Paul C. Sereno
B.S. Biological Sciences, 1979
As a boy, Dr. Paul Sereno may not have harbored a dream to study fossils or hunt dinosaurs, but as a young man, when he visited The American Museum of Natural History in New York in a behind-the-scenes tour, his destiny was decided. As he attests on his Web site, "In paleontology, I saw an irresistible combination of travel, adventure, art, biology, and geology.¨
Dr. Sereno's connection to NIU goes beyond his own experience. All five of his siblings earned their undergraduate degrees at NIU; his mother received her Master's Degree in Art Education, as well.
Dr. Sereno came to NIU from Naperville initially as an undergraduate majoring in art and biology and began developing his portfolio of artwork for a professional career as an artist. By the time he graduated in 1979 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and a minor in Chemistry, Dr. Sereno was focused on reconstructing the dinosaur family tree. He went on to earn his M.A. and his Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from Columbia University.
Pursuing his ambitions now for over thirty years, Dr. Sereno has led expeditions to five continents and has made many important discoveries including:
- The oldest known dinosaur fossil, Eoraptor, in the foothills of the Andes in Argentina
- The world's largest dinosaur, Carcharodontosaurus, in Africa's Sahara Desert
- The world's largest crocodile, Sarcosuchus (SuperCroc), in Africa's Sahara Desert
- The first predator from India, Rajasaurus, in the Narmada River Valley, Gujarat
- The newest dinosaur species, Deltadromeus agilis, in Morocco
Today, Dr. Sereno is an internationally recognized authority in paleontology, and a respected teacher, author, and lecturer. He and his wife, Gabrielle Lyon, co-founded Project Exploration, a nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging kids to develop an interest in science.
Dr. Sereno is currently a professor of organismal biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago and teaches paleontology and evolution to graduate and undergraduate students and human anatomy to medical students. Dr. Sereno said during his speech for the 2010 convocation address at The University of Chicago, "My aim is to make this world a more interesting and better place in which to live.¨