sealPurdue Paleontology Experts


James O. Farlow

Professor, earth and space sciences (Fort Wayne)
(219) 481-6251

Is an expert on dinosaur physiology. Studies of fossilized dinosaur tracks, and work with modern birds with similar feet, led him to believe dinosaurs weren't slow, sluggish beasts. Addressed some of these misconceptions in a "Nova" documentary.

Richard A. Hengst

Professor, biology (Purdue North Central)
(219) 785-5252

Has expertise in dinosaur physiology and respiration. Worked with scientists from Notre Dame, University of Minnesota and U.S. Geological Survey in developing the "Pele Hypothesis" on dinosaur extinction, presented at the 1994 annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. Has traveled to dinosaur sites in China and the United States. Works with alligators as the dinosaurs' closest living relatives.

William J. Zinsmeister

Professor, earth and atmospheric sciences
(765) 494-0279

Is an expert in evolution and is best known for his studies of evolution in the Southern Hemisphere. Has led a number of expeditions to Antarctica and southern South America to collect fossils and determine how ancient life forms adapted to changes in the geographic locations of continents and the shape of the ocean basins. Was one of 10 experts from the United States and Canada chosen by the Paleontological Society to present talks on asteroids, dinosaurs and extinction, and the biogeographic history of the southern Pacific. Has worked extensively with journalists.

Geological dating

David Elmore

Professor, physics
Director, PRIME Lab
(765) 494-6516

Research in the Purdue Rare Isotope Measurement Laboratory involves applying the technique of accelerator mass spectrometry to geosciences, biology and materials science, including using it to date rocks, ground water and ice cores. Works to develop automation of isotope ratio measurements, ion sources, and new detector systems. Also studies long-lived radionuclides in natural samples, such as meteorites, ground water, ocean sediment and surface rocks.


James G. Ogg

Professor, earth and atmospheric sciences
(765) 494-8681

Studies ancient climate conditions and patterns in order to understand current and future climate. Research includes investigations of how global temperature, carbon dioxide levels and ozone depletion affect ocean level and productivity.

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