The PaleoNet Pages

A communications system for paleontologists.

History of PaleoNet

The PaleoNet Pages originated as a result of discussions held in June, 1994 at a set of informal evening meetings of paleontologists (and interested others) attending that year's AAPG/SEPM meeting in Denver, Colorado. During those discussions it became obvious that the work of paleontolgists could be imprived and enhanced if professionals, students and those interested in the subject had a better way to communicate with one another; especially acorss internal disciplinary boundaries (e.g., micropaleontology, invertebrate paleontology, vertebrate paleontology, paleobotany) and difference employment sectors (e.g., academic, commercial industry, government). The PaleoNet listserver was establised later that year as a primary means of meeting that need. The PaleoNet Pages web site is designed to support the listserver and and extend and scope of the PaleoNet communications system.

See: MacLeod, N., and Lane, H. R., 1994, PaleoNet, Palaios, 9(5), 429–430.

About Me

Norman MacLeod (BSc, MSc, PhD, FGS, FLS) is a Distinguished Professor at the School of Earth Science and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China. He was formerly a Researcher (1993–1999; 2016–2019), Dean of Postgraduate Education & Training (2013-2016), Keeper of Palaeontology (2000–2013), and Associate Keeper of Paleontology (1999) at The Natural History Museum, London. MacLeod has also been an Honorary Professor at the Department of Earth Sciences, University College London and a Visiting Professor at the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, and a Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is the editor of Automated Taxon Identification in Systematics: Theory, Approaches, and Applications (CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2007), the author of The Great Extinctions: What Causes Them and How They Shape Life (Natural History Museum, 2013), the Editor-in-Chief of Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia: Extinctions, 2nd ed., 2 vols. (Gale-Cengage, 2013, which received an Honourable Mention Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) Award: Multivolume Reference/Science category in 2014 by the Association of American Publishers) and the co-editor of Issues in Palaeobiology: A Global View—Interviews and Essays (with Marcelo R. Sánchez-Villagra; Scidinge Hall, 2014. He is currently writing a book on the mathematical analysis of morphology. Professor MacLeod has also served as the founding Co-Editor of Paleontologia Electronica, Co-Chief Editor of Palaeoworld (a Chinese palaeontology journal), Associate Editor of the journal Systematic Biology, and an Editorial Board Member of the journal Royal Society Proceedings B (Biological Sciences).

Professor MacLeod has a wide range of research interests. He is perhaps best known for his work documenting patterns and understanding the causes of Phanerozoic extinctions, especially the end-Cretaceous mass extinction event where he is a leading proponent of the multiple-cause model. Equal in terms of output and prominence is his theoretical, methodological, and applied work in the field of morphometrics where he was an early proponent of geometric morphometrics, the use of outline semilandmarks to characterize form and shape, the morphometric characterization of 3D surfaces, and most recently the application of computer vision and machine learning methods to the analysis of morphology. Other research interests include macroevolution, evolutionary rates, quantitative biostratigraphy (esp. graphic correlation), applied statistics, and quantitative data analysis (esp. multivariate ordination, discriminant analysis, Monte Carlo simulation, bootstrapping, and jackknifing). In addition to his scientific research Prof. MacLeod has developed minor intellectual sidelines in art history (esp. with regard to scientific images) and the effect of human evolutionary biology and climate change on human history.

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Sponsorship of The Palaeontological Association is gratefully acknowledged with special thanks to Alan R. T. Spencer and Jo Hellawell.