Paleontology, Evolution

Paleontology has a long tradition of excellence at Yale University and is a major part of the program in the Department of Geology and Geophysics. The research interests of faculty are very diverse and include taphonomy, biogeochemistry, exceptionally preserved fossils, trace fossils, morphology, phylogenetic systematics, macroevolution, paleoclimatology, paleoecology, paleogeography and stratigraphy, as well as the taxonomy and phylogeny of a range of groups from plants to dinosaurs. The focus is on specimen based research as well as analysis and theory, and the approach is highly interdisciplinary.

There are extensive laboratory facilities both in the Department of Geology and Geophysics and in the Environmental Science¬† Center.¬† The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History holds one of the nation’s most important collection of fossils, which is world wide in scope. Based on early collections by Yale paleontologists, including Othniel C. Marsh, James D. Dana, George Wieland, Charles E. Beecher and Charles Schuchert, as well as more recent additions, there are now some 270,000 specimens in paleobotany, over 5 million in invertebrate paleontology and 75,000 in vertebrate paleontology. Yale University has a strong commitment to the conservation and curation of these world class collections which are a major platform for research in paleontology.

The Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies (YIBS) provides a platform for multidisciplinary research in environmental science and ecology, including the historical dimension afforded by paleontology.

Faculty affiliated with this group include Bhart-Anjan Bhullar, Derek Briggs, Leo Buss, Peter Crane, Michael Donoghue, David Evans, Jacques Gauthier, Pincelli Hull, and Alan Rooney. In addition each of the divisions in the Yale Peabody Museum is run by expert collections managers.