About James Lamsdell, PhD

The obligatory professional photograph

The obligatory professional photograph

Assistant professor of paleobiology,
west virginia university

Ph.D. (Honors) University of Kansas, 2014
M.Sc. (Distinction) University of Bristol, 2008
B.Sc. (Honours) University of Birmingham, 2007

Originally hailing from the United Kingdom, I decided at an early age that I wanted to follow palaeontology as a profession, thanks largely to many trips to the natural history museum and a full collection of the Dinosaurs! weekly magazine, and joined first Rockwatch then the Palaeontological Association. In 2004 went to the University of Birmingham to study Geology with Biology, graduating in 2007 with honours. I studied for my MSc in Palaeobiology at the University of Bristol, and it was there that I first became interested in eurypterids, graduating with distinction in 2008. In 2010 I moved to the United States, studying for a PhD at the University of Kansas with Paul Selden, continuing my work on arthropod phylogeny and looking at patterns of selection across extinctions. After defending my dissertation with honors in 2014, I moved to Yale University as a Postdoctoral Associate working with Derek Briggs, and in 2016 moved again to the American Museum of Natural History in New York as a Lerner Gray Postdoctoral Fellow where I worked with Melanie Hopkins. After my stint in New York, I accepted the position of Assistant Professor of Paleobiology at West Virginia University, commencing January 2017.

Beyond palaeontology my interests include travel, ancient and medieval history, films and computer gaming, fiction writing, and reading. I have a love for nature in all its forms, instilled in me from my parents, and take an active interest in conservation and general science.

You can see my academic family tree here!