Contributors

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Adrian Currie is a postdoctoral researcher at CSER at Cambridge University, having taught and researched at the University of Calgary, Victoria University of Wellington, Australian National University (where he received his Phd), the University of Sydney and the IRH in Bucharest. He is generally interested in scientific method under non-ideal circumstances. A major part of his research focuses on epstemic and methodological questions about scientific access to the past. His website is here.

Derek Turner teaches philosophy at Connecticut College, in New London, CT, USA, where he is also Associate Director of the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment. He is the author of Making Prehistory: Historical Science and the Scientific Realism Debate (2007) and Paleontology: A Philosophical Introduction (2011). His website is here.

Leonard Finkelman is assistant professor of philosophy at Linfield College in McMinnville, OR, USA, where his office doubles as a dinosaur toy museum. His research focuses on the metaphysics of extinction and the nature of inference in dinosaur research. In addition to teaching and research, he is actively engaged in outreach efforts for philosophy. His website is here.

Joyce Havstad is an assistant professor in the philosophy department at Oakland University outside of Detroit, Michigan. Her office contains an impressive collection of Mold-A-Ramas, including many dinosaur ones, though sadly not the pterodactyl Mold-A-Rama, which she covets greatly. Her interests in philosophy of paleontology range from agnathans to Zhenyuanlong suni. Her website is here.

Guest Contributors

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When he's not moonlighting as a triceratops wrangler, Lukas Rieppel teaches the history of science, the history of capitalism, and American history at Brown University. He is currently working on a book about what the history of dinosaur paleontology can tell us about the culture of capitalism in the United States, tentatively entitled "Assembling the Dinosaur: Science, Museums, and American Capitalism." In addition, he has written several essays and book chapters about the history of museums, the history of the life sciences, and the intersection between media studies and paleontological practice. See his post here.

Carol E. Cleland is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado (Boulder). She received her B.A. in mathematics from the University of California (Santa Barbara) and her Ph.D. in philosophy from Brown University. Her current research interests are in the areas of scientific methodology, historical science, biology (especially microbiology, origins of life, the nature of life, and astrobiology), and the theory of computation. Cleland’s published work has appeared in major science journals (Current Organic Chemistry, Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere, Geology, Astrobiology, International Journal of Astrobiology, and Theoretical Computer Science) as well as in leading philosophy journals (Philosophy of Science, British Journal of Philosophy of Science, Synthese, and Biology and Philosophy). She co-edited with Mark Bedau an anthology, The Nature of Life: Classical and Contemporary Perspectives from Philosophy and Science, and is currently finishing a single authored book (The Quest for a Universal Theory of Life; Searching for life as we don’t know it), which is under contract with Cambridge University Press. Read her post here.

Caitlin Wylie is an assistant professor in the Program in Science, Technology and Society at the University of Virginia. She prepared fossils as an undergrad at the University of Chicago and as a volunteer at London’s Natural History Museum. Preparators’ socially and technically fascinating work inspired her ethnographic research about why and how preparators are powerful decision-makers and data-producers in fossil laboratories, yet missing from research publications. Caitlin is writing a book about preparators, lab practices, and the construction of specimens and knowledge. Read her post here.

Helen De Cruz is a senior lecturer in philosophy at Oxford Brookes University. She has published in philosophy of cognitive science, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of the historical sciences. Read her post here.

Ben Borkovic works at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta, as a field and lab technician on the Palaeontological Flood Mitigation Project. He works to find, collect, and prepare fossils and tries not to spend all of his time simply marvelling at Alberta’s abundance of fossils.

Ben received his M.Sc. from the University of Calgary in 2012. For his thesis he studied the morphological variation in the horns of the ceratopsid dinosaurs Centrosaurus and Triceratops in the hopes of finding evidence of sexual dimorphism, using modern horned mammals as a guide. He remains in awe of the fantastic and ever-growing diversity of ceratopsids and is interested in understanding the evolutionary processes and selection regimes that shaped their myriad forms. Read his post here.

Don Brinkman did his undergraduate degree in Zoology and Geology at the University of Alberta.  During that time, he worked as a field assistant for Dr. R. C. Fox, during which time he was introduced to the techniques of bulk sampling vertebrate microfossil localities.  He did his PhD at McGill University on the functional anatomy of the tarsus in diapsid reptiles.  After completing his PhD, he was hired under a collections renovation grant to help upgrade the collections at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University.  This gave hands-on experience with the amazing collection of Permian and Triassic reptiles assembled by A. Romer, and led to a series of studies of the taxonomy and evolution of Pelycosaurs.  In 1982, he was hired as a research scientist at the newly established Tyrrell Museum (then called the Paleontological Museum and Research Institute) which was being built about 45 minutes’ drive from the farm in which he grew up.  His research activities shifted to Late Cretaceous vertebrates, with a focus on turtles and vertebrate microfossil assemblages.  Involvement with the Canada-China Dinosaur Project in 1987 to 1990 led to studies of the turtles of Asia and questions regarding the pattern of interchange between North America and Asia.  His work on vertebrate microfossil localities is now focused on the diversity and distribution of teleost fish in the Late Cretaceous and Paleocene of the Western Interior of North America. Read his post here.

Trevor Pearce is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is currently writing a book, tentatively titled Pragmatism's Evolution: Organism and Environment in American Philosophy, that explores the complicated interactions between biology and philosophy in America around 1900. He co-edited the collection Entangled Life: Organism and Environment in the Biological and Social Sciences (Springer, 2014), and has written essays on a variety of topics in the history and philosophy of biology: organism-environment interaction, ecosystem engineering, constraints in evolution, evolutionary convergence, and the economy of nature. Read his post here!

Matt Haber is an associate professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Utah (and he's also currently residing as chair).  He also holds an adjunct appointment in the Center for Quantitative Biology.  He is a philosopher of biology, specializing in phylogenetic systematics.  Matt got his PhD in Philosophy at the University of California, Davis, where he was also an affiliate member of the Center Population Biology.  Prior to that he received an MSc in History and Philosophy of Science from the London School of Economics, and double majored in Biology and Philosophy at Grinnell College.  He became a philosopher of biology by refusing to ever choose between those two fields.  Matt teaches a class at the Natural History Museum of Utah called, "How to Make a Mammoth and Engineer a Dinosaur," where students grow somewhat alarmed at how excited he gets each time they look at fossils in class. Here's his guest blog.

Patrick Forber is an associate professor in the philosophy department at Tufts University. He wandered into philosophy by reflecting on the nature of evidence in evolutionary biology. Now he works on game theory and evolutionary models of social behavior with a keen interest in what we can (and can’t) say about the evolution of human cognition and morality. You can find out more about his work here. Read his post here.

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Daniel Nolan is McMahon-Hank Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He has broad philosophical interests, including metaphysics, the philosophy of science, meta-ethics, philosophical logic and the philosophy of language. His post is here.

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David Sepkoski is a Senior Research Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.  Most of his recent work has been on the history of paleontology, extinction, and evolution.  His latest book, Rereading the Fossil Record: The Growth of Paleobiology as an Evolutionary Discipline (Chicago 2012), is a study of the development of theoretical paleontology over the 20th century.  He is currently finishing a book on the scientific and cultural history of extinction, titled Catastrophic Thinking: Extinction and the Value of Diversity.  The topic discussed in his guest post, "Picturing Data, Narrating History" (December 2016), is part of an ongoing project (and future book) examining the uses of data in natural history. Read his post here.

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John Beatty works in history and philosophy of science, especially evolutionary biology, and also issues concerning scientific authority, and relationships between science and the state. With regard to the issues that matter most here--on this wonderful "Extinct" blog--John is especially interested and perplexed by things having to do with chance. Read his post here.

Jillian Noyes was that one kid in your elementary school science class who knew the answer to every single question about dinosaurs.  While that obsession eventually tapered off, her thirst for knowledge and the fantastical did not, which led to her becoming a Film Studies major at Connecticut College.  When not living and breathing cinema (or sociology, or philosophy), she writes for the Connecticut College chapter of Odyssey and updates her Vimeo whenever inspiration strikes.