Warren Allmon

Warren Douglas Allmon

Hunter R Rawlings III Professor of Paleontology
Paleontological Research Institution, 1259 Trumansburg Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850


Warren D. Allmon is the Director of the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) in Ithaca, NY and the Hunter R. Rawlings III Professor of Paleontology in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University. He earned his A.B. in Earth Sciences from Dartmouth College in 1982, and his Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Harvard University in 1988. For four years he was Assistant Professor of Geology at the University of South Florida, Tampa, and became PRI's fourth Director in 1992. Since 1992, he has been instrumental in rejuvenating PRI's internationally-known fossil collections; starting its local, regional, and national programs in Earth science education; and in planning and fundraising for the Museum of the Earth, PRI's $11 million education and exhibit facility which opened in September 2003. In November 2004, Allmon helped secure a formal agreement of affiliation between PRI and Cornell, ending more than 70 years of official separation.

Allmon's major research interest is macroevolution and paleoecology, especially the ecology of the origin and maintenance of biological diversity and the application of the geological record to the study of these problems, particularly using Cenozoic marine gastropods (snails of the last 65 million years).

Allmon is the author of more than 250 technical and popular publications. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the Paleontological Society, and the recipient of the 2004 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Understanding of Geoscience from the American Geological Institute.

Research Interests

Paleobiology, Paleoecology, Macroevolution, Evolution of Cenozoic Mollusks

Teaching Interests

Paleobiology, evolution and paleoecology

Selected Publications


  • Shin, C.P., W.D. Allmon, B.M. Anderson, B.T. Kelly, K. Hiscock, and P.K.S. Shin, 2020, Distribution and abundance of turritelline gastropods (Cerithioidea: Turritellidae) in Hong Kong and the English Channel: Implications for a characteristic fossil assemblage. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0025315420001204 (published online Dec. 2020)
  • Allmon, W.D., and P.M. Mikkelsen. 2020. Bivalvia. In: The Digital Encyclopedia of Ancient Life. https://www.digitalatlasofancientlife.org/learn/mollusca/bivalvia/
  • Pietsch, C., B.M. Anderson, L.M. Maistros, E.C. Padalino, and W.D. Allmon, 2020, Convergence, parallelism, and function of extreme parietal callus in diverse groups of Cenozoic Gastropoda. Paleobiology https://doi.org/10.1017/pab.2020.33 (published online 9/22/20)
  • Scholz, S.R., S.V. Petersen, J. Escobar, C. Jaramillo, A.J.W. Hendy, W.D. Allmon, J.H. Curtis, B.M. Anderson, N. Hoyos, J.C. Restrepo, and N, Perez, 2020, Isotope sclerochronology indicates enhanced seasonal precipitation in northern South America (Colombia) during the Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum. Geology, 48(7): 668-672, https://doi.org/10.1130/G47235.1 (published online, 4/17/20)
  • Allmon, W.D., 2020, Invertebrate paleontology and evolutionary thinking in the U.S. and Britain, 1860-1940. Journal of the History of Biology, 53(3), 423-450. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10739-020-09599-1 (published online 3/31/2020)
  • Anderson, B.M., and W.D. Allmon, 2020, High calcification rates and inferred metabolic trade-offs in the largest turritellid gastropod, Turritella abrupta (Neogene). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 544: 109623 (published online 1/27/20)
  • Sang, S., B.M. Anderson, D.S. Friend, and W.D. Allmon, 2019, Protoconch enlargement in Western Atlantic turritelline gastropod species following the closure of the Central American Seaway. Ecology and Evolution, 2019: 1-15, DOI: 10.1002/ece3.5120
  • Ward, L.W., and W.D. Allmon, 2019, History of paleontology in Virginia 1607- 2007. Bulletins of American Paleontology, 397: 1-198.
  • Hagadorn, J.W., and W.D. Allmon, 2019, Paleobiology of a three-dimensionally preserved paropsonemid from the Devonian of New York. Palaeogeography, Palaeoecology, Palaeoclimatology 513: 208-214.
  • Ivany, L.C., C. Pietsch, J.C. Handley, R. Lockwood, W.D. Allmon, and J.A. Sessa, 2018, Little lasting impact of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum on shallow marine mollusk faunas. Science Advances, 4: eaat5528
  • Anderson, B.M., and W.D. Allmon, 2018, When domes are spandrels: On septation in Turritellidae and other gastropods. Paleobiology, 44(3): 444–459.
  • Allmon, W.D., G.P. Dietl, J.R. Hendricks, and R.M. Ross, 2018, Bridging the two fossil records: Paleontology’s “big data” future resides in museum collections. In Rosenberg, G.D., and Clary, R.M., eds., Museums at the forefront of the history and philosophy of geology: History made, history in the making. Geological Society of America Special Paper 535, p. 35-44. https://doi.org/10.1130/2018.2535(03)
  • Pierrehumbert, N.D., and W.D. Allmon, 2018, Morphology of crab predation scars on Recent and fossil turritellid gastropods. Palaeogeography, Palaeoecology, Palaeoclimatology, 497: 1-10.
  • Das, S.S., S. Saha, S. Bardhan, S. Mallick, and W.D. Allmon, 2018, The oldest turritelline gastropods: From the Oxfordian (upper Jurassic) of Kutch, India. Journal of Paleontology, 92(3): 373-387.
  • Allmon, W.D., and R.M. Ross, 2017, Evolutionary remnants as widely accessible evidence for evolution: The structure of the argument for application to evolution education. Evolution: Education and Outreach, 11:1 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12052-017-0075-1
  • Johnson, E.H., B.M. Anderson, and W.D. Allmon, 2017, Can we learn anything from all those pieces? Obtaining data on drilling predation from fragmented high-spired gastropod shells. Palaios, 32(5): 271-277.
  • Allmon, W.D., 2017, Life-restorations of ammonites and the challenges of taxonomic uniformitarianism. Earth Sciences History, 36(1): 1-29.
  • Allmon, W.D., M.P. Pritts, P.L. Marks, B.P. Epstein, D.A. Bullis, and K.A. Jordan, 2017, Smith Woods. The environmental history of an old growth forest remnant in Central New York State. Paleontological Research Institution Special Publication No. 53, 208 p.
  • Anderson, B.A., A. Hendy, E.H. Johnson, and W.D. Allmon, 2017, Paleoecology and paleoenvironmental implications of turritelline gastropod-dominated assemblages from the Gatun Formation (Upper Miocene) of Panama. Palaeogeography, Palaeoecology, Palaeoclimatology, 2017: 132-146.
  • Waite, R., and W.D. Allmon, 2016, Observations on the biology and sclerochronology of Turritella duplicata (Linnæus, 1758) (Cerithioida, Turritellidae) from southern Thailand. Malacologia, 59(2): 247-269.
  • Pietsch, Carlie, H Cliff Harrison, Warren Douglas Allmon. 2016."Whence the Gosport Sand (Upper Middle Eocene, Alabama)? The Origin of Glauconitic Shell Beds In the Paleogene of the U.S. Gulf Coastal Plain."Journal of Sedimentary Research86(11): 1249-1268.
  • Allmon, Warren Douglas. 2016."Studying species in the fossil record: A review and recommendations for a more unified approach."In Species and Speciation in the Fossil Record, 59-120. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press Books.
  • Kosloski, M E., W D Allmon. 2015."Macroecology and evolution of a crab "super predator', Menippe mercenaria (Menippidae), and its gastropod prey."Biological journal of the Linnean Society116(3): 571-581.
  • Allmon, Warren Douglas. 2016."Coming to terms with "tempo and mode": Speciation, anagenesis, and assessing relative frequencies in macroevolution.."In Evolutionary theory: A hierarchical perspective, edited by Niles Eldredge, Telmo Pievani, Emanuele Serrelli, Ilya Temkin, 260-281. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press Books.
  • Allmon, W D. 2016."Darwin and palaeontology: a re-evaluation of his interpretation of the fossil record."Historical Biology28(5): 680-706.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Fellow(Paleontological Society)2012
  • Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Understanding of the Geosciences(American Geological Institute)2004
  • Fellow(Geological Society of America)2000
  • First runner-up for Best Paper Award for 1994(Journal of Paleontology)1995
  • Upham Geology Prize(Dartmouth College)1982


  • BA(Earth Science),Dartmouth College,1982
  • Ph D(Earth Science),Harvard University,1988


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