George Gaylord Simpson Prize - 2013
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Daniel Field

Daniel Field is a vertebrate paleontologist interested in the origins of the major amniote clades, and the characteristics that make these groups unique. Although his research primarily regards bird evolution, his severely short attention span has thus far seen him alternately focus on the evolution of whales, turtles, snakes, and horned dinosaurs. His interest in paleontology stems from a longstanding fascination with the extant biota, and he devotes much of his time to observing, photographing, and filming wildlife around the world. 

 

Despite the handicap of a nearly impenetrable Canadian accent, Field received the George Gaylord Simpson Prize for his 2013 paper 'Melanin concentration gradients in modern and fossil feathers' (co-authored with Liliana D'Alba, Jakob Vinther, Sam Webb, Will Gearty, and Matt Shawkey). This study sought to characterize and explain the prevalence of pigmentation gradients commonly seen in the feathers of modern birds, and in a 50-million year-old Danish fossil.