John J. Flynn

Adjunct Professor
John J. Flynn
Frick Curator and Chair, Division of Paleontology
American Museum of Natural History
Division of Paleontology, AMNH
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York


(212) 769-5806

Fields of interest: 

Vertebrate paleontology (especially mammals), systematics and biogeography, relationships between environmental and faunal changes through time, paleomagnetism.

Research Statement: 

My research focuses on the systematics and biogeography of living and fossil mammals, and the relationships between environmental and faunal changes through time, based on extensive fieldwork around the world, and phylogenetic analyses based on the anatomy of fossil and living taxa and molecular data. This research program emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach to geologic and biologic problem solving, incorporating my interests in two different, but related geologic specialties: mammalian systematics/paleontology and paleomagnetism/chronology.

I am interested in students with interests in:

  1. integration of paleontologic and geologic techniques (e.g., biostratigraphy, paleomagnetic stratigraphy, radioisotopic dating, isotope stratigraphy, remote sensing, or stratigraphic sequence analysis), particularly those emphasizing patterns of paleobiologic change through geologic time; or
  2. mammalian phylogeny and patterns of mammalian faunal change through time and space.

The American Museum of Natural History has excellent recent and fossil mammal collections, biochemical laboratories (for DNA sequencing), and morphometrics/image analysis laboratories. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has a leading Paleomagnetism Laboratory that is also available for student research, complemented by numerous Isotope Geochemistry laboratories.

Educational Activities

  • Topics in Vertebrate Evolution: Methods and Case Studies (Autumn 2005)
  • Vertebrate Paleontology-Evolution Seminar (EESC G9668, 2 credits)
List of Degrees from highest to lowest
Ph.D., Geological Sciences
Columbia University
M.Phil., Geological Sciences
Columbia University
M.A., Geological Sciences
Columbia University
B.S., Geology & Geophysics
Yale University