Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy and the College
Zhe-Xi Luo is a paleontologist with research interest in the evolutionary biology of vertebrates. By studying mammal fossils of the Mesozoic—the age of dinosaurs—his work seeks to decipher the origins of mammalian biological adaptations, the evolutionary relationship of major lineages, their ecological diversification, and their developmental patterns. In his fieldwork to search for dinosaurs and fossil mammals, he has worked in many parts of the United States and China. His studies of early mammals have included the world’s earliestknown placentals and marsupials, and other ancient mammals that shed light on the earliest mammalian evolution and diversity. Luo has also studied the evolution of whales.
From 1996 to 2012, Luo was curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, where he also served as associate director of science from 2004 to 2012. At the Carnegie Museum, he was the curator for the 1998 exhibit China’s Feathered Dinosaurs and a member of the museum team that built Carnegie’s permanent exhibit Dinosaurs in Their Time. Luo received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation and a Humboldt Research Award for Senior Scientists from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany).
He received his postdoctoral training at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard, his PhD in 1989 in paleontology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BS in geology from Nanjing University of China in 1982.
Luo joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2012.