Joseph Sertich, PhD

Dr. Joe Sertich is curator of dinosaurs at the Museum. Originally from central Iowa, Joe grew up in the Denver area where he pursued his passion for paleontology from a young age, taking courses and volunteering at the Museum through high school before pursuing a professional career in paleontology at Colorado State University (BS 2004), the University of Utah (MS 2006), and Stony Brook University (PhD 2011). His research focuses on dinosaurs and their ecosystems, during the Late Cretaceous.

Joe’s field-based research is split between the Gondwanan continents of the southern hemisphere and western North America. He is one of the primary researchers on the Madagascar Paleontology Project exploring the Cretaceous of Madagascar. He is also working on several projects searching for the first latest Cretaceous dinosaurs of Africa, including work in northern Kenya. Closer to home in the Rocky Mountain West, Joe leads the Laramidia Project, currently leading research to uncover a lost world of dinosaurs in the Cretaceous of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah (Wahweap and Kaiparowits formations [fms]), New Mexico (Fruitland and Kirtland fms), and Colorado (Denver and Williams Fork fms). These efforts have combined to produce dozens of new dinosaurs and other vertebrates from the Mesozoic in pursuit of patterns of ecosystem evolution in response to large-scale Earth processes, including climate change and tectonics.

Follow Joe in the field:

Science Live: Dinosaur Empire, New Discoveries from the Lost Landmass of Laramidia

The western landmass of Laramidia was a hotbed of dinosaur diversity during the Late Cretaceous, with spectacular forms of horned, duckbilled, and tyrannosaur dinosaurs. DMNS teams have been hunting for these lost ecosystems across the American West, from Utah and New Mexico, to right here in Colorado. New dino discoveries have begun to challenge our views of evolution in this hothouse world.

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