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Samuel A. McLeod

Collections Manager, Vertebrate Paleontology

Vertebrate Paleontology Collections Manager, Samuel A. McLeod, holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Shortly after finishing his doctorate, Dr. McLeod was hired by the museum to work on a National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored project to scientifically excavate three large quarries in the Sharktooth Hill Bonebed (a significant middle Miocene marine deposit near Bakersfield, California).  

Dr. McLeod has over 30 years of experience managing, expanding, digitizing, and curating the museum's Vertebrate Paleontology collections held in public trust.  Dr. McLeod's research interests include the evolution of ecolocation in fossil odontocetes and bats, as well as the systematics and morphology of fossil cetaceans, pinnipeds, sharks, and leatherback turtles.  He has also written over 2,500 paleontological record searches for Environmental Impact Reports, thereby providing much needed support for the Vertebrate Paleontology collections and programs.

Dr. McLeod has been instrumental in the digitization of museum collection records since his graduate student days.  Early in his career, he resurrected the computerized records from the 1960s of the Rancho La Brea collections—one of the first efforts worldwide to digitize museum collection records.  Dr. McLeod was awarded and/or managed several NSF grants to digitize the museum's catalog collection records for both Vertebrate Paleontology and Invertebrate Paleontology.  Over the decades, Dr. McLeod has participated in national and international discussion groups fostering the advancement of collections digitization.  Dr. McLeod currently serves as an Information & Technology committee member for the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP).

Research interests

  • ecolocation in fossil odontocetes and bats
  • systematics and morphology of fossil cetaceans, pinnipeds, sharks, and leatherback turtles
  • museum collections digitization
  • database management

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