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Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography Facility DigiMorph Texas Memorial Museum Austin Science & Nature Center Dino Pit

J. Nalle Gregory Regents Professor of Geology

Director, Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory

Director, Digital Library of Vertebrate Morphology

Co-Director, High Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography Facility

Ph.D. Paleontology, University of Ca, 1986

Phone: 512-471-1725
Phone: 512-232-5512
Office: JGB 3.216EA



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Professor Timothy  Rowe

Prof. Rowe is a paleontologist who specializes in the vertebrate skeleton in all its forms, from fossils to Recent species, and from embryos to adults. His research encompasses the theory and application of phylogenetic systematics, which he uses to explore co-evolution of the vertebrate genome and phenome. He is also a leader in developing and exploiting digital tools that augment and extend our ability to analyze and visualize the skeleton along with the ‘soft’ tissues that the skeleton supports.

Rowe joined the University of Texas faculty in 1986, after earning an AB degree (Geology major, with minor emphasis in Biology) from Occidental College (1975), an MS (Anatomy) from the University of Chicago (1981), and a PhD (Paleontology) from the University of California, Berkeley (1986). Rowe was awarded a prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship which enabled him to train for a year in major natural history museums in Europe and South Africa (1975-1976). He served for three years as Senior Paleontologist at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff (1978-1981), where he began a life long field program in the American Southwest. Rowe was a Fellow in Residence at the National Museum of Natural History of the  Smithsonian Institutions (1983-1984), and became the first paleontologist ever awarded a Presidential Young Investigator Award by the National Science Foundation, in recognition of his innovative integration of digital technologies for studying the evolution of development (1989-1994).

Rowe was the Founding Director of the Center for Instructional Technologies (1996-1997).  In 1997, together with Prof. William Carlson, Rowe founded the High Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography Facility (UTCT), which he and Carlson jointly direct along with Prof. Richard Ketcham.  UTCT is now an NSF Multiuser Facility.  As a member of that facility Rowe also founded the award winning wesite "Digital Morphology."  Since 1998, Prof. Rowe has been Director of the Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory, which holds one of the largest research collections of vertebrate fossils in America.

Dr. Rowe’s research and training efforts have been funded by the National Science Foundation continuously since 1985. He was also granted research awards by the W. M. Keck Foundation, the Intel Foundation, the National Chemical Society, and the Texas Advanced Technologies Program.

Prof. Rowe teaches undergraduate courses in paleontology and has maintained a graduate research training program that is among the largest in the nation. His students have become experts in vertebrate morphology, systematics, development, and informatics. Rowe has also served on graduate committees in the UT School of Biology, the School of Information, and in the Butler School of Music.

Dr. Rowe is also an expert in public policy pertaining to paleontological resources, and he has served as an expert witness in judicial proceedings involving fossils. He also an expert in exhibit design and has directed and consulted in several major fossil exhibitions.

Field research is an important component of Prof. Rowe’s research interests. He has conducted field work in Mexico, Europe, and South Africa, but his specialty is the American Southwest, where he has worked in Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Cenozoic terrestrial deposits from across the region.

Today Prof. Rowe continues to direct a rigorous program in undergraduate and graduate training, and accepts new graduate students every year. His research specializes on the evolution of the vertebrate brain and sensory systems, and on the Permo-Mesozoic faunas of the Western Interior. He also continues aggressive efforts to advance digital technologies in support of his research and teaching, and in support of the large fossil collection he maintains.