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 13 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
- Bianucci, G., Geisler (co-first-author), Jonathan H., Citron, Sara, and Alberto Collareta. 2022. The origins of the killer whale ecomorph. Current Biology. doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2022.02.041
- Racicot, Rachel A., Boessenecker, Robert W., Darroch, Simon A. and Jonathan H. Geisler. 2019. Evidence for convergent evolution of ultrasonic hearing in toothed whales (Cetacea: Odontoceti). Biology Letters 15(5): doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2019.0083
- Churchill, Morgan, Miguel, Jacob, Beatty, Brian L., Goswami, Anjali, Jonathan H. Geisler. 2019. Asymmetry drives modularity of the skull in the common dolphin Delphinus delphis. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 126(2): 225-239. doi: 10.1093/biolinnean/bly190
- Churchill, Morgan, Geisler, Jonathan H., Beatty, Brian L., and Anjali Goswami. 2018. Evolution of cranial telescoping in echolocating whales (Cetacea: Odontoceti). Evolution 72(5): 1092-1108. doi: 10.1111/evo.13480.
- Geisler, Jonathan H., Boessenecker, Robert W., Brown, Mace, and Brian L. Beatty. 2017. The origin of filter feeding in whales. Current Biology 27(13): 2036-2042. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.06.003
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