Edinburgh Research Explorer

Steve Brusatte

Personal Chair of Palaeontology and Evolution

Profile photo

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Area of Expertise

Research expertisePalaeontology, Dinosaurs, Evolution, Geology


Steve is a vertebrate palaeontologist and evolutionary biologist who specialises in the anatomy, genealogy, and evolution of dinosaurs and other fossil organisms. He has written over 110 scientific papers, published six books (including the adult pop science book The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, the textbook Dinosaur Paleobiology, and the coffee table book Dinosaurs), and has described over 15 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 and he is a “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), and the evolution of marine crocodylomorphs during the Mesozoic (currently 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.

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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