Eminent scientist, National Academy member to join FSU faculty

National Academy of Sciences member and eminent scientist Steve Stanley is joining the FSU faculty.

An esteemed evolutionary biologist and member of the National Academy of Sciences is joining the Florida State University faculty.

Steven Stanley will join FSU’s Department of Biological Science where he will collaborate with several different researchers on projects ranging from dinosaur evolution to the intricacies of gastropods. He also will mentor younger faculty members who are building their research agendas.

“The addition of Dr. Stanley to our faculty is a huge boon to our students and researchers,” said Vice President for Research Gary K. Ostrander. “His breadth of experience makes him a valuable asset to Florida State.”

Stanley, who has been a research associate at the Smithsonian Institution since 1972, will maintain a lab at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and travel back and forth between FSU and Washington, D.C.

“I’m excited about joining the faculty,” Stanley said. “There are some really great people at FSU, and I’m ready to start working with my new colleagues on a number of different projects.”

Stanley received his doctorate from Yale University in 1968 and spent most of his career at Johns Hopkins University. Most recently, he served on the faculty at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is best known for his work using fossil data to explain that most evolution is concentrated in brief events. He has also shown that changes in seawater chemistry have played a major role in what kinds of marine organisms functioned as reef builders and limestone producers.

“Steve is a pioneer in modern evolutionary biology and will bring a wealth of new ideas and experience to the faculty,” said Joe Travis, a Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Biological Science. “He also has a long history of helping younger colleagues advance their careers, so he will be an invaluable asset to the university in this way as well.”

FSU Professor of Biological Science Gregory Erickson said that he is looking forward to both teaching and collaborating on research with Stanley.

“I have been an avid follower of Dr. Stanley’s research throughout my career,” Erickson said. “His work has shaped my views regarding many aspects of evolutionary biology. My colleagues and I, not only in the Department of Biological Science but also across campus, are very excited to interact with him as a research colleague and co-instructor.”