Dr. Warren D. Allmon

Warren D. Allmon


Paleobiology, Paleoecology, Macroevolution, Evolution of Cenozoic Mollusks

Graduate Fields

Geological Sciences, Zoology


A.B., 1982, Dartmouth College

Ph.D., 1988, Harvard University


As PRI’s Director since 1992, Warren Allmon has led the organization in its ambitious renovation and expansion, including the design and construction of the Museum of the Earth. In addition to his technical research, he writes and speaks frequently on the history of science, evolution and creationism, natural history museums and collections, and Earth science education. Dr. Allmon also supervises Cornell graduate and undergraduate students’ work on a wide variety of topics, from the causes of snail evolution, to unraveling the identity of problematic fossils from the Devonian rocks around Ithaca, to brain evolution in camels. Dr. Allmon currently has a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation which is supporting comparison of evolutionary “tempo and mode” in marine gastropods from the Cretaceous of the Western U.S. and the Plio-Pleistocene of Florida.

Research Focus

Dr. Allmon's research focuses on macroevolution and evolutionary paleoecology, especially the environmental and ecological context of evoluationary change, particularly in Cenozoic mollusks, and especially the gastropod family Turritellidae, which are nearly ubiquitous in the marine fossil record over the past 130 million years, and also widely distributed in modern oceans. More broadly, he also continues to work on theoretical and empirical aspects of speciation—the formation of new species–especially as it relates to patterns of nutrient availability and primary productivity in the oceans.

Instruction Focus

Macroevolution; Molluscan Systematics; Paleobiology; Paleoecology

Honors, Awards, and Appointments

American Geological Institute Award for Outstanding Contribution of Public Understanding of Geosciences, 2004


Fellow, Geological Society of America, 2000

Selected Publications (** = peer-reviewed)

  • Allmon, W. D. and R. E. Martin. 2014. Seafood through time revisited: The Phanerozoic increase in marine trophic resources and its macroevolutionary consequences. Paleobiology, 40(2,1):256-287. *** [paper] [#625]
  • Allmon, W. D. and R. M. Ross. 2011. Paleontology, nature, and natural history: an old approach to "environmental education". American Paleontologist, 19(2): 22-25. [#223]
  • Allmon, W. D., P. J. Morris and L. C. Ivany. 2009. A tree grows in Queens: Stephen Jay Gould and ecology. In Stephen Jay Gould: Reflections on his view of life. W.D. Allmon, P.H. Kelley, and R.M. Ross, eds., Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 147-170. *** [#209]
  • Allmon, W. D., R. A. Kissel, R. M. Ross, S. Sands and T. Smrecak. 2009. Teaching evolution in America: A status report on Darwin's 200th birthday. American Paleontologist, 17(1): 43-45. (extended version at www.priweb.org). [#232]
  • Allmon, W. D., R. M. Ross, R. A. Kissel and D. C. Kendrick. 2012. Using museums to teach undergraduate paleontology and evolution. In: Teaching Paleontology in the 21st century, Yacobucci, M.M. and Lockwood R. (eds.), The Paleontological Society, Special Publications, 12: 231-246. *** [paper] [#346]
  • Allmon, W. D., T. Smrecak and R. M. Ross. 2010. Climate change. Past, present, and future. A very short guide. Paleontological Research Institution Special Publication No. 38, 200 p. [#315]
  • Hendricks, J. R., E. E. Saupe, C. E. Myers, E. J. Hermsen and W. D. Allmon. 2014. The generification of the fossil record. Paleobiology, 40(4,1): 511-528. *** [paper] [#624]
  • Ross, R. M., D. Duggan-Haas and W. D. Allmon. 2013. The posture of T. rex: Why do student views lag behind the science?. Journal of Geoscience Education 61(1): 145-160. *** [paper] [#345]
  • Ross, R. M., F. Allaby, C. S. Buckler, E. Y. Butler, D. Gabreski, L. M. Paciulli, K. J. Gremillion and W. D. Allmon. 2008. The Hyde Park Mastodon Matrix Project, with particular reference to the mollusks and seeds. Pp 111-134. in: Mastodon Paleobiology, Taphonomy, and Paleoenvironment in the Late Pleistocene of New York State: Studies on the Hyde Park, Chemung, and North Java Sites, W.D. Allmon & P.L. Nester (eds), Paleontographica Americana 61. *** [book chapter] [#231]