto.
Areas of Expertise for Media Contacts: Reptile paleontology, climate change, dinosaurs, evolution, evolutionary developmental paleontology and morphometrics
Phone: +1 905-828-3981
PAUL L. KOCH
Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences
University of California
Santa Cruz, CA USA
Paul L. Koch is professor and chair of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He received his MS and PhD from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his BA at the University of Rochester. He received the Charles Schuchert Award from the Paleontological Society and is a fellow of the Geological Society of America and the Paleontological Society. Paul's research focuses on vertebrate ecology (past and present), which he reconstructs using biogeochemical methods and other tools. He studies how animal ecology influences evolutionary patterns in vertebrates. Another large thread of his research is continental paleoclimatology, which he reconstructs through geochemical analysis of ancient soils and fossils. Paul has worked on a wide variety of vertebrates (Pleistocene and early Cenozoic mammals, marine mammals, carnivores, condors, crocodilians, sharks) and has done field work in North and South America, Asia, Africa and Antarctica.
Areas of Expertise for Media Contacts: Cenozoic mammals, marine mammals, Pleistocene extinctions, isotope biogeochemistry and paleoclimatology
Phone: +1 831-459-5861
Fax: +1 831-459-3074
MATTHEW C. (MATT) LAMANNA
Section of Vertebrate Paleontology
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Pittsburgh, PA USA
Matt Lamanna is an Assistant Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at Carnegie Museum of Natural History and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Geology and Planetary Science at the University of Pittsburgh. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. His research interests center on the evolution, ecology and distribution of dinosaurs and Mesozoic birds, especially from Cretaceous-aged localities in the southern continents. Over the past decade, he has co-directed expeditions to Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, Egypt and China that have resulted in the discovery of multiple new species of dinosaurs and other Cretaceous organisms. Matt also recently served as the principal scientific advisor to Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s "Dinosaurs in Their Time" exhibit renovation project, and has co-advised a number of other major natural history exhibitions as well.
Areas of Expertise for Media Contacts: Dinosaur and early bird evolution and paleobiology (with emphasis on Southern Hemisphere discoveries); paleontological fieldwork, collections, exhibitions, and educational outreach
Phone: +1 412 578-2696 (office); +1 412 592-3361 (mobile)
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Los Angeles, CA USA
John Long was born in Melbourne, Australia, and began collecting fossils there at age seven. He graduated with a PhD from Monash University in 1984, and spent six years as a researcher in paleontology at universities in Canberra, Perth and Tasmania before being appointed at the Western Australian Museum in 1989 as curator of vertebrate paleontology. In 2004 John returned to Melbourne as head of sciences for Museum Victoria, Australia's largest museum organization. He has been at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County since 2009, where he serves as Vice President of Research and Collections. John's research has focused on the early evolution of vertebrates (fishes) as well as dinosaurs and general evolutionary theory. He has worked in Australia, Antarctica, Africa, Asia, North America and Europe. Among his recent major papers are contributions to solving some of the biggest problems in paleontology — what killed the Australian megafauna, and the origins of the first land animals. His publications include many journal articles, as well as a number of both technical and award-winning popular-level books.
Areas of Expertise for Media Contacts: Paleozoic fishes, origin of tetrapods, Australian dinosaurs and other fossils and general evolutionary theory
Department of Palaeozoology
Swedish Museum of Natural History
Lars Werdelin received his PhD in 1981 from the University of Stockholm, under the guidance of Björn Kurtén (Helsinki). Since then he has worked on various aspects of carnivore evolution including systematics, paleoecology, functional morphology and biogeography. Since 1996 his work has been focused on the evolution of carnivora in Africa, including the close association between carnivora and early human ancestors.
Areas of expertise for media contacts: Carnivores living and fossil, African paleontology, evolutionary biology and conservation