Fellow, Climate & Geological Sciences
Donald Prothero is an American geologist and mammalian paleontologist who was one of the first to conduct research in magnetostratigraphy, a technique to date rock layers that is used to examine historical climate changes. Stephen Jay Gould cited his research, which noted the lack of response to climate change in mammals, in support of the punctuated equilibrium model of evolution.
Donald attended the University of California, Riverside, where he studied paleontology, and went on to receive his Ph.D. in geological sciences from Columbia University. He taught and led undergraduate paleontological and geological field trips at Columbia, CIT, Knox College, and Vassar. Then, for 27 years, he was a member of the faculty at Occidental College. Donald is currently a research associate in vertebrate paleontology at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles.
Prothero has authored or edited more than 30 books and over 250 scientific papers, including 5 geology textbooks. He has appeared on Jeopardy, and he has also defeated Ben Stein on the show Win Ben Stein’s Money.