Zhe-Xi Luo is a paleontologist with a research interest in the evolutionary biology of vertebrates. By studying mammal fossils of the Mesozoic – the age of dinosaurs – Luo’s work seeks to decipher the origins of mammalian biological adaptations, evolutionary relationship of major lineages, their ecological diversification, and their developmental patterns. In his fieldwork to search for dinosaurs and fossil mammals, he works in many parts of United States and China. He studies the fossils that help to shed light on the earliest mammalian evolution and diversification. Luo also studies the evolution of whales.
Luo and his international team of scientists have made discoveries of many early fossil mammals including Hadrocodium (the “paper clip” mammal from the Early Jurassic), Castorocauda (the earliest known swimming mammal), Juramaia (the earliest known fossil of the eutherian lineage), and Sinodelphys (the earliest known member of the metatherian lineage). He was a co-author for Mammals from the Age of Dinosaurs, a major book on early mammal evolution.
From 1996 to 2012, Luo was a Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, where he also served as Associate Director of Science of the Museum from 2004 to 2012. At the Carnegie Museum, he was the curator for the 1998 exhibit on “China’s Feathered Dinosaurs” and a member of the museum team that built Carnegie’s permanent exhibit “Dinosaurs In Their Time.”
Professor Zhe-Xi Luo was a recipient of the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (USA), and the Humboldt Research Award for Senior Scientists from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany).
Dr. Luo received his postdoctoral training at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard, after earning his PhD in 1989 in Paleontology from the University of California, Berkeley and a BS in Geology, in 1982, from Nanjing University of China.