Luis M. Chiappe, Ph.D. (Dir., Dinosaur Inst.,
Los Angeles Natural History Museum)
4.10 – Aliens & Dinosaurs (5.4.12)
6.16 – The Reptilians (7.25.14)
As the Director of the Dinosaur Institute, Dr. Luis Chiappe supervises all of the Dinosaur Institute’s programs. His expertise is centered around the evolution of archosaurs, a group of reptiles that includes crocodiles, pterosaurs (flying reptiles), dinosaurs and their descendants, the birds. Most of his research takes him all over the world and is strongly based on field work. Over the last 20 years, he has conducted field work in the United States, Argentina, Mongolia, China, and Kazakhstan. One of the core programs of his research is the origin and early evolution of birds. Together with his students and associates, he has documented the existence of numerous species of Mesozoic birds and nonavian theropod dinosaurs, and has provided detailed analyses of their genealogical relationships. The foundation provided by these genealogical studies has led to inferences about the evolution of many attributes of birds, and it has helped decipher the evolutionary steps taken between the dinosaurian forerunners of early birds and their modern counterparts. Another important program of his research activities deals with the reproductive behavior and development of sauropod dinosaurs. Much of this work has been centered in the exceptional sauropod nesting site of Auca Mahuevo in Patagonia (Argentina), a site he and his associates discovered in 1997. Furthermore, Dr. Chiappe is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California and a Fellow of both the John Simon Guggenheim and the Alexander Humboldt Foundations.