Robert R. Reisz

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Robert R. Reisz, 2004

Robert Rafael Reisz is a Canadian paleontologist and specialist in the study of early amniote and tetrapod evolution.

Robert Reisz was born August 27, 1947, in Oradea, Romania. He received his B.Sc. (1969), M.Sc. (1971) and Ph.D. (1975) from McGill University as Robert L. Carroll’s first doctoral graduate. After teaching as visiting lecturer at University of California, Los Angeles for a year, he accepted an appointment in the Biology Department at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga Campus in 1975 where he still maintains his research lab. His research has been funded continuously by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). He conducted field work in North America, Africa, and Europe, where he excavated fossils from the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras. These excavations were frequently funded by the National Geographic Society.

Dr. Reisz has broad interests in vertebrate paleontology. He has published more than 100 scientific articles on subjects as diverse as lungfish and dinosaurs, but is best known for his work on early amniotes. His research includes a number of groundbreaking discoveries, including the oldest known dinosaur embryos, the oldest known bipedal reptile, and the oldest known diapsid reptile.

His achievements have been recognized by the scientific community and various professional societies and institutions. Dr. Reisz is Research Associate at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (since 1975), the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh (since 1980), and the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago (since 1998). He was Senior Visiting Scientist at the Paleontological Institute of the Russian Academy of Science, Moscow (1989–2003) and Invited Professor at the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris (2000–2003). Among others he received the Bass Fellowship of the Field Museum of Natural History (1998–2000), the Visiting Wilson Fellowship of the University of London, King’s College (2000–2001), and a Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2006–2008). In 2007, Dr. Reisz was honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and was recognized as Fellow. He was Senior Editor (2006-2010) of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, published by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. Recently, his biography[1] was published in a special issue of the Comptes Rendus Palevol of the French Academy of Sciences that was devoted to him.

Robert Reisz has trained several students and postdoctoral fellows in his career, several of which have subsequently secured employment in academia. Some are already tenured. They include, in approximate chronological order in which they defended their doctoral thesis, Stephen Godfrey (Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons, Maryland), David W. Dilkes (U. of Wisconsin at Oshkosh), Michel Laurin (CNRS, France), Sean P. Modesto (Cape Breton University), Jason S. Anderson (U. of Calgary), Johannes Müller (Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin), Natalia Rybczynski (Carlton University, Ottawa), David C. Evans (Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto), Corwin Sullivan (IVPP, Beijing), and Kaila E. Folinsbee (Iowa State University). Other former students or postdocs are still active but have yet to obtain a tenure-track position, such as Jörg Fröbisch (Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin) and Hillary C. Maddin (Harvard).

Selected publications[edit]

  • Reisz, R. R., Scott, D., Sues, H.-D., Evans, D. C. and Raath, M. A. (2005) Embryos of an Early Jurassic prosauropod dinosaur and their evolutionary significance. Science 309: 761-764.
  • Reisz, R. R. and Smith, M.M. (2001) Lungfish dental pattern conserved for 360 million years. Nature 411: 548-550.
  • Rybczynski, N and Reisz, R.R. (2001) Earliest evidence for efficient oral processing in a terrestrial herbivore. Nature 411: 684-687.
  • Reisz, R.R., and Sues, H-D. (2000) The 'feathers' of Longisquama. Nature 408: 428.
  • Berman, D. S, Reisz, R.R., Henrici, A.C., Sumida, S.S. and Martens, T. (2000) Early Permian Bipedal Reptile. Science 290: 969-972.
  • Reisz, R.R. and H.D. Sues. (2000). Herbivory in Late Paleozoic and Triassic Terrestrial Vertebrates. pp 9–41. in: Evolution of Herbivory in Terrestrial Vertebrates, Cambridge Univ. Press., H.D. Sues, ed.
  • Sues, H.D. and R.R. Reisz. (1998). Origins and early evolution of herbivory in tetrapods. TREE vol. 13.4, pp. 141–145.
  • Reisz, R.R. (1997). The origin and early evolutionary history of amniotes. TREE. vol. 2 (6): 218-222.
  • Laurin, M. and Reisz, R.R. (1995) A reevaluation of early amniote phylogeny. Zool. Jour. Linn. Soc. 113: 165-223.
  • Laurin, M. and R. R. Reisz. (1997). A new perspective on tetrapod phylogeny. pp. 8–58. in: "The Origin of Amniotes: Completing the Transition to Land", Sumida, S. S.and K. L. M. Martin
  • Reisz, R.R. and Laurin, M. (1991). Owenetta and the origin of turtles. Nature 349(6307): 324-326.
  • Laurin, M. and R.R. Reisz. (1990). Tetraceratops is the oldest known therapsid. Nature: 345(6272): 249-250.
  • Reisz, R.R. (1986). Pelycosauria. Handbuch der Palaeoherpetologie. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart (Dr. P. Wellenhofer ed.) 102 pp., 43 figs.
  • Reisz, R.R. (1977). Petrolacosaurus, the oldest known diapsid reptile. Science 196: 1091-1093.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Laurin, M., Sues, H.-D. (2013). "Robert R. Reisz - Renaissance paleontologist". Comptes rendus Palevol 12 (7–8): 393–404. doi:10.1016/j.crpv.2012.09.001. 

External links[edit]

  • [1] Robert Reisz's web site at the University of Toronto, Mississauga
  • [2] Society of Vertebrate Paleontology: