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David EvansPI: David C. Evans


B.Sc., Integrated Sciences Program, Univ. of British Columbia, 2003

Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Univ. of Toronto, 2007


Interim Co-Deputy Director, Collections & Research, Royal Ontario Museum

Vice-President, Natural History, Royal Ontario Museum

Senior Curator & Temerty Chair, Vertebrate Palaeontology, Royal Ontario Museum

Associate Professor, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Univ. of Toronto


Member, Royal Society of Canada, College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists

Fellow, Royal Canadian Geographical Society

Brief Bio

I hold the Temerty Chair in Vertebrate Palaeontology and oversees dinosaur research at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto, a Member of the prestigious Royal Society of Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. I am an Ontario-born researcher who is recognized as an authority on the rich dinosaur fossil record of Canada and the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs, who has amassed over 100 scientific publications to date.  As an undergraduate student I spent several summers working as a field technician for the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta, where I completed my undergraduate thesis on skull growth and variation  Corythosaurus, a duck-billed dinosaur (hadrosaur). My doctoral dissertation analyzed skull growth and evolutionary relationships within all crested hadrosaurs, lambeosaurines, with an emphasis on the striking diversity of these animals from Alberta, Canada.  The ROM has one of the best collections of these dinosaurs in the world.  As a curator, I helped develop the ROM’s dinosaur galleries, and was Lead Curator of the blockbuster travelling exhibition Ultimate Dinosaurs. He has been featured on numerous television shows, and, notably, David was the Co-creator of the hit HISTORY TV series Dino Hunt (currently on Netflix)

My research focuses on the evolution, ecology and diversity of dinosaurs, and their relationship to environmental changes leading up to the end Cretaceous extinction event that wiped out the non-avian dinosaurs. My research involves systematics and macroevolution, ontogeny and bone histology, functional and ecomorphology, morphometrics, and phylogenetics, and  aims to clarify the evolutionary relationships and diversity of major dinosaur groups, and to evaluate patterns of dinosaur evolution, ecology, and biogeography as they relate to environmental changes leading up to the end Cretaceous extinction event. My research strives to understand the causes and consequences of mass extinctions in order to better address our contemporary biodiversity crisis. Active in the field, I have participated in expeditions all over the world, including Africa, Mongolia, and the Arctic, and has helped discover 12 new dinosaur species in the last decade- including the remarkable horned dinosaur Wendiceratops from southern Alberta, and the wickedly armored Zuul named after the Ghostbusters movie monster.  I also conduct research on prosauropod dinosaurs and Permian synapsids, and have broad interests in evolution and the history of animal life on Earth.

The Lab

I strive to maintain an active research lab with student involvement from all academic levels. Student research in my lab involves quantitative approaches to morphological variation, ontogenetic growth and scaling, phylogenetic systematics and macroevolutionary patterns, and research on extant systems to test assumptions in paleontological modelling, and some functional morphology.


Group photo of the lab taken in December, 2021. Left to right: Tom Dudgeon, Talia Lowi-Merri, Kayla Bazzana, Jade Simon, Ashley Reynolds, Anthony Rajkumar, Aaron Dyer, David Evans, and Basil (bottom row)


Group photo of the lab taken in July, 2018. Top, from left to right: David Evans, Jade Simo; Bottom row: Talia Lowi-Merri, Danielle Dufault, Ashley Reynolds, and Dr. Victoria Arbour


Group photo of the lab taken in May, 2016. Top, from left to right: David Evans, Daire Crawford, Adam Rego, Brian Iwama, Mateusz Wosik, Kevin Seymour, Ian Morrison, Tom Cullen; Bottom row: Kentaro Chiba, Ashley Reynolds, Talia Lowi-Merri, Danielle Dufault, Shino Sugimoto, Shauna Edgar

Group photo of the lab taken in May, 2013.

Group photo of the lab taken in May, 2013. Top, from left to right: Ian Morrison, Kevin Seymour, David Evans, Matthew Vavrek, Brian Iwama, Nic Campione, Tom Cullen; Bottom row: Caleb Brown, Derek Larson, Collin VanBuren, Kirstin Brink, Shino Sugimoto, Chris McGarrity


I am always looking for motivated graduate students. A wealth of information about graduate admissions to the University of Toronto is available on the EEB website. I strongly encourage interested students to apply for funding from NSERC (for Canadian citizens and permanent residents), Ontario Graduate Scholarships, or NSF (for US applicants). Interest from postdoctoral fellows is also welcome. Potential post-docs should apply for funding from NSERC (for Canadian citizens and permanent residents) or NSF (for US citizens).


Below is a list of my current graduate and undergraduate students, with links to their personal info page.

PhD Students:

Derek Larson Derek Larson

Ashley_ReynoldsAshley Reynolds

jade_simonJade Simon

talia_stub.jpgTalia Lowi-Merri

ryan_wilkinson.jpg Ryan Wilkinson

Aaron Dyer

Tom Dudgeon

Kayla Bazzana

Denise Maranga




Danielle Dufault



cary_head Cary Woodruff

VIcTORIA_HEAD.jpg Victoria Arbour

Kentaro Chiba(Ph.D.)

Wosik_face_web Mateusz Wosik(Ph.D.)

Cullen headshot Thomas Cullen (Ph.D.)

 Kirstin Brink (Ph.D.)

Caleb Brown (Ph.D.)

Nicolas Campione Nicolas E. Campione (Ph.D.)

 Collin VanBuren (MSc)

Chris McGarrity (MSc)

Ryan Schott Ryan Schott (MSc)

Rufina_face_web Rufina Kim (undergrad)

Matthew Vavrek Matthew Vavrek


Arjann Mann (MSc)

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