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Elwyn LaVerne Simons (July 14, 1930 – March 6, 2016) was an American paleontologist, paleozoologist, and a wildlife conservationist for primates.[1] He was known as the father of modern primate paleontology for his discovery of some of humankind’s earliest antecedents. [2]

Elwyn L. Simons
Elwyn LaVerne Simons

(1930-07-14)July 14, 1930
DiedMarch 6, 2016(2016-03-06) (aged 85)
Alma mater
  • Friderun Ankel-Simons (m. 1972)
Scientific career
Doctoral advisorGlenn Jepsen
Notable students
Author abbrev. (zoology)Simons

His paleontology field work included sites in Egypt, Madagascar, and the U.S. state of Wyoming. [3]


He authored more than 300 scholarly books and research articles, often acting as the sole author or coauthoring with his students and colleagues.[4]

During his career, he was an advisor to many doctoral students, including Philip D. Gingerich, D. Tab Rasmussen, Erik Seiffert, Richard Kay, David Pilbeam, Ian Tattersall, and Daniel Gebo.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Fossil Expert and Primate Conservationist Elwyn Simons Dies at 85", by Robin A. Smith, 9 March 9 2016.
  2. ^ New York "Elwyn L. Simons, Who Discovered Early Human Forebears, Dies at 85", 16 March 2016, by Margalit Fox . accessed 27 April 2017.
  3. ^ Oakley 2007, p. 4.
  4. ^ Oakley 2007, p. 5.
  5. ^ Barr, W. A. "Elwyn Simons". Academic Phylogeny of Physical Anthropology. Retrieved 21 June 2015.

Literature citedEdit

  • Oakley, F. B. (2007). "Introduction to the Festschrift". In Fleagle, J. G.; Gilbert, C. C. (eds.). Elwyn Simons: A Search for Origins. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 3–5. ISBN 9780387738963.