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Rebels, Scholars, Explorers

Women in Vertebrate Paleontology

Annalisa Berta and Susan Turner

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Unearthing the amazing hidden stories of women who changed paleontology forever.

For centuries, women have played key roles in defining and developing the field of vertebrate paleontology. Yet very little is known about these important paleontologists, and the true impacts of their contributions have remained obscure. In Rebels, Scholars, Explorers, Annalisa Berta and Susan Turner celebrate the history of women "bone hunters," delving into their fascinating lives and work. At the same time, they explore how the discipline has shaped our understanding of the history of life on Earth.

Berta and…

Unearthing the amazing hidden stories of women who changed paleontology forever.

For centuries, women have played key roles in defining and developing the field of vertebrate paleontology. Yet very little is known about these important paleontologists, and the true impacts of their contributions have remained obscure. In Rebels, Scholars, Explorers, Annalisa Berta and Susan Turner celebrate the history of women "bone hunters," delving into their fascinating lives and work. At the same time, they explore how the discipline has shaped our understanding of the history of life on Earth.

Berta and Turner begin by presenting readers with a review of the emergence of vertebrate paleontology as a science, emphasizing the contributions of women to research topics and employment. This is followed by brief biographical sketches and explanations of early discoveries by women around the world over the past 200 years, including those who who held roles as researchers, educators, curators, artists, and preparators. Forging new territory, Berta and Turner highlight the barriers and challenges faced by women paleontologists, describing how some managed to overcome those obstacles in order to build careers in the field. Finally, drawing on interviews with a diverse group of contemporary paleontologists, who share their experiences and offer recommendations to aspiring fossil hunters, they provide perspectives on what work still needs to be done in order to ensure that women's contributions to the field are encouraged and celebrated.

Uncovering and relating lost stories about the pivotal contributions of women in vertebrate paleontology doesn't just make for enthralling storytelling, but also helps ensure a richer and more diverse future for this vibrant field. Illuminating the discoveries, collections, and studies of fossil vertebrates conducted by women in vertebrate paleontology, Rebels, Scholars, Explorers will be on every paleontologist's most-wanted list and should find a broader audience in the burgeoning sector of readers from all backgrounds eager to learn about women in the sciences.

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Rebels, Scholars, Explorers

Annalisa Berta and Susan Turner

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Reviews

Reviews

[Rebels, Scholars, Explorers] should certainly be of interest to that increasingly large audience from all backgrounds, eager to learn about women in the sciences... a must for any young female interested in going into the earth sciences academically and even professionally, even if that is not VP.

The book does an admirable job of presenting biographies of women from around the world who have contributed to vertebrate paleontology. I learned a lot about people with whom I was not familiar while gaining important insights about women who are already well known.

This book is sorely needed to address the imbalance in coverage of women in paleontology.

Although books have been written on specific women who have contributed to vertebrate paleontology, this is far and away the most comprehensive treatment on this topic.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
344
ISBN
9781421439709
Illustration Description
33 b&w photos, 16 b&w illus.
Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
One. Introduction
History of vertebrate paleontology as a science
Two. Early Discoveries and Collection of Fossil Vertebrates, 18th to Mid-19th Century
Early discoveries and

Preface
Acknowledgments
One. Introduction
History of vertebrate paleontology as a science
Two. Early Discoveries and Collection of Fossil Vertebrates, 18th to Mid-19th Century
Early discoveries and recognition of fossil vertebrates
Three. Women in Vertebrate Paleontology, Late 19th to Early 20th Century
Taking their place in the professional world
Four. Women in the Early Modern Years of Vertebrate Paleontology, Mid-20th Century (1940–1975)
Gaining ground and the beginnings of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Five. Women in Vertebrate Paleontology, Late 20th to Early 21st Century (1976 to the Present)
Coming of age
Six. Artists, Preparators, Technicians, Collections Managers, and Outreach Educators
Behind the scenes: "Invisible" but essential women
Seven. Challenges and Opportunities
Women in STEM, geosciences, and paleontology
APPENDIXES
1. Excerpts from Women VPs' Responses to Oral Interviews
2. Excerpts from Women VPs' Responses to Written Interviews
3. Excerpts from Male Mentors' Responses to Written Questions
4. Examples of Taxa Named for and by Women
Abbreviations
Literature Cited
Bibliographic Sources and Further Reading
Index

Author Bios
Annalisa Berta
Featured Contributor

Annalisa Berta

Annalisa Berta is professor emerita of biology at San Diego State University. She is the author of Return to the Sea: The Life and Evolutionary Times of Marine Mammals and The Rise of Marine Mammals: 50 Million Years of Evolution.
Featured Contributor

Susan Turner, Ph.D.

Susan Turner is a DAAD Professor, an honorary research fellow in the Department of Geosciences at the Queensland Museum, and a research adjunct at Monash University. She is the coauthor of Handbook of Paleoichthyology, volume 1B, "Agnatha" II: Thelodonti.