January 8, 1936|
|Died||March 26, 2002
|Residence||Denver, Colorado, United States|
|Fields||Vertebrate paleontology, Mammalogy, Zooarchaeology, Conservation biology|
|Institutions||Smithsonian Institution, Idaho Museum of Natural History, Colorado State University, Denver Museum of Nature & Science|
|Alma mater||University of Colorado|
|Doctoral advisor||Björn Kurtén|
Anderson graduated from the University of Colorado in 1960. She completed her Master's thesis in 1965. For her Ph.D., she opted to go to Finland, becoming the first Fulbright Scholar to do so. She studied under the Finnish paleontologist Björn Kurtén, then one of the most distinguished authorities on studies on prehistoric mammals. Anderson returned to the United States after completing her Ph.D. and worked as a scientific consultant at the Pleistocene Hall at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. She also worked briefly at the Idaho Museum of Natural History (then known as the Idaho State University Museum of Natural History) and the Maryland Academy of Sciences. She had to leave her latter job in order to return to Denver and care for her ailing mother.
After her mother's death, she stayed in her childhood home, often being visited by other paleontologists, mammalogists and naturalists who were passing through. A frequent visitor of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (formerly known as the Denver Museum of Natural History), she formally became a member of the staff in 1984. She was elected a Research Associate in 1994. She was also an adjunct professor of Biology at the Colorado State University.
Contributions to science
Anderson specialized in vertebrate paleontology and mammals. Her particular interest in the members of Carnivora earned her the affectionate nickname of "The Carnivore Lady". She was an Associate Editor of the journal Mammalian Species, published by the American Society of Mammalogists from 1995 until her death. She was also involved in the field of zooarcheology, long before the term was even coined. She was also active in the conservation efforts on North American mammalian fauna.
- Blaine W. Schubert; Jim I. Mead; Russell W. Graham (2003). Ice Age cave faunas of North America. Indiana University Press. p. v. ISBN 978-0-253-34268-3.
- Russell Wm. Graham; H. Gregory McDonald (2002). "In Memoriam: Elaine Anderson, 1936-2002" (PDF). Mammoth Trumpet. Center for the Study of the First Americans. 17 (3): 8–9. ISSN 8755-6898. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
- S. David Webb; Russell W. graham; Anthony D. Barnosky; Christopher J. Bell; Richard Franz; Elizabeth A. Hadly; Ernest L. Lundelius Jr.; H. Gregory McDonald; Robert A. Martin; Holmes A. Semken Jr.; David W. Steadman (2002). "Vertebrate Paleontology" (PDF). Developments in Quaternary Science. Elsevier. 17 (3): 533. doi:10.1016/S1571-0866(03)01025-X. ISSN 1571-0866. Retrieved May 18, 2011.