Prof. Steven M. Stanley, Ph.D. was recently selected as Top Researcher of the Decade by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP). He is a Paleontologist and Research Professor at Florida State University, having servied on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University for 36 years and The University of Hawaii at Manoa for 14 years,
While inclusion with the International Association of Top Professionals is an honor in itself, only 1 Research Professor is chosen for this distinction. Dr. Stanley is being recognized for this honor for dedicating over 4 decades of his professional life to the Paleontology Industry. He was honored at IAOTP’s 2019 Annual Awards Gala in Las Vegas at the Bellagio Hotel, as Top Research Professor of the Year and for the Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Stanley will be honored at IAOTP’s 2020 Annual Awards Gala being held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City not only for this award but also for his induction in IAOTP’s Hall of Fame.
The President of IAOTP, Stephanie Cirami stated, “Choosing Dr. Stanley for this award was an effortless decision for our panel to make. He is a world-renowned expert in paleontology and is truly deserving of this title. We are looking forward to honoring him and can’t wait to call his name on stage for this meritorious award.”
With such a phenomenal impact as a seasoned and trusted American paleontologist and evolutionary biologist, Dr. Stanley has devoted a significant part of his life to his career. Dr. Stanley graduated Suma Cum Laude from Princeton University in 1963 with an AB, and earned his Ph.D from Yale University in 1968.
His impressive repertoire of prior roles have included Chair of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences of Johns Hopkins University and Chair of this institution's MS Program in Environmental Sciences and Policy. He is best known in biological circles for his documentation of the punctuational model of evolution based on fossil occurrences and analysis of its theoretical implications. His book on this subject, "Macroevolution: Pattern and Process," still receives about 40 literature citations a year, more than 40 years after its publication. Among Dr. Stanley's many other scientific contributions are studies on the ways in which shapes of bivalve mollusk shells adapt these animals to their many ways of life. This is the largest body of work ever produced by one researcher on the functional skeletal morphology of any class of animals. Dr. Stanley has also established a new area of research, showing how changes in the chemistry of seawater over the course of earth history have governed which organisms have performed as major builders of organic reefs and producers of limestone-forming sediment at various times. In 2016 his mathematical technique for calculating the impact of mass extinctions showed that the largest one of all, at the end of the Permian, eliminated only slightly more than eighty percent of species in the ocean, not the ninety-five percent that many had previously believed: it did not nearly wipe out life on earth.
Dr. Stanley is an active member of his community and has been recognized worldwide for his initiative and allegiance to his profession. He has received many awards and other accolades and has been featured in numerous publications multiple years in a row such as Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Who’s Who in the East, Who’s Who in the West, and Who’s Who in the World. This year he was inducted in IAOTP’s Hall of Fame. For 2019, Dr. Stanley graced the front cover of TIP (Top Industry Professionals) Magazine, and was selected for not only the Lifetime Achievement Award but also selected as Top Research Professor of the Year by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP). He was featured in the Wall Street Journal and was displayed on a billboard in Times Square. His most important medal, which he received from the Geological Society of America in 2013, is the Penrose Medal “for eminence in pure research.” In 2008, Dr. Stanley was the recipient for the Twenhofel Medal by the Society for Sedimentary Geology. In 2007, he received The Paleontological Society Medal, which is awarded to a person whose eminence is based on advancement of knowledge in paleontology. In 2006, he received the Mary Clark Thompson Medal from the National Academy of Sciences. In 2004, he received the James H. Shea Award of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. In 1997, he received the Bownocker Medal from Ohio State University, and in 1986 he received the Outstanding Technology Paper Award of the Washington Geological Society. In 1977, Dr. Stanley received the Charles Schuchert Award of the Paleontological Society and in 1973 the Allan C. Davis Medal given by Maryland Academy of Sciences. Dr. Stanley is a Past President of the American Geosciences Institute; Former Councilor for the Geological Society of America; Former Executive Committee Member of the American Geosciences Institute; and Former President of the Paleontological Society.
Aside from his thriving career as a Professor, Dr. Stanley is also a sought-after lecturer, published author, and contributor to scores of book chapters and articles in professional journals. He has also sat on numerous boards. He currently is an Editorial Board Member of the American Journal of Science, Former Member of the Commission on Geoscience, Environment and Resources of the National Research Council, and Former Vice Chairman for the Board of Earth Sciences of the National Research Council. Dr. Stanley has authored numerous books: “Earth System History,” “Children of the Ice Age: How a Global Catastrophe Allowed Humans to Evolve,” “Earth and Life Through Time,” “Extinction,” and "The New Evolutionary Time Table."
For the future, Dr. Stanley hopes that his scientific research and contributions will continue to make a difference for paleontology. When he is not conducting research, Dr. Stanley enjoys writing and being an amateur landscape architect, building walks and patios and planting trees and shrubs. As an honorary member of the exclusive Hall of Fame, Dr. Stanley has a legacy of true excellence.
For more information on Dr. Stanley please visit: www.iaotp.com
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