Vertebrate Paleontology

Curator Emeritus Mary R. Dawson

Mary DawsonDawsonM@carnegiemnh.org
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213–4080
412.622.3246

Click for full bio 

Academic Training
1953–1957, PhD, University of Kansas
1952–1953, Study at Institute of Animal Genetics, University of Edinburgh
1948–1952, BS, Michigan State College

Research Emphases 

Selected Publications  

  • Dawson, M., L. Marivaux, C. Li, K. C. Beard, G. Métais, 2006. Laonastes and the "Lazarus Effect" in Recent Mammals. Science 311(5766):1456–1458.
    Click here for the Abstract on the Science website
    Click here for the Full Text on the Science website 
  • Stevens, N.J., P. O'Connor, M.D. Gottfried, E.M. Roberts, S. Ngasala, M.R. Dawson. 2006. Metaphiomys (Rodentia: Phiomyidae) from the Paleogene of southwestern Tanzania. Journal of Paleontology, 80(2): 407–409.
  • Wible, J.R., Y. Wang, C. Li, M.R. Dawson. 2005. Cranial anatomy and relationships of a new ctenodactyloid (Mammalia, Rodentia) from the early Eocene of Hubei Province, China. Annals of Carnegie Museum, 74(2): 91–150.
  • Dawson, M.R. and J.A. Lillegraven, eds. 2004. Fanfare for an uncommon paleontologist: papers in honor of Malcolm C. McKenna. Bulletin of Carnegie Museum, 36, 362pp.
  • Huang, X., C. Li, M.R. Dawson, L.Liu. 2004. Hanomys malcolmi, a new simplicidentate mammal from the Paleocene of central China: its relationships and stratigraphic implications. Pp. 81–89., in Dawson, M.R. and J.A. Lillegraven, eds. Fanfare for an uncommon paleontologist: papers in honor of Malcolm C. McKenna. Bulletin of Carnegie Museum, 36.
  • Dawson, M.R., T. Tsubamoto, M. Takai, N. Egi, S. Thura Tun, C. Sen. 2003. Rodents of the family Anomaluridae (Mammalia) from southeast Asia (Middle Eocene, Pondaung Formation, Myanmar). Annals of Carnegie Museum, 72(3):203–213.
  • Dawson, M.R. 2003. Paleogene rodents of Eurasia. Deinsia, 10: 97–126.
  • Dawson, M.R., X. Huang, C. Li, B. Wang. 2003. Zelomyidae, a new family of Rodentia (Mammalia) from the Eocene of Asia. Vertebrata PalAsiatica, 41(4):249–270.
  • Guo, J., M.R. Dawson, K.C. Beard, 2000. Zhailimeryx, a new lophiomerycid artiodactyl (Mammalia) from the Late Middle Eocene of Central China and the Early Evolution of Ruminants. Journal of Mamalian Evolution 7(4):239–258. Read the press release. 
  • Dawson, M.R. Early Eocene rodents (Mammalia) from the Eureka Sound Group of Ellesmere Island, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 38: 1107–1116.
  • Tong, Y., and M. R. Dawson. 1995. Early Eocene rodents (Mammalia) from Shandong Province, China. Annals of Carnegie Museum 64:51–63.
  • Wang, B., and M. R. Dawson. 1994. A primitive cricetid (Mammalia: Rodentia) from the middle Eocene of Jiangsu Province, China. Annals of Carnegie Museum 63:239–256.

Fellowships and Awards 

  • 1952–1953 Fulbright scholarship
  • 1953–1954 University of Kansas graduate fellowship
  • 1954–1956 National Science Foundation pre–doctoral fellowships
  • 1957–1958 American Association of University Women National Fellowship
  • 1981 National Geographic Society Arnold Guyot Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to geology and paleontology of the High Arctic
  • 1983 Chatham College Women in Science Award
  • 1987 Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania
  • 1999 Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa, Chatham College
  • 2002 Romer–Simpson Medal, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
  • 2003 Michigan State University, College of Natural Science Alumni Association Outstanding Alumna Award
  • Michigan State University, Distinguished Alumni Award
  • 2005 Michigan State University, Doctor of Science (hon.)
  • 2006 Fellow, The Paleontological Society

Professional Career 

  • 1958–1961 Instructor, Department of Zoology, Smith College
  • 1961–1962 Assistant Program Director, Systematic Biology, National Science Foundation
  • 1962–1963 Research Associate, Section of Vertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum
  • 1963–1965 Assistant Curator, Section of Vertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum
  • 1965–1969 Associate Curator, Section of Vertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum
  • 1970 Acting Curator, Section of Vertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum
  • 1970–2003 Curator, Section of Vertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum
  • 1973–to 1997 Chairman, Earth Sciences Division
  • 1982–1983 Acting Director, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, September 1–June 1
  • 1970–1983 Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Geology and Planetary Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
  • 1984–to date Adjunct Professor, Department of Geology and Planetary Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
  • 2003–current Curator Emeritus, Section of Vertebrate Paleontology, Carnegie Museum

Paleontological Field Experience 

  • Tertiary of Canadian High Arctic, 1973–1987; 2001–2 (work resulted in discovery of first Tertiary land vertebrates from within the Arctic Circle). Read the press release. 
  • Oligocene–Miocene of the Great Plains, 1954–1956
  • Eocene and Oligocene of Wyoming, Utah, Montana, 1960–to date
  • Pleistocene caves in Sardinia and Sicily, 1966, 1968, 1974
  • Eocene of France, 1966, 1968
  • Cretaceous and Eocene of Inner Mongolia, China, 1983
  • Eocene–Oligocene of Shanxi Province, China, 1983
  • Eocene of Hunan Province, China, 1983
  • Jurassic, Eocene, and Miocene of Yunnan Province, China, 1983
  • Eocene of Jiangsu Province, China, 1992, 1993
  • Eocene of Yuanqu Basin, China, 1994, 1995, 1996
  • Paleogene of Yunnan and Guangxi, 1998