Robert M. Sullivan
Section of Paleontology and Geology
The State Museum of Pennsylvania
300 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102-0024
Robert Sullivan received his B.A. in Geology from the
University of New Mexico in 1973, followed by a year of post-baccalaureate study
at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1974, received a M.S. in Vertebrate
Paleontology from San Diego State University in 1978, and a Ph.D. in Geology
from Michigan State University in 1980. His research interests are in the broad
field of paleoherpetology, focusing on the lower vertebrates (turtles, lizards
and crocodylians) and dinosaurs, Late Cretaceous vertebrate biochronology, as
well as the controversial topic of dinosaur extinction.
Since 1979 Robert has been actively pursuing fieldwork in
San Juan Basin, New Mexico, collecting non-mammalian vertebrates from the
Fruitland, Kirtland and Nacimiento formations. He received a NSF grant
(BSR-8407342) for his project "Revision of the Puerco Fauna. Part 1: The Lower
Vertebrate Microfauna" in August 1984. In 1995, he turned his attention to the
Kirtland and Ojo Alamo formations, to actively resample the dinosaurs and other
fossil vertebrates of the De-na-zin and Naashoibito members, respectively. Some
of his more noteworthy discoveries include a new specimen of the rare
lambeosaurine dinosaur Parasaurolophus tubicen (the second and most complete
specimen known of the genus) and a new ankylosaurid dinosaur Nodocephalosaurus
kirtlandensis, which he named in 1999. In 2003, he and colleague Spencer G.
Lucas, defined the “Kirtlandian” a new land-vertebrate age for the Late
Cretaceous of western North America. In recent years he has become the leading
authority on pachycephalosaurids dinosaurs and has published a number of papers
on these enigmatic ornithischians.
He has taught numerous
college level geology and paleontology courses and has extensive museum
experience. Presently, he is in his 17th year as Senior Curator of Paleontology
and Geology at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg.
Photo: Robert M. Sullivan with a partially exposed femur of the Late Cretaceous
sauropod Alamosaurus sanjuanensis in the Naashoibito Member (Ojo Alamo
Formation) near Barrel Springs, San Juan Basin, New Mexico.