The Florida Museum of Natural History, a research and educational unit within the University of Florida, has a very active program in paleontology and paleobiology. There are three large, relevant research collections, including invertebrate paleontology, paleobotany and vertebrate paleontology, which taken together contain over six million specimens.

The research facilities within the museum or in affiliated departments are modern, comprehensive, and include screenwashing and preparation laboratories, stereo, light, and scanning electron microscopes, mass spectrometer, image analysis systems, and paleomagnetic laboratory. In addition to the main UF libraries, the Florida Museum includes the George Gaylord Simpson and Paleobotany research libraries, which together contain about 3,500 books and monographs, runs of 25 specialized journals, and 60,000 reprints.

Prospective graduate students intending to pursue Master’s or Doctoral studies in paleontology or paleobiology can apply to the departments of Biology, Geology, or Anthropology, depending upon their particular background and research interests. Financial support is available in the form of graduate teaching assistantships and museum assistantships. For application materials and further information about these programs contact:

Graduate Coordinator
(appropriate department as listed above)
University of Florida
Gainesville FL 32611

It is also helpful during the application process to contact one of the faculty members with interests similar to yours listed below.

There are many graduate courses in paleontology, paleobiology, and related disciplines taught at UF. Each program of graduate coursework is quite flexible, depending upon the particular needs and interests of the student. Courses taught by FLMNH paleobiologists include:

Paleobotany, 3 credits (Manchester)
Paleoecology, 3 credits (Jones)
Topics in Paleobiology, 2 credits (Jones, MacFadden)
Evolution, 3 credits (MacFadden, co-taught with other Biology Faculty)
Vertebrate Macroevolution, 3 credits (MacFadden)
Vertebrate Paleontology, 3 credits (Bloch and/or MacFadden)
The Fossil Record and the Evolution of Mammals, 3 credits (Bloch)
Systematics and the Fossil Record, 3 credits (Bloch)
Topics in Field Geology: Florida Vertebrate Paleontology, 2 credits (Bloch)
Vertebrate Paleontology Seminar, 1 credit (Bloch, Steadman, MacFadden)
Individual studies 
Supervised research 
Master’s and Doctoral Research

Other related courses available to paleobiology graduate students include systematics, mammalogy, herpetology, ornithology, ichthyology, community ecology, morphometrics, micropaleontology, invertebrate paleontology, paleomagnetism, vertebrate paleoecology, human osteology, isotope geology, and zooarchaeology.

Museum Faculty in Paleontology and Paleobiology

Jonathan I. Bloch (Ph.D., University of Michigan), Associate Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology and Associate Professor of Biology, Geology, and Anthropology; First appearance and early evolution of the modern orders of mammals including Primates.

Douglas S. Jones (B.S., Rutgers; M.A., Ph.D., Princeton), Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology, Professor of Geology, and Director of the Florida Museum of Natural History; molluscan paleoecology; paleoclimatology; marine ecology; biogeochemistry of marine invertebrates; Cenozoic invertebrates of Florida.

Steven R. Manchester (B.S., Oregon State, M.S., Ph.D., Indiana), Associate Curator of Paleobotany and Associate Professor of Botany and Geology; Angiosperm paleobotany, systematics and paleobiogeography of Eocene floras of North America.

Bruce J. MacFadden (B.S., Cornell; M.Phil., Ph.D., Columbia), Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology and Professor of Geology, Latin American Studies, and Biology; Systematics, geochronology, and paleoecology (particularly using stable isotopes) of late Cenozoic mammals from the New World.

David W. Steadman (Ph.D., Univ. Arizona), Associate Curator of Ornithology, Chair of Department of Natural Sciences, and Associate Professor of Biology; Avian paleontology and biogeography, extinction on oceanic islands.