Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Thomas Waller

Curator of Cenozoic Mollusca (Emeritus)


Department / Division
  • Ph.D. Columbia University, 1966
  • M.S. University of Wisconsin, 1961
  • B.S. University of Wisconsin, 1959
Research Interests

My research area is the evolution of the molluscan class Bivalvia (clams, scallops, oysters) with emphasis on morphology, ecology, geologic history, phylogeny, and systematics.  Basically, I seek to erase the artificial boundary between zoology and paleontology by applying the results of detailed studies of living bivalves to the interpretation of their fossil counterparts on a worldwide basis and extending through their entire 550 million year fossil record.  On the geological side, my work interfaces with the subdisciplines of biostratigraphy,  paleogeography, paleoecology, and ocean history; on the zoological side, it interfaces with functional morphology, biogeography, molecular genetics, and systematics.  

Journal Article
  • Lee, Eun Young, Wolfgring, Erik, Tejada, Maria Luisa G., Harry, Dennis L., Wainman, Carmine C., Chun, Seung Soo, Schnetger, Bernhard, Brumsack, Hans-Juergen, Maritati, Alessandro, Martinez, Mathieu, Richter, Carl, Li, Yong-Xiang, Riquier, Laurent, MacLeod, Kenneth G., Waller, Thomas R., Borissova, Irina, Petrizzo, Maria Rose, Huber, Brian T., Kim, Yongmi, and IODP Expedition 369 Sci Party. 2020. "Early Cretaceous subsidence of the Naturaliste Plateau defined by a new record of volcaniclastic-rich sequence at IODP Site U1513." Gondwana Research, 82 1–11.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 2018. "Systematics and biostratigraphy of Chesapecten and Carolinapecten (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Pectinidae) in the upper Miocene and Pliocene "lower Tamiami Formation" of southwestern Florida." Bulletin of the Florida Museum of Natural History, 56, (1) 1–47.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 2012. "Morphology, Phylogeny, and Systematic Revision of Genera In the Dimyidae (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Pteriomorphia)." Journal of Paleontology, 86, (5) 829–851.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 2007. "The evolutionary and biogeographic origins of the endemic Pectinidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia) of the GalApagos Islands." Journal of Paleontology, 81, (5) 929–950.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 2006. "Phylogeny of families in the Pectinoidea (Mollusca: Bivalvia): importance of the fossil record." Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 148, (3) 313–342.
  • Waller, Thomas R. and Bongrain, M. 2006. "Case 3343. Gigantopecten Rovereto, 1899 and Lissochlamys Sacco, 1897 (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Pectinidae): proposed conservation." The Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, 63, (3) 155–162.
  • Waller, Thomas R. and Stanley, George D., Jr. 2005. "Middle Triassic pteriomorphian Bivalvia (Mollusca) from the New Pass Range, west-central Nevada: systematics, biostratigraphy, paleoecology, and paleobiogeography." Journal of Paleontology Memoir, 79, (1) 7–50.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 2001. "Dhondtichlamys, a new name for Microchlamys Sobetski, 1977 (Mollusca : Bivalvia : Pectinidae), preoccupied by Microchlamys Cockerell, 1911 (Rhizopoda : Arcellinida)." Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 114, (4) 858–860.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1996. "Bridging the gap between the eastern Atlantic and eastern Pacific: A new species of Crassadoma (Bivalvia: Pectinidae) in the Pliocene of Florida." Journal of Paleontology, 70, (6) 941–946.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1995. "The Misidentified Holotype of Argopecten Circularis (Bivalvia, Pectinidae)." Veliger, 38, (4) 298–303.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1993. "The Evolution of Chlamys (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Pectinidae) in the Tropical Western Atlantic and Eastern Pacific." American Malacological Bulletin, 10, (2) 195–249.
  • Waller, Thomas R. and Marincovich, L. 1992. "New Species of Camptochlamys and Chlamys (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Pectinidae) from Near the Cretaceous." Journal of Paleontology, 66, (2) 215–227.
  • Berkman, Paul Arthur, Waller, Thomas R., and Alexander, S. P. 1991. "Unprotected larval development in the Antarctic scallop Adamussium colbeck (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Pectinidae)." Antarctic Science, 3, (2) 151–157.
