Jacques Gauthier

Most Influential Person

American paleontologist

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According to Wikipedia, Jacques Armand Gauthier is an American vertebrate paleontologist, comparative morphologist, and systematist, and one of the founders of the use of cladistics in biology. Life and career Gauthier is the son of Edward Paul Gauthier and Patricia Marie Grogan. He received a B.S. degree in Zoology at San Diego State University in 1973, a Masters of Biological Science at the same institute in 1980, and a PhD in Paleontology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1984. Currently he is a Professor of Geology and Geophysics and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology and Vertebrate Zoology at Yale University. His master's thesis, the content of which was published in 1982, is a classic work on the paleontology and phylogeny of the lizard clade Anguimorpha that remains a core reference for morphological research on Xenosauridae and Anguidae in particular. His PhD thesis constituted the first major cladistic analysis of Diapsida, as well as arguing for the monophyly of the dinosaurs. He followed this with an important paper on the origin of birds from theropods. This was the first detailed cladistic analysis of the theropod dinosaurs, and initiated a revolution in dinosaur phylogenetics, in which cladistics replaced the Linnaean system in the classification and phylogenetic understanding of the dinosaurs.

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