Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Ben Kligman

Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellow

Ben Kligman is a paleontologist whose research focuses on investigating patterns of vertebrate macroevolution in continental ecosystems over geologic time, particularly during the dynamic Earth system of the early Mesozoic. Ben conducts fieldwork in Triassic and Jurassic rocks across North America and applies new fossil data to previously unresolved questions of vertebrate evolution and extinction. His recent projects have involved using new fossils to illuminate the evolutionary origins of living tetrapod groups like caecilians, frogs, and lizards, as well as the assembly of continental vertebrate communities during the Triassic and Early Jurassic. Ben is interested in developing and applying new methods of fieldwork, fossil preparation, curation, CT scanning, and 3D modelling to better understand and communicate the small-bodied vertebrate fossil record.  Ben’s current tenure is until November, 2024. 

Department / Division
  • PhD; Virginia Tech Department of Geosciences; 2023
  • BA; University of California Berkeley Department of Integrative Biology, 2016
Additional Resources
  • Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
  • US National Park Service
Research Interests
  • Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoecology
  • Stratigraphy and sedimentology
  • Fossil record of continental vertebrates and ecosystems