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James Ian Kirkland (born August 24, 1954) is an American paleontologist and geologist. He has worked with dinosaur remains from the south west United States of America and Mexico [1][2][3] and has been responsible for discovering new and important genera. He named (or worked with others in naming) Animantarx,[4] Cedarpelta,[5] Eohadrosaurus[6] (nomen nudum, now named Eolambia),[7] Jeyawati,[8] Gastonia,[9] Mymoorapelta,[10] Nedcolbertia,[11] Utahraptor,[12] Zuniceratops,[13] Europelta[14] and Diabloceratops.[15] At the same site where he found Gastonia and Utahraptor, Kirkland has also excavated fossils of the therizinosaurs Nothronychus[16] and Falcarius.[17]


Born August 24, 1954, Weymouth, Massachusetts. High School, Marshfield High School, Marshfield, Massachusetts. 1972 B.S. Geological Sciences, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, New Mexico. 1977 (Pres. Student Body, 1975-1976) M.S. Geology, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona. 1983 Ph. D. University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado. 1990

He is adjunct Professor of Geology at Mesa State College, Grand Junction, Colorado, USA adjunct Associate Professor at University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah and a Research Associate of the Denver Museum of Natural History in the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Colorado Boulevard, Denver, Colorado. For the past decade he has been the Utah State Paleontologist for Utah Geological Survey. He issues permits for paleontological research on Utah state lands, keeps tabs on paleontological research and issues across the state, and promotes Utah’s paleontological resources for the public good.


An expert on the Mesozoic, he has spent more than thirty years excavating fossils across the southwestern US and Mexico authoring and coauthoring more than 75 professional papers. The reconstruction of ancient marine and terrestrial environments, biostratigraphy, paleoecology, and mass extinctions are some of his interests. In addition to dinosaurs, he has described and named many fossil mollusks and fish.


His researches in the middle Cretaceous of Utah indicate that the origins of Alaska and the first great Asian-North American faunal interchange occurred about 100 million years ago, which his numerous trips to China and Mongolia have substantiated.

Star TrekEdit

Together with Diane Carey, he has written a Star Trek novel, First Frontier.


  1. ^ Kirkland at al. 2001, p. ?
  2. ^ Kirkland et al. 2006, p. ?
  3. ^ Gates et al. 2007, p. ?
  4. ^ Carpenter, Kirkland, Burge & Bird 1999, pp. 243-251.
  5. ^ Carpenter, Kirkland, Burge & Bird 2001, pp. ?
  6. ^ Kirkland 1997, p. ?
  7. ^ Kirkland 1998, 283-295.
  8. ^ Wolfe and Kirkland 2010, pp. 799-812.
  9. ^ Kirkland 1998, p. ?
  10. ^ Kirkland and Carpenter 1994, pp. 25-42.
  11. ^ Kirkland, Britt, Whittle, Madsen and Burge 1998, 239-248.
  12. ^ Kirkland, Burge & Gaston 1993, pp. 1-16.
  13. ^ Wolfe and Kirkland 1998, pp. 307-317.
  14. ^ Kirkland et al. 2013
  15. ^ Kirkland and DeBlieux 2010, pp. 117–140.
  16. ^ Kirkland and Wolfe 2001, pp. 410-414.
  17. ^ Kirkland, Zanno, Sampson, Clark & DeBlieux 2005, pp. 84-87.
  • Carpenter, K. with Kirkland, J.I., Burge, D.L., & Bird, J. (1999). "Ankylosaurs (Dinosauria: Ornithischia) of the Cedar Mountain Formation, Utah, and their stratigraphic distribution". In Gillette, D. (Ed.) Vertebrate Paleontology in Utah, Utah Geological Survey Miscellaneous Publication 99-1.
  • Carpenter, K. with Kirkland, J.I., Burge, D.L., & Bird, J. (2001). "Disarticulated skull of a new primitive ankylosaurid from the Lower Cretaceous of Utah". In Carpenter, K. The Armored Dinosaurs. Indiana University Press, 2001.
  • Kirkland, J.I. (1998). "A new hadrosaurid from the upper Cedar Mountain Formation (Albian-Cenomanian: Cretaceous) of eastern Utah - the oldest known hadrosaurid (lambeosaurine?)" New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin, Volume 14
  • Kirkland, J.I. with Britt, B.B., Whittle, C.H., Madsen, S.K. & Burge, D.L. (1998). "A small coelurosaurian theropod from the Yellow Cat Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation (Lower Cretaceous, Barremian) of eastern Utah". New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Bulletin 14.
  • Kirkland; Burge, D.L.; Gaston, R. (1993). "A large dromaeosaur [Theropoda] from the Lower Cretaceous of Utah". Hunteria. 2 (10).
  • Kirkland, J.I. and Carpenter, K. (1994). "North America's first pre-Cretaceous ankylosaur (Dinosauria) from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of western Colorado" Brigham Young University Geology Studies, volume 40
  • Kirkland, J.I. and DeBlieux, D.D. (2010). "New basal centrosaurine ceratopsian skulls from the Wahweap Formation (Middle Campanian), Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument, southern Utah", In: Ryan, M.J., Chinnery-Allgeier, B.J., and Eberth, D.A. (eds.) New Perspectives on Horned Dinosaurs: The Royal Tyrrell Museum Ceratopsian Symposium. Bloomington, Indiana University Press
  • Kirkland, J.I.; Wolfe, D.G. (2001). "First definitive therizinosaurid (Dinosauria; Theropoda) from North America". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 21 (3): 410–414. doi:10.1671/0272-4634(2001)021[0410:fdtdtf];2.
  • Kirkland, J.I.; Zanno, L.E.; Sampson, S.D.; Clark, J.M.; DeBlieux, D.D. (2005). "A primitive therizinosauroid dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Utah". Nature. 435 (7038): 84–87. doi:10.1038/nature03468. PMID 15875020.
  • Wolfe, D.G. and Kirkland, J.I. (1998.) "Zuniceratops christopheri, n. gen. & n. sp., a ceratopsian dinosaur from the Moreno Hill Formation (Cretaceous, Turonian) of west-central New Mexico". Lower and Middle Cretaceous Terrestrial Ecosystems. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin, volume 24
  • Wolfe, D.G.; Kirkland, J.I. (2010). "A new basal hadrosauroid (Dinosauria: Ornithopoda) from the Turonian of New Mexico". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 30 (3): 799–812. doi:10.1080/02724631003763516.
  • Kirkland, J. I.; Alcalá, L.; Loewen, M. A.; Espílez, E.; Mampel, L.; Wiersma, J. P. (2013). Butler, Richard J (ed.). "The Basal Nodosaurid Ankylosaur Europelta carbonensis n. gen., n. sp. From the Lower Cretaceous (Lower Albian) Escucha Formation of Northeastern Spain". PLoS ONE. 8 (12): e80405. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080405. PMC 3847141. PMID 24312471.

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