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John Alroy
New York, United States
Alma materBS Reed College
PhD University of Chicago
AwardsNAS Award for Scientific Reviewing (2010)
Charles Schuchert Award (2007)
Romer Prize (1994)
Scientific career
InstitutionsMacquarie University
University of Arizona
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

John Alroy is a paleobiologist born in New York in 1966 and now residing in Sydney, Australia.

Area of expertise

Alroy specializes in diversity curves, speciation, and extinction of North American fossil mammals and Phanerozoic marine invertebrates, connecting regional and local diversity, taxonomic composition, body mass distributions, ecomorphology, and phylogenetic patterns to intrinsic diversity dynamics, evolutionary trends, mass extinctions, and the effects of global climate change.

In a 3 September 2010 online article by Hugh Collins, a contributor for AOL Online Science, Alroy was quoted in a newly released study paper from Sydney's Macquarie University that "It would be unwise to assume that any large number of species can be lost today without forever altering the basic biological character of Earth's oceans."


Professional life

Selected publications


Appearance event ordination

Appearance Event Ordination (AEO) is a superior form of dating fossil collections, according to Alroy. Age assignments to North American land mammals are provided for comparison and may disagree with the AEO estimates because they are taken straight from published sources. Therefore, the assignments reflect the subjective opinions of the authors who described the fossils. They are not based on quantitative analyses of faunal and biostratigraphic data.

"AEO age estimates are preferable because they are objective, repeatable, and quantitative. That's because AEO uses explicitly recorded and clearly defined numerical data, and because it uses algorithmic search and optimization criteria instead of verbal argumentation."


  1. ^ University of Chicago Chronicle, Paleontology flourishes in 'Chicago-zoic' era by Steve Koppes
  2. ^ Marine Science Institute: Researchers at MSI
  3. ^ Global climate change and North American mammalian evolution by John Alroy, Paul L. Koch, and James C. Zachos; The Paleontological Society (2000)
  4. ^ "NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing". National Academy of Sciences. Archived from the original on 18 March 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  5. ^ "John Alroy Honored: Paleontological Society Announces 2007 Charles Schuchert Award, UCSB" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 17 January 2010.