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Biodiversity and Ecosystems

Eric Dorfman

Daniel G. and Carole L. Kamin Director, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Areas of focus: The Anthropocene, biodiversity and ecosystems, the future of museums

Eric Dorfman is the director of Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the largest natural history museum’s in the country. He is an expert on the Anthropocene, which is the concept that human activity has had a profound and pervasive impact on the planet, such that its effects will be present in the fossil record millions of years from now. His PhD, from The University of Sydney, concerned scale-dependent resource use of waterbirds in central and eastern Australia. Before this, he worked on the behavioral ecology porpoise in Monterey Bay, California, through San Jose State University. Dorfman is an active advocate for natural and cultural heritage and has published books on natural history and climate change, as well as children’s fiction and scholarly articles on museology and ecology. 

A full biography is available upon request.
To schedule an interview, 
email Kathleen Bodenlos or call her at 412.622.3361.

Matt Lamanna

Paleontologist and principal dinosaur researcher, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Areas of focus: Dinosaurs, birds, and crocodilians that lived during the Mesozoic Era

Matt Lamanna is a paleontologist and the principal dinosaur researcher at Carnegie Museum of Natural History, which houses one of the world’s largest dinosaur collections. Within the past 18 years, Lamanna has directed or co-directed field expeditions to Antarctica, Argentina, Australia, China, Egypt, and Greenland that have resulted in the discovery of multiple new species of dinosaurs and other Cretaceous-aged animals. Lamanna and colleagues’ most significant finds include the gigantic new titanosaurian sauropods (long-necked plant-eating dinosaurs) Dreadnoughtus, Notocolossus, and Paralititan. He also led the study of the bizarre bird-like dinosaur Anzu wyliei, also known as the ‘Chicken from Hell,’ and co-discovered dozens of beautifully-preserved fossils of the 120 million-year-old bird Gansus yumenensis in China.

See full biography.
To schedule an interview, email Kathleen Bodenlos or call her at 412.622.3361.

Tim Pearce

Assistant Curator of Mollusks, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Areas of focus: Ecology and systematics, especially of mollusks and other invertebrates

Malacologist Tim Pearce cares for the museum’s huge research collection of snails and clams. His area of study focuses on the ecology of land snails, especially in Pennsylvania. He has a master’s degree in snail paleontology coupled with a Ph.D. in snail ecology, which gives him a perspective on how time has affected the makeup of modern snail communities.

See full biography.
To schedule an interview, email Kathleen Bodenlos or call her at 412.622.3361.

Steve Tonsor

Stephen J. Tonsor

Director of Science and Research, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Areas of focus: Anthropocene, Biodiversity & Ecosystems

Dr. Stephen J. Tonsor received his PhD in Biology from University of Chicago. He serves as director of science and research at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Before joining the museum in 2015, Tonsor applied quantitative evolutionary genetics and study of form and function in both the laboratory and the field to understand how organisms adapt to changing climates. More recently he has turned his attention to research at a meta-level: understanding the integration knowledge through across scientific disciplines, the arts, and humanities, toward a synthesis that considers the meaning of human existence.

To schedule an interview, email Kathleen Bodenlos or call her at 412.622.3361.

John Wenzel

Director of Powdermill Nature Reserve

Areas of focus: Insect behavior, pollinators, forest regeneration, Marcellus gas development, and Appalachian ecology

John Wenzel is an entomologist and the director of Powdermill Nature Reserve, Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s environmental research center. Wenzel has traveled to tropical America, Africa, and Europe on expeditions, and has published a large volume of research on insect and arachnid behavior. Wenzel created new educational and research programs at Powdermill that include gardening with native plants, landscape-level research in forest regeneration, field experiences in North American ecology for South American students, and basic research on the crisis in bee health. He also created web tools for following the hydrofracture (fracking) gas industry.

To schedule an interview, email Kathleen Bodenlos or call her at 412.622.3361