National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Dept. of Paleobiology

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Parent Organization

National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)


The paleontological collections of the Smithsonian Institution were a part of the Department of Geology, United States National Museum (USNM) from 1880 until its dissolution in 1963. The Department of Paleobiology was created in 1963 as part of a reorganization in the Museum of Natural History. At that time, the Department of Geology was divided into two departments, with the Divisions of Invertebrate Paleontology and Paleobotany and Vertebrate Paleontology joined to form the Department of Paleobiology. G. Arthur Cooper, formerly Head Curator of Geology, became the first Chairman of the Department of Paleobiology in 1963 and served until 1967. Other Chairmen have included Porter M. Kier, 1967-1972; Richard E. Grant, 1972-1977; Martin A. Buzas,1977-1982; Ian G. MacIntyre, 1982-1987; Jack W. Pierce, 1987-1993; William A. DiMichele, 1993-1998; and Richard H. Benson, 1998-2001; Douglas H. Erwin, 2001-2002; Scott Wing, 2002-2007; Conrad Christopher Labandeira, 2008-2009; and Brian T. Huber, 2010- .


  • SIA AH00048 [Agency History]





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