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Philip Dean Gingerich (born March 23, 1946) is a paleontologist and educator. He is Professor Emeritus of Geology, Biology, and Anthropology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He directed the Museum of Paleontology at the University of Michigan (UMMP) from 1981-2010. His research focus is in vertebrate paleontology, especially the Paleocene-Eocene transition and early Cenozoic mammals.[1] His primary research focus is in the origin of modern orders of mammals and he is a leading expert on the evolution of primates and whales.[2] Gingerich was among the experts who analyzed the skeleton of Darwinius masillae.[3]

Philip D. Gingerich
Philip Dean Gingerich

(1946-03-23) March 23, 1946 (age 73)
NationalityUnited States
OccupationPaleontologist, geologist, biologist, anthropologist
Known forLeading expert on the evolution of primates and whales
WebsiteOfficial website


Early lifeEdit

Gingerich grew up in a family of Amish Mennonites in eastern Iowa, where his grandfather was a farmer and a lay preacher. Yet Gingerich felt no contradiction between religion and science: "My grandfather had an open mind about the age of the Earth," he says, "and never mentioned evolution. Remember, these were people of great humility, who only expressed an opinion on something when they knew a lot about it."[4]

Education and awardsEdit

Gingerich received an A.B. from Princeton University in 1968, a M.Phil. from Yale University in 1972, and a Ph.D., also from Yale, in 1974.[1] All of his university degrees were in the field of geology.

Gingerich was awarded the Henry Russel Award from the University of Michigan in 1980,[5] the Shadle Fellowship Award from the American Society of Mammalogists in 1973,[6] and the Charles Schuchert Award from the Paleontological Society in 1981.[7] He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001 and the American Philosophical Society in 2010 and was president of the Paleontological Society 2010-2012. He was awarded the Romer-Simpson medal by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in 2012.



  1. ^ a b "Philip D. Gingerich". Retrieved 2009-02-09.
  2. ^ "Philip D. Gingerich Ph.D." Expert List. University of Michigan. Archived from the original on 2009-07-14. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
  3. ^ Tim Arango (19 May 2009). "Seeking a Missing Link, and a Mass Audience". New York Times.
  4. ^ Mueller, Tom (March 2013). "Whale Evolution". National Geographic Magazine.
  5. ^ "Henry Russel Award". University of Michigan. 2009-06-09. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  6. ^ "ASM Awardees". American Society of Mammalogists. Archived from the original on 2004-03-23. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  7. ^ "The Paleontological Society: Awardees". Archived from the original on 2002-10-21. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  8. ^ "Research on Rates of Evolution". University of Michigan. 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
  9. ^ a b Gingerich PD (May 2006). "Environment and evolution through the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum". Trends Ecol. Evol. 21 (5): 246–53. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2006.03.006. PMID 16697910.
  10. ^ Aziz, HA; Hilgen FJ; Luijk GMv; Sluijs A; Kraus MJ; Pares JM; Gingerich PD (2008). "Astronomical climate control on paleosol stacking patterns in the upper Paleocene–lower Eocene Willwood Formation, Bighorn Basin, Wyoming". Geology. 36 (7): 531–534. doi:10.1130/G24734A.1.
  11. ^ "Research on Paleocene-Eocene Mammals and the PETM or Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum". University of Michigan. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
  12. ^ "Research on the Origin and Early Evolution of Whales (Cetacea)". University of Michigan. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
  13. ^ Gingerich, PD (2007). "Early evolution of whales: a century of research in Egypt". In Fleagle JG, Gilbert CC (ed.). Elwyn Simons: A Search for Origins (PDF). Springer. pp. 107–124. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
  14. ^ Gingerich, PD (2008). "Basilosaurus cetoides". Encyclopedia of Alabama. 1386: 1–3. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
  15. ^ "Research on the Origin and Early Evolution of Primates". University of Michigan. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-09.
  16. ^ Smith T, Rose KD, Gingerich PD (July 2006). "Rapid Asia–Europe–North America geographic dispersal of earliest Eocene primate Teilhardina during the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 103 (30): 11223–7. doi:10.1073/pnas.0511296103. PMC 1544069. PMID 16847264.

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