Jonathan Geisler, Ph.D., is an expert on the evolutionary history of mammals, with particular emphasis on Cetacea (whales, dolphins, and porpoises). In addition to being an author on papers that have named three new species, Geisler has published several large datasets that resolve relationships among mammals. Much of his work involves two related themes: 1) the unique information provided by the fossil record, and 2) that new perspectives can emerge when information from living species is combined with that from fossil species. Geisler is also a Research Associate of the National Museum of Natural History (Washington, D.C.) and has been recognized by the government of Mongolia for his help in repatriating dinosaur fossils that were stolen from that country.
Geisler graduated magna cum laude from the College of Charleston in 1995, with a B.A. in Biology and a B.S. in Geology. That year he was also accepted into a joint program between the American Museum of Natural History and Columbia University, receiving a M.A. in 1998, a M. Phil. in 2000, and a Ph.D. in 2001 in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Columbia University. His primary graduate advisor was the late Malcolm McKenna, one of the foremost mammalian paleontologists in North America.
- Evolutionary relationships of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises)
- Functional anatomy of the face and ear in dolphins and the evolution of echolocation
- Evolution of the skull in whales, dolphins, and porpoises skulls
Recent Publications or Presentations
- Sanders, Albert E., and Jonathan H. Geisler. 2015. A new basal odontocete from the upper Rupelian of South Carolina, U.S.A., with contributions to the systematics of Xenorophus and Mirocetus (Mammalia, Cetacea). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology e890107 (22 pages). doi:10.1080/02724634.2014.890107
- Geisler, Jonathan H., Colbert, Matthew W., and James L. Carew. 2014. A new fossil species supports an early origin for toothed whale echolocation. Nature 508: 383-386. doi:10.1038/nature13086.
- Montgomery, Stephen H., Geisler, Jonathan H., McGowen, Michael R., Fox, Charlotte, Marino, Lori and John Gatesy. 2013. The evolutionary history of cetacean brain and body size. Evolution 67: 3339–3353. doi: 10.1111/evo.12197
- John Gatesy, Geisler, Jonathan H., Chang, Joseph, Buell, Carl, Berta, Annalisa, Meredith, Robert W., Springer, Mark S., and Michael R. McGowen. 2013. A phylogenetic blueprint for a modern whale. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 66(2): 479-506
- Geisler, Jonathan H., McGowen, Michael R, Yang, Guang, and John Gatesy. 2011. A supermatrix of genomic, morphological, and paleontological data from crown Cetacea. BMC Evolutionary Biology 11: 112 (33 pages. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-112).
Honors and Awards
- NYITCOM Standard of Excellence Award, 2014
- National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship
Courses Taught at New York Tech
- LBD 507: Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine