Dr. Alexander Hastings, Assistant Curator of Palaeontology

Professional Experience

  • Fitzpatrick Chair of Paleontology; Science Museum of Minnesota; October 2018 to present
  • Assistant Curator of Paleontology; Virginia Museum of Natural History; July 2015 to October 2018
  • Postdoctoral Fellow; Geiseltal Collection, Center for Natural Science Collections, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg; June 2013 to May 2015
  • Visiting Instructor; Department of Geology and Geography, Georgia Southern University; August 2012 to May 2013


  • Ph.D. Geological Sciences, University of Florida, 2012
  • B.S. Geosciences, Penn State University, 2005

 Research Interests

  • Evolutionary relationship between temperature and body size in ectothermic (cold-blooded) animals
  • Factors influencing turnover and extinction in fossil predators
  • Ecology, evolution, taxonomy, and systematics of fossil reptiles
  • Evolutionary adaptations to new environments
  • Prehistoric human-induced changes to reptile and amphibian populations

 Professional Memberships

  • Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
  • Geological Society of America

 Exhibition Work

  • Titanoboa: Monster Snake (Traveling)
  • Gaining Ground: Horse-hunting Crocodiles & Giant Birds (Halle, Germany)

 Selected Publications

  • Ristevski, J., M.T. Young, M.B. de Andrade, and A.K. Hastings. 2018. New species of Anteophthalmosuchus (Crocodylomorpha, Goniopholididae) from the Early Cretaceous of the Isle of Wight, United Kingdom, and a review of the genus. Cretaceous Research, 84:340–383, doi: 10.1016/j.cretres.2017.11.008.
  • Young, M.T., A.K. Hastings, R. Allain, and T.J. Smith. 2017. Revision of the enigmatic crocodyliform Elosuchus felixi de Lapparent de Broin, 2002 from the Lower–Upper Cretaceous boundary of Niger: potential evidence for an early origin of the clade Dyrosauridae. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 179(2):377–403, doi: 10.1111/zoj.12452.
  • Hastings, A.K. and A.C. Dooley, Jr. 2017. Fossil-collecting from the middle Miocene Carmel Church Quarry marine ecosystem in Caroline County, Virginia, in Bailey, C.M., and Jaye, S., eds., From the Blue Ridge to the Beach: Geological Field Excursions across Virginia. Geological Society of America Field Guide, 47:1–12, doi:10.1130/2017.0047(03).
  • Kehlmaier, C., A. Barlow, A.K. Hastings, M. Vamberger, J.L.A. Paijmans, D.