Landman, Neil H.

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Biographical or Historical Note

Invertebrate Paleontologist

Neil Landman is a Curator-in-Charge in the Division of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History. He is also a Professor at the Richard Gilder Graduate School. Dr. Landman’s interests include the evolution, life history, and systematics of externally shelled cephalopods, particularly the twin groups-the ammonoids and nautiloids. Both have a superb fossil record comprising about 10,000 species. His investigations have focused on the early ontogenetic development of ammonoids and nautiloids, and how this information can be used to reconstruct the phylogeny of these groups. He also studies the evolution and systematics of ammonoids from Upper Cretaceous rocks of the Northern Great Plains in the United States. Fieldwork in Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming has resulted in an extensive collection of these ammonoids, which were plentiful in the seaway that once covered this part of North America during the Cretaceous Period. In addition to their systematics, he is concerned with the distribution of these species in time and space, and in relation to their paleoenvironment. Recent work on the Atlantic Coastal Plain, including Maryland and New Jersey, has also yielded a surprising number of ammonite fossils. These fossils are very useful for biostratigraphic analysis, in correlating strata between the Western Interior and northern Europe. Of special interest is the study of Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary sections in New Jersey, which are rich in ammonites. All of this research depends on field work and involves annual expeditions to the Northern Great Plains (Wyoming, South Dakota, and Montana) and, in addition, the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains (New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Alabama, and Tennessee). More recently, these trips include parts of Western Europe (Poland). I have also collected Nautilus in Palau, Fiji, and New Caledonia, as part of a large study on the phylogeny of these cephalopods. (source: AMNH website, 2016)


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