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Dinosaur Institute

dinosaur institute collections manager looking through specimens research and collections

The Dinosaur Institute (DI) houses the museum's collection of Mesozoic tetrapods (four-limbed vertebrates), dating from 250 million years ago to 65.5 million years ago. This collection includes fossils of dinosaurs spanning the Mesozoic Era, as well as fossils of other tetrapods  that lived alongside the dinosaurs, such as flying and marine reptiles, crocodiles, turtles, amphibians, and early mammals.

The fossils in our collection have been acquired over nearly a century, and the collection continues to expand rapidly through the Dinosaur Institute's very active field program. The DI runs expeditions several times a year to collect fossils from sites throughout the southwest USA. We also participate in international field programs, most recently in China, Brazil, and Antarctica.


  • Origins and early evolution of dinosaurs and their relatives
  • Evolution and biogeography of early Mesozoic tetrapods from Antarctica
  • Evolution of marine reptiles from the Triassic of Nevada
  • Origins and evolution of birds


  • Triassic tetrapods from the central Transantarctic Mountains
  • Triassic ichthyosaurs from the Augusta Mountains of Nevada
  • Late Jurassic microvertebrates from Fruita, Colorado
  • Late Cretaceous dinosaurs from across Laramidia


  • Triassic–Jurassic tetrapod faunas of the central Transantarctic Mountains
  • Triassic marine faunas of the Augusta Mountains of Nevada
  • Late Triassic tetrapod faunas of northern New Mexico
  • Late Jurassic dinosaur faunas of southeastern Utah
  •  Late Cretaceous avian faunas of southeastern Brazil


Search our collections.


The Dinosaur Institute Fellowship Fund supports Postdoctoral scientists and PhD students conducting paleontological research in the Dinosaur Institute. It aims to expand NHM's research, training, and outreach missions and cement our crucial role as an incubator for future museum scientists.


The Dinosaur Institute Summer Internship in Fossil Conservation focuses on developing student skills and experience in vertebrate fossil conservation and museum science. It is open to undergraduate students from Howard University and the University of Chicago.

Our Staff

The DI staff provides mentorship in paleontology for a diverse group of people, from volunteers and docents to undergraduates, PhD students, and postdoctoral fellows. A wide range of research is conducted here at the museum by both staff and visiting researchers, from examining different aspects of the evolution of dinosaurs and other Mesozoic animals to investigations into their diversity, evolutionary relationships, ecology, and life history.


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Stephanie Abramowicz
Scientific Illustrator, Dinosaur Institute

As illustrator and photographer for the Dinosaur Institute, Stephanie Abramowicz merges scientific research with artistic sensibility.

Corinna Bechko
Preparator, Dinosaur Institute
Paul Byrne
Graduate Student, Dinosaur Institute

Paul Byrne is a Graduate Student-in-Residence in the Dinosaur Institute, conducting research at the museum in fulfillment of his doctoral degree in Earth Sciences at the University of Southern California.

Beau Campbell
Senior Paleontological Preparator, Dinosaur Institute

Beau Campbell is a Senior Preparator of the Dinosaur Institute at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.

Luis M. Chiappe, Ph.D.
Senior VP, Research & Collections and Gretchen Augustyn Director and Curator, Dinosaur Institute
Erika Durazo
Senior Paleontological Preparator, Dinosaur Institute

Erika's interest in fossils, especially dinosaurs, came from her experiences as a volunteer and research intern with the Dinosaur Institute at NHM.

Doug Goodreau
Senior Paleontological Preparator, Dinosaur Institute

With over 15 years of experience, Doug has organized crews and equipment for national and international field expeditions in an effort to help build NHM's dinosaur collection.

Zachary Morris, Ph.D.
Dinosaur Institute Postdoctoral Fellow

“Integrating developmental, anatomical, and paleontological perspectives into the origins of convergence in the reptile skull”

Emily Patellos
Graduate Student, Dinosaur Institute
Nathan Smith, Ph.D.
Curator, Dinosaur Institute

As a Curator in the Dinosaur Institute, Dr. Nathan Smith supervises the Dinosaur Institute staff and conducts paleontological research in support of the Institute's programs.

Contact Us

Questions? Contact Maureen Walsh at mwalsh@nhm.org or call 213.763.3318.

Follow us on Instagram @proyectodinosaurios.