Grant Types and Past Recipients

All applications will be automatically considered for the following awards. The awardees will be selected by the committee based on the merit of the proposal. Awardees will be recognized in the Paleontological Society Newsletter, Priscum.

Named Awards

Mid-America Paleontology Society (MAPS) Outstanding Student Research Awards

The top three proposals receive MAPS awards.

Richard K. Bambach Award

All applications will be considered for two Bambach Student Research Awards.

The Bearded Lady Project: Currano Scholarship

The Bearded Lady Project: Challenging the Face of Science (TBLP) celebrates the inspirational and adventurous women who choose to dedicate their lives in the search of clues to the history of life on earth. One of TBLP’s most important goals is to encourage young women to pursue careers in science, particularly paleontology, and project co-leaders have teamed up with the Paleontological Society to create “The Bearded Lady Project: Currano Scholarship,” which will be awarded as part of the annual Student Research Grants competition. Any student applying for the Paleontological Society Student Research Grant who identifies as female, would like to be considered for this scholarship, and is willing to contribute two short blog posts on her research for TBLP’s webpage and social media accounts will be considered. For more information visit:

Arthur J. Boucot Award

The Boucot Award was established by the Paleontological Society in recognition of Art Boucot’s generosity to the Society. All applications will be considered for a Boucot Student Research Awards.

Kenneth E. & Annie Caster Award

Kenneth E. Caster (1908-1992) was a renaissance paleontologist who researched fossils from sponges to eurypterids; he had especial affection for echinoderms and arthropods. In addition, he was an early proponent of the application of the facies concept to understanding stratigraphy, his work in the Southern Hemisphere convinced him that continents moved, and he was an ichnologist before the word was coined.

Ken and Annie (1910-1995) came to the University of Cincinnati in 1936. Annie was a geologist and teamed with Ken in producing manuscripts. The Casters were well known for entertaining students at their fascinating home. They worked closely with amateur collectors and helped found the well-known “Dry Dredgers” in 1942.

Ken, as teacher, supervised at least 30 master and 25 doctoral students. He was given a variety of awards, including the Orville A. Derby Medal of the Brazilian Geological Survey, the Gondwana Medal of the Geological Survey of India, the Paleontological Society Medal, and received both Guggenheim and Fullbright fellowships. Ken was President of the Paleontological Society, three times President of the Paleontological Research Institution, and in 1975, his students presented him with a Festschrift volume in honor of his 45th year of teaching.

(See, 1993, Journal of Paleontology, 1993, p. 1095-1096).

All applications will be considered for five Caster Student Research Awards. 

G. Arthur Cooper Award

The Cooper Award was established by Richard Bambach in honor of G. Arthur Cooper. All applications will be considered for a Cooper Student Research Award. 

Rodney M. Feldmann Award

All applications will be considered for two Feldmann Student Research Awards. 

Elvira and Bob Gastaldo Deciphering Earth History Award in Applied Paleobotany

Funds will support paleobotanical studies that focus on the application of terrestrial and aquatic plants to the fossil record and history of life. Studies include, but are not limited to: plant taphonomy, paleoecology, ecosystem evolution and response(s) to perturbation, refining paleoclimate proxies, palynofacies and dispersed organic matter, and other techniques yet to be developed which fall under the broad umbrella of applied paleobotanical research. 

Stephen Jay Gould Award

All applications will be considered for up to four Gould Student Research Awards.

Leo J. Hickey Award

Leo J. Hickey (1940-2013) was a paleobotanist and sedimentary geologist who made major contributions to our understanding of flowering plant evolution and paleoecology, as well as plant extinction and Cenozoic climate change. His insights were shaped strongly by his fieldwork in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains, the coastal plain of eastern North America, and the Arctic. All applications will be considered for a Hickey Student Research Award, but preference will be given to projects that involve field work on terrestrial fossils and sedimentary systems.



H. Richard Lane Award

All applications will be considered for H. Richard Lane Awards. 

N. Gary Lane Award

N. Gary Lane (1930-2006) was a leading international authority on fossil crinoids during the 20th century. He completed his Ph.D. research on Mississippian crinoids with R.C. Moore (founder of the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology) at the University of Kansas in 1958. He then joined the faculty at UCLA where he rose to the rank of Professor before moving to Indiana University in 1973 so he could be closer to the Mississippian outcrops he so loved. Along with Moore, he was a major contributor to the Crinoidea volumes of the Treatise. Gary published numerous papers and books on crinoid systematics, paleoecology, and evolution, as well as several other topics in paleontology, stratigraphy, the history of geology, and the textbook Life of the Past. He was an innovative thinker and contributed pioneering ideas in benthic community paleoecology. In addition to his scholarly publications, Gary was well known for his love of geologic fieldwork, close comradery with fellow geologists, his nurturing of graduate students, many of whom he inspired to be professors as well, and his encouragement of other echinoderm paleontologists. Among many honors, he was President of the Paleontological Society (1987-1988) and received the R.C. Moore Medal of SEPM (1995). After his retirement in 1995, he remained active, participating in two research expeditions to China that produced several publications. In 2005, a symposium was held in his honor at the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America, which led to the book, Echinoderm Paleobiology, published by Indiana University Press.

All applications will be considered for three Lane Student Research Awards. 

Richard Osgood Award

The Osgood awardee shall undertake a project that integrates knowledge of natural history and behavior of modern animals with observations derived from the fossil and stratigraphic record. The committee will assign the Osgood Award to the successful proposal that most nearly meets these criteria. 

Allison R. “Pete” Palmer Award

All applications will be considered for two Palmer Student Research Awards. 

James M. & Thomas J. M. Schopf Award

The Schopf Award was funded by a gift from Bill Schopf to honor the memories of James M. Schopf of the U.S. Geological Survey and The Ohio State University, Paleontological Society Medalist, and Thomas J. M. Schopf of the University of Chicago, winner of the Paleontological Society’s Charles Schuchert Award.

All applications will be considered for a Schopf Student Research Award. 

Steven M. Stanley Award

The Stanley Award was established by the Paleontological Society in recognition of Steve Stanley’s generosity to the Society. All applications will be considered for a Stanley Student Research Awards. 

Robert J. Stanton & James R. Dodd Award

The Stanton & Dodd Award was established by Cheryl Metz to honor the fruitful collaboration of Bob Stanton and Bob Dodd. All applications will be considered for a Stanton & Dodd Student Research Award. 

Harry B. Whittington Award

All applications will be considered for a Whittington Student Research Award. 

Ellis L. Yochelson – Yochelson Student Research Awards

Ellis L. Yochelson (1928-2006) was both a paleontologist and a historian. His paleontological studies centered on Paleozoic mollusks, especially gastropods, but also included scaphopods, chitons, and monoplacophorans. In addition, he proposed the Phylum Agmata, and monographed the Late Cambrian “motorcycle tracks” made by Climacticnites.

His historical studies included the epic two-volume biography of Charles D. Walcott, the 75th anniversary volume of the National Museum of Natural History (USNM), and his 2004 study of “…Natural History in Washington.” Ellis’ bibliography has at least 300 entries. Ellis had a lifelong interest in natural history. He joined the U.S. Geological Survey in 1952 and had his laboratory at the United States National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. After retirement in 1985, he continued at the USNM as a Research Associate and Scientist Emeritus for the rest of his life. Ellis, and his wife Sally, hosted innumerable colleagues and students who came to the USNM to study.

Ellis was President of the Paleontological Society, he founded the Society’s annual short courses in 1978, and in 1969 he arranged the first North American Paleontological Convention (NAPC). The 2001 NAPC in Berkeley was dedicated to him. In 2003, he received the Award of the History of Geology Division of the Geological Society of America. Yochelson Ridge, in the Heritage Range of the Ellsworth Mountains, was named for him in honor of his Antarctic work. (See, 2007, American Paleontologist, v. 15, No. 1, p. 11).

All applications will be considered for four Yochelson Student Research Awards.

Past Paleontological Society Student Award Winners

2020 Student Award Winners 




Abigail Kelly

Survival of the Flexible? Dietary breadth and persistence of Pleistocene herbivores


Sara Kahanamoku 

Eco-evolutionary responses of northeastern Pacific foraminifera to mid-Pliocene warming


Sinjini Sinha

Assessing the paleoecological changes of marine communities through extinction events in the
Early Jurassic (late Pliensbachian-Toarcian) of Morocco


Maria Viteri

Bothersome burrowers: tracking gopher (Thomomys bottae) time-averaging in a  
late-Holocene site in California

Bearded Lady/Curano

Emily Lessner

Diversity and evolution of the reptilian trigeminal sensory system


Jessica Kalyniuk

Reconstructing dinosaur diet: analysis of the stomach contents of the Albian-aged nodosaur,
Borealopelta markmitchelli, and a review of the contemporaneous flora of central Alberta

Bearded Lady/Curano

James Napoli

Does Ecological Specialism Cause Morphological Canalization?

G. Arthur Cooper

Jack Stack

Exceptional preservation in an early Middle Permian ray-finned fish (Actinopterygii) from the
Minnekahta Limestone of South Dakota


Kelsey Koerner

Late-Holocene changes in sea surface conditions in the North Water Polynya, northern Baffin Bay


Joshua Owens

Shallow or Deep? Insights on the Marcellus Shale from the Stable Isotopes of Brachiopods

N. Gary Lane

Brittany Hupp

Deconvolving the Effects of Sediment Mixing on Planktic Foraminifer Assemblages of the
Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (Southern Indian Ocean)


Mary Lonsdale

Neoproterozoic life in the Maly Karatau Range, Kazakhstan: investigating the temporal context of a
Tonian microfossil assemblage


Ceara Purcell

How niches evolve during Ordovician environmental change: A test using Laurentian brachiopods


Stephanie Rosbach

Does Clay Matter? Improving the Preservation Potential of Soft-Tissues with Clay


Pauline Basilia

Life History Traits of Dwarfed Proboscideans on Islands


Kiersten Formoso

Controls of existing locomotor functions on major evolutionary transitions: a study using
secondarily aquatic amniotes


David Mertz

Climate induced evolution of ammonoids during the Cenomanian and Turonian interval


Catherine Nield

Calibration of Land Snail Shell δ18O at High Arctic Tundra Biomes


Phillip Boan

The original space race: spatial relationships within and between the Ediacara Biota

N. Gary Lane

Anik Regan

Sequence-stratigraphic control on the continental fossil record: a test in the Judith River Formation
(Campanian) of north-central Montana


Riley Sombathy

Population-level growth pattern variation in the theropod dinosaur Allosaurus

Steven M. Stanley

Keana Tang

Cretaceous evolution and paleobiogeography of Cunoniaceae

N. Gary Lane

Haviv Avrahami

An exceptional assemblage of orodromine dinosaur remains from the poorly understood
mid-Cretaceous of western North America


Elena Stiles

Linking northern Andean uplift to aridification through phytolith analysis


Grace Musser

Resolving Relationships of Paleocene-Eocene Taxa from the Fur Formation of Denmark


Ezekiel King-Phillips

Calibration of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes of land snails as a paleovegetation proxy


Madison Gaetano

The context of caribou: deciphering sex from shed antlers


Claudia Richbourg

Project Title: Wind River Basin during the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum -
A Tale of Plant Community Composition, Insect Interactions, and Structural Changes


Rachel Laker

Diagenetic heterogeneity of marine vertebrate remains in a sequence stratigraphic context:
a potential tool to identify otherwise cryptic conditions of hiatal surfaces


Samantha Khatri

Testing for sequence-stratigraphic control on the occurrence of dinosaur fossils in the Hell Creek Formation


Samuel Muteti

The emergence of crown hominoids in the middle Miocene of Kenya 


Cooper Malanoski

Phanerozoic Trends in the Opportunistic "Disaster Taxa": Behavior of Lingulid Brachiopods
Through the Study of Habitat Affinity, Biodiversity, and Taphonomy


Isaura Aguilar-Pedrayes

Facial keratin and tooth count: Coevolution for traits in dinosaurs

H. Richard Lane

Penelope Claisse

Radiodonta evolution: resolving their tree of life using whole-body characters

H. Richard Lane

Andre Jordan Rowe

Macroevolution and function in giant theropod dinosaurs


Grace DeVault

Examination of Pig Wallow Site Geochemistry Using Decomposition Estimates from the
Minimum Number of Individuals