Jonathan Bloch, a Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, explains how an early interest in the natural world and history, then later geology, led to his career in paleontology.
Interview and videos produced by Olivia Stultz for Explore Research at the University of Florida.
Jonathan Bloch: When I was really young I was fascinated by the natural world and I would collect insects and look at the flowers and the plants around me in California where I grew up. I was also always really very interested in old things, so I was fascinated by mythology and I was fascinated by old books and anything that told a history of some sort that you had to sort of think about and think about the history. So I’ve always always been excited about things that are old and thinking about the history of things.
When I went to college I became interested in geology and the history that rocks told about the planet and so it was in that context that I very happily discovered that you could study the history of life contained in those rocks, and to me this was a very exciting thing that one could split open rocks and see the history of all the animals and the plants on the planet and even the history of ourselves.
Learn more about the Vertebrate Paleontology collection at the Florida Museum.