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Carroll, Robert L. (b. 1938) American vertebrate paleontologist who specialises in Paleozoic amphibians and basal amniotes (reptiles and proto-reptiles). Went to Harvard University where he studied biology and paleontology under Alfred Sherwood Romer. Author or co-author of a large number of scientific papers and monographs and several books, including Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution (1988), an update to Romers classic Vertebrate Paleontology, and the last major textbook on the subject which uses evolutionary rather than cladistic systematics.

Cavalier-Smith, Thomas: (b. 1942) Canadian microbiologist, revolutionary and controversial thinker, published extensively on the classification and evolution of protists. "(In 1981 Cavalier-Smith) introduced the kingdom Chromista, defined then as now on both ultrastructural and molecular grounds. This kingdom is now widely accepted, including by the Catalogue of Life, although the scope and content of the Chromista are still being refined. Cavalier-Smith (1987) circumscribed and raised a putatively basal protozoan group, Archaezoa, to kingdom rank, at the same time raising both Eubacteria and Archaebacteria to kingdom rank, effectively creating an eight-kingdom scheme. Subsequently it was discovered that the "Archaezoa" were not, as thought, primitively amitochondriate, their condition being derived, and this kingdom was abandoned. Cavalier-Smith currently treats Bacteria as a single prokaryote kingdom and his system remains at six kingdoms (Cavalier-Smith 2004)." (Towards a management hierarchy (classification) for the catalogue of life - Draft Discussion Document), these being Bacteria, Protozoa, Chromista, Plantae (including red and green algae), Fungi, and Animalia. Proposed and described many new taxa, including Amoebozoa, Archaeplastida, Chromalveolata, Excavata, Opisthokonta, and Rhizaria. Published prodigiously on issues such as the origin of various cellular organelles (including the nucleus, mitochondria), genome size evolution, and endosymbiosis. Many of his strongest claims have not gained widespread acceptance in the scientific community to date. Advocates evolutionary systematics over Hennigian (cladistic) phylogeny. Rejects the current three domain paradigm and instead argues for a recent (Neoproterozoic) origin of the Archaea, coined the term Neomura and argues for its origin in the Actinobacteria (a Eubacterial clade). (modified from Wikipedia)

Chambers, Robert: (1802 - 1871) Scottish editor, publisher, geologist, evolutionary thinker, and author of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. This book was first published anonymously in England in 1844, which incorporated or integrated themes from Naturphilosophie and contemporary scientific theories to propose the progressive transmutation of species on the cosmological and biological level. While not a theory of evolution in the Darwinian sense, Chamber's work was very popular and paved the way for the reception of Darwin's ideas.

Colbert, Edwin H.: (1905-2001), American vertebrate paleontologist, made an important study of the early theropod dinosaur Coelophysis; his highly readable books influenced a generation of paleo-enthusiasts (including yours truly) in the 60s through to the 80s. (MAK)

Conway Morris, Simon: (b. 1951) English paleontologist who following a detailed study of the Burgess Shale fossils presented an opposite hypothesis to that argued by Stephen Jay Gould in Wonderful Life . In his own book on the subject, The Crucible of Creation and elsewhere he argues that the previously enigmatic Cambrian organisms were actually related to modern phyla. A Christian and admirer of Teilhard de Chardin, he is also actively involved in various science and religion debates, and is critical of creationism and intelligent design on the one hand and materialism and reductionism on the other. In his book Life's Solution: Inevitable humans in a Lonely Universe, he argues that evolutionary convergence repeatedly tends towards the same solutions, so a humanoid form of life would be inevitable. "The evolutionary routes are many, but the destinations are limited." (Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe, 2003, p. 145, cited at Fossils and other living things blog). (MAK, also Wikipedia)

Cope, Edward Drinker: (1840 - 1897) important American paleontologist and comparative anatomist, whose competition with Othniel Charles Marsh for the discovery of new fossils became known as the "Bone Wars". Cope was born in Philadelphia to Quaker parents. At an early age he became interested in natural history, and in 1859 communicated a paper on the Salamandridae to the Academy of Natural Sciences at Philadelphia. In 1865 he was appointed curator to the Academy of Natural Sciences, a post which he held till 1873. From 1864 to 1867 he was professor of natural science in Haverford College, and in 1889 he was appointed professor of geology and paleontology by the University of Pennsylvania. From 1871 to 1877 he carried on explorations in the Cretaceous strata of Kansas, the Tertiary of Wyoming and Colorado; and in course of time he made known at least 1,000 species and many genera of extinct vertebrata new to science. Among these were some of the oldest known mammalia, obtained in New Mexico. He served on the U.S. Geological Survey in 1874 in New Mexico, in 1875 in Montana, and in 1877 in Oregon and Texas. He was also one of the editors of the American Naturalist. (EvoWiki)

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