Steve Brusatte


Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile


Steve is a vertebrate palaeontologist and evolutionary biologist who specialises in the anatomy, genealogy, and evolution of dinosaurs, mammals, and other fossil organisms. He has written over 150 scientific papers, published six books (including the adult pop science books The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs and The Rise and Reign of the Mammals, the textbook Dinosaur Paleobiology, and the coffee table book Dinosaurs), and has described over 20 new species of fossil animals. He has done fieldwork in Brazil, Britain, China, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and the United States. His research is profiled often in the popular press, he was the paleontology consultant for the film Jurassic World: Dominion, and he was “resident palaeontologist” and scientific consultant for the BBC's Walking With Dinosaurs team.


2013   PhD, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University (USA)

2011   MPhil, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Columbia University (USA)

2008   MSc, Earth Sciences, University of Bristol (UK)

2008   MSc, Palaeobiology, University of Bristol (UK)

2006-2008   Marshall Scholarship, United Kingdom

2006   BS, Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago (USA)


Current Research Interests

Steve is broadly interested in the anatomy, genealogy, and evolution of fossil vertebrates. Particular research interests are the origin and early evolution of dinosaurs in the Triassic, the anatomy and genealogy of the carnivorous theropod dinosaurs (T. rex and kin), the evolution of birds from theropod dinosaurs, the end-Cretaceous mass extinction, the recovery and radiation of mammals after the end-Cretaceous extinction (currently funded by an ERC Starting Grant, 2018-2023), the evolution of brains and senses in extinct species (currently funded by a Swedish Research Council grant (2022-2027), and the evolution of marine crocodylomorphs during the Mesozoic (funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant (2017-2020). He currently does fieldwork in the Jurassic of Scotland (funded by the National Geographic Society), the Cretaceous of Romania, and the Cretaceous-Paleogene of New Mexico (USA), aimed at understanding major evolutionary radiations and extinctions. His work has appeared in journals such as Science, Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), Current Biology, Nature Communications, and Evolution, as well as more specialist journals. He is the author of the textbook Dinosaur Paleobiology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), meant for higher-level undergraduates and graduate students.


Steve is passionate about education and communicating science to the public. He was a paleontology consultant on the 2022 blockbuster film Jurassic World: Dominion, consultant on the blockbuster motion picture Walking With Dinosaurs 3D (2013), and is a "resident palaeontologist" for the BBC's Walking With Dinosaurs program. He presents science videos for BBC's Earth Unplugged YouTube channel and is a frequent guest on radio and television programs. He has written several books for kids and the general public, including the coffee table book Dinosaurs (Quercus 2008) and the Walking With Dinosaurs Encyclopedia (HarperCollins, 2013), and more recently the adult pop science books The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs (2018, a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller) and The Rise and Reign of the Mammals (2022). His work has been profiled by the international press and he has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Time Magazine, New Scientist, Discover, Scientific American, and BBC Focus.

My research in a nutshell

In this video Stephen describes his work as a vertebrate palaeontologist who studies dinosaurs and other fossils to better understand how life changes over time, and in relation to an ever-changing planet. Much of his research is on dinosaurs.


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