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Election Year: 1957
Scientific Discipline: Evolutionary Biology
Membership Type: Member
Paleontologist Edwin Colbert discovered dozens of dinosaurs and authored several books and papers on early vertebrates. He is best known for strengthening the theory of continental drift through his discovery of Lystrosaurus remains in Antarctica, which 220 million years ago was a part of the South African region. The National Academy of Sciences awarded him the Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal in 1935 for his research on Siwalik mammals in the American Museum of Natural History.
Colbert earned his AB degree from the University of Nebraska and went on to receive his master’s and PhD from Columbia University in 1935. He served as curator of the Vertebrate Paleontology Department at the American Museum of Natural History and was a professor emeritus of vertebrate paleontology at Columbia University. In 1970 he was appointed curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Museum of Northern Arizona.