Patrick Druckenmiller

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Patrick Druckenmiller
Excavated pleiosaur.jpg
Druckenmiller on a dig in 2011 (second right)
ResidenceFairbanks, Alaska, U.S.
CitizenshipUnited States
Spouse(s)Lisa Druckenmiller
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Alaska Museum of the North, Paleo Arctic Research Consortium

Patrick S. Druckenmiller is a Mesozoic paleontologist, taxonomist, associate professor of geology, Earth Sciences curator, and museum director[1][2] of the University of Alaska Museum of the North, where he oversees the largest single collection of Alaskan invertebrate and vertebrate fossils.[3] He has published work on plesiosaurs,[4][5][6] ichthyosaurs,[7][8][9] mastodons,[10] and dinosaurs[11][12][13] in the United States, Svalbard, and Canada. He has co-authored papers on discussions of mass extinctions[14] and biogeography. Much of his work has focused on Arctic species.[15] He is a member of the Spitsbergen Jurassic Research group, which focuses on marine reptiles.[16] Druckenmiller has named many new genera and species, including Edgarosaurus muddi, Nichollsia borealis, Athabascasaurus bitumineus, Cryopterygius kristiansenae, Spitrasaurus larseni, and Spitrasaurus wensaasi.[17]


Druckenmiller has served as a curator and as a faculty member in the University of Alaska, Fairbanks since 2007. Druckenmiller worked at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana, before coming to Alaska. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Calgary in Alberta and a master's degree from Montana State University in Bozeman, where he worked under paleontologist Jack Horner.[18]

Arctic research[edit]

Much of Druckenmiller's work focuses on cold-hardy, high-latitude prehistoric animals.[19] In 2015, he and his student named a new species of a duck-billed, plant-eating dinosaur, Ugrunaaluk kuukpikensis,,[20] that apparently lived in the snowy Arctic year-round.[21] His Arctic research received media attention from National Geographic that wrote about Ugrunaaluk: "The image of tyrannosaurs, horned dinosaurs, and hadrosaurs walking through the cool forests of ancient Alaska has run so counter to the classic Mesozoic imagery that it’s not surprising that this environment has been the subject of several recent documentaries and even a feature film."[20]

Druckenmiller has worked extensively on ichnofossils,[22] including fossil track sites in Denali National Park and Svalbard.[23] Druckenmiller started a five-year project in Denali in partnership with the Park Service to investigate the surrounding polar dinosaurs. As part of this project, they found the first fossilized bone in the park.[24]

Druckenmiller's expertise in organizing safe and successful expeditions into the Arctic was the subject of a Nature article, where Druckenmiller credits his expedition success to the good food. "Good food — high quality and in copious amounts — is essential...After 30 field seasons, Druckenmiller needs only a dry tent to be happy. But he keeps a sharp eye out for anyone who might be overwhelmed by miserable conditions."[25]

Predator X[edit]

In 2009, Druckenmiller was part of the History Channel documentary Predator X,[26] to discuss his find in Svalbard of a pliosaur suggested to have a bite four times stronger than Tyrannosaurus rex.[27] Druckenmiller and his colleagues were later interviewed by National Geographic,[27] The Link, Live Science,[28] and FoxNews. In the Norwegian Journal of Geology, Druckenmiller and colleagues named the creature Pliosaurus funkei. A fictional movie titled "Extinction: Predator X" was apparently inspired by the documentary and dig.[29]


  1. ^ "Dr. Pat Druckenmiller | Museum". Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  2. ^ says, Hannah Foss (2018-07-19). "New director selected for UA Museum of the North". UAF news and information. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  3. ^ "Patrick Druckenmiller". Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  4. ^ Benson, Roger B. J.; Evans, Mark; Druckenmiller, Patrick S. (2012-03-16). "High Diversity, Low Disparity and Small Body Size in Plesiosaurs (Reptilia, Sauropterygia) from the Triassic–Jurassic Boundary". PLoS ONE. 7 (3): e31838. Bibcode:2012PLoSO...731838B. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031838. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3306369. PMID 22438869.
  5. ^ Druckenmiller, Patrick S.; Russell, Anthony P. (2008-03-07). "Skeletal anatomy of an exceptionally complete specimen of a new genus of plesiosaur from the Early Cretaceous (Early Albian) of northeastern Alberta, Canada". Palaeontographica Abteilung A. 283 (1–3): 1–33. doi:10.1127/pala/283/2008/1. ISSN 0375-0442.
  6. ^ Druckenmiller, Patrick S.; Russell, Anthony P. (November 2009). "Earliest North American occurrence of Polycotylidae (Sauropterygia: Plesiosauria) from the Lower Cretaceous (Albian) Clearwater Formation, Alberta, Canada". Journal of Paleontology. 83 (6): 981–989. doi:10.1666/09-014.1. ISSN 0022-3360.
  7. ^ Druckenmiller, Patrick S.; Maxwell, Erin E. (August 2010). "A new Lower Cretaceous (lower Albian) ichthyosaur genus from the Clearwater Formation, Alberta, Canada". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. 47 (8): 1037–1053. Bibcode:2010CaJES..47.1037D. doi:10.1139/e10-028. ISSN 0008-4077.
  8. ^ Roberts, Aubrey Jane; Druckenmiller, Patrick Scott; Sætre, Glenn-Peter; Hurum, Jørn Harald (2014-08-01). "A New Upper Jurassic Ophthalmosaurid Ichthyosaur from the Slottsmøya Member, Agardhfjellet Formation of Central Spitsbergen" (PDF). PLoS ONE. 9 (8): e103152. Bibcode:2014PLoSO...9j3152R. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103152. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 4118863. PMID 25084533.
  9. ^ Maxwell, Erin E.; Druckenmiller, Patrick S. (2011-05-03). "A small ichthyosaur from the Clearwater Formation (Alberta, Canada) and a discussion of the taxonomic utility of the pectoral girdle". Paläontologische Zeitschrift. 85 (4): 457–463. doi:10.1007/s12542-011-0106-0. ISSN 0031-0220.
  10. ^ Zazula, Grant D.; MacPhee, Ross D. E.; Metcalfe, Jessica Z.; Reyes, Alberto V.; Brock, Fiona; Druckenmiller, Patrick S.; Groves, Pamela; Harington, C. Richard; Hodgins, Gregory W. L. (2014-12-01). "American mastodon extirpation in the Arctic and Subarctic predates human colonization and terminal Pleistocene climate change". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 111 (52): 18460–18465. Bibcode:2014PNAS..11118460Z. doi:10.1073/pnas.1416072111. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 4284604. PMID 25453065.
  11. ^ Erickson, Gregory M.; Druckenmiller, Patrick S. (December 2011). "Longevity and growth rate estimates for a polar dinosaur: aPachyrhinosaurus(Dinosauria: Neoceratopsia) specimen from the North Slope of Alaska showing a complete developmental record". Historical Biology. 23 (4): 327–334. doi:10.1080/08912963.2010.546856. ISSN 0891-2963.
  12. ^ Brown, Caleb Marshall; Druckenmiller, Patrick (September 2011). "Basal ornithopod (Dinosauria: Ornithischia) teeth from the Prince Creek Formation (early Maastrichtian) of Alaska". Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. 48 (9): 1342–1354. Bibcode:2011CaJES..48.1342B. doi:10.1139/e11-017. ISSN 0008-4077.
  13. ^ Mori, Hirotsugu; Druckenmiller, Patrick; Erickson, Gregory (2016). "A new Arctic hadrosaurid (Dinosauria: Hadrosauridae) from the Prince Creek Formation (lower Maastrichtian) of northern Alaska". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 61. doi:10.4202/app.00152.2015. ISSN 0567-7920.
  14. ^ Benson, Roger B. J.; Druckenmiller, Patrick S. (2013-04-13). "Faunal turnover of marine tetrapods during the Jurassic-Cretaceous transition". Biological Reviews. 89 (1): 1–23. doi:10.1111/brv.12038. ISSN 1464-7931. PMID 23581455.
  15. ^ Patrick., Druckenmiller (2008), Polar dinosaurs : living the high life in the age of dinosaurs, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, ISBN 9780915360314, OCLC 229900468
  16. ^ "Best Job Ever: Hunting for the Bones of a Loch Ness-Like Monster – National Geographic Blog". 2016-07-28. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  17. ^ "Patrick Druckenmiller - Google Scholar Citations". Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  18. ^ "New Director Selected for UA Museum of the North". Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  19. ^ "Grant funds study of the Arctic's Cretaceous creatures". UAF news and information. 2017-09-27. Retrieved 2018-12-11.
  20. ^ a b "The Arctic's "Edmontosaurus" Gets a New Name". Science & Innovation. 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  21. ^ Chinsamy, Anusuya; Thomas, Daniel B.; Tumarkin-Deratzian, Allison R.; Fiorillo, Anthony R. (2012-02-17). "Hadrosaurs Were Perennial Polar Residents". The Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology. 295 (4): 610–614. doi:10.1002/ar.22428. ISSN 1932-8486. PMID 22344791.
  22. ^ News-Miner, Theresa Bakker, For the. "New digs, new discoveries and new dinosaurs in Alaska". Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  23. ^ "Dinosaur Footprints on the Roof… Of the World! – National Geographic Blog". 2014-08-06. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  24. ^ "Where the Wild Things Were". National Parks Conservation Association. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  25. ^ Powell, Kendall (2017-03-16). "Outside the lab: Field your A Team". Nature. 543 (7645): 453–455. doi:10.1038/nj7645-453a. ISSN 0028-0836.
  26. ^ Predator X, retrieved 2018-12-10
  27. ^ a b "Paleontologists Reveal the Identity of 'Predator X'". Science & Innovation. 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  28. ^ Bryner, Jeanna; February 27, Live Science Managing Editor |; ET, 2008 07:00pm. "Monster Was T. Rex of the Sea". Live Science. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  29. ^ Xtinction: Predator X, retrieved 2018-12-10