Peppe received the prize for his 2010 paper “Megafloral change in the early and middle Paleocene in the Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA” (Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, and Palaeoecology 28[3-4]: 224-234.
Peppe is an assistant professor in the Department of Geology at Baylor University. His research integrates paleobotany, paleoclimatology, and paleomagnetism to reconstruct past ecosystems and to examine how terrestrial ecosystems respond to climate change through time. His current work is focused on developing proxies for paleoclimate and paleoecology using modern leaf traits, characterizing the paleoenvironment of the Neogene and Quaternary in East Africa as it related to hominoid evolution, and reconstructing Cretaceous and Paleogene plant communities and paleoclimate across the Western Interior of North America.
April Dinwiddie won the 2011 Gaylord Simpson Prize for her paper: “Patterning of a compound eye on an extinct dipteran wing”. Baltic amber is not the most likely place to find a new take on evo-devo, but this paleobiological study provides an opportunity to study the structure, function, and developmental constraints on an evolutionary novelty.
April earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Mount Holyoke College in 2008. She is currently a PhD student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University where she is studying the development and evolution of cuticular wing scales in butterflies.