  • Ward, L. W. and Waller, Thomas R. 1988. "A New Species of Pulvinites (Mollusca, Bivalvia) from the Upper Paleocene Paspotansa Member of the Aquia Formation in Virginia." Journal of Paleontology, 62, (1) 51–55.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1986. "The Evolution of Ligament Systems in the Bivalvia." American Malacological Bulletin, 4 111–112.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1986. "A New Genus and Species of Scallop (Bivalvia, Pectinidae) from Off Somalia, and the Definition of a New Tribe Decatopectinini." Nautilus, 100, (2) 39–46.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1985. "Jurassic Malleidae and the Distinction between Ostreoida and Pterioida (Mollusca, Bivalvia)." Journal of Paleontology, 59, (3) 768–769.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1984. "The Ctenolium of Scallop Shells - Functional-Morphology and Evolution of a Key Family-Level Character in the Pectinacea (Mollusca, Bivalvia)." Malacologia, 25, (1) 203–219.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1978. "Morphology, Morphoclines and a New Classification of Pteriomorphia (Mollusca-Bivalvia)." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 284, (1001) 345–365.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1977. "Scallops." New Hebrides Condominium Annual Report of the Geological Survey for the year 1975, 15.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1976. "The behavior and tentacle morphology of pteriomorphian bivalves: a motion-picture study." Bulletin of the American Malacological Union, 1975 7–13.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1975. "The Origin of Foliated-Calcite Shell Microstructure in the Subclass Pteriomorphia (Mollusca: Bivalvia)." Bulletin of the American Malacological Union, Inc.for 1975, 1975 57–58.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1973. "The habits and habitats of some Bermudian marine mollusks." Nautilus, 87, (2) 31–52.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1972. "The functional significance of some shell microstructures in the Pectinacea (Mollusca: Bivalvia)." General Proceedings, 31–52.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1972. "The Pectinidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia) of Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands." The Veliger, 14, (3) 221–264.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1971. "The glass scallop Propeamussium, a living relic of the past." Annual Reports, American Malacological Union, 1970 5–7.
  • Hazel, Joseph E. and Waller, Thomas R. 1969. "Stratigraphic data and length of the synodic month." Science, 164, (3876) 201–202.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1969. "Two FORTRAN II Programs for the Univariate and Bivariate Analysis of Morphometric Data." Bulletin of the United States National Museum, (285) 1–55, 2 figures.
Book Chapter
  • Waller, Thomas R. 2006. "New phylogenies of the Pectinidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia): Reconciling morphological and molecular approaches." In Scallops: Biology, Ecology and Aquaculture, second edition, Developments in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science, Vol. 35. Shumway, S. E. and Parsons, G. J., editors. 1–44. Elsevier.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1998. "Origin of the molluscan class Bivalvia and a phylogeny of major groups." In Bivalves: An Eon of Evolution: Paleobiological Studies Honoring Norman D. Newell. Johnston, Paul A. and Haggart, James W., editors. 1–45. Calgary: University of Calgary Press.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1991. "Evolutionary relationships among commercial scallops." In Scallops: Biology, Ecology and Aquaculture. Shumway, Sandra E., editor. 1–73. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1990. "The evolution of ligament systems in the Bivalvia." In The Bivalvia : Proceedings of a Memorial Symposium in Honour of Sir Charles Maurice Yonge 1899-1986 at the IXth International Malacological Congress, 1986, Edinburgh. Morton, Brian, editor. 49–71. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
  • Waller, Thomas R. and Macintyre, Ian G. 1982. "Larval settlement behavior and shell morphology of Malleus candeanus (d'Orbigny) (Mollusca: Bivalvia)." In The Atlantic Barrier Reef ecosystem at Carrie Bow Cay, Belize, I: Structure and communities. Rützler, Klaus and Macintyre, Ian G., editors. 203–219. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press. In Smithsonian Contributions to the Marine Sciences.
  • Waller, Thomas R. 1971. "Animal Evolution." In McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology. 99–101. 1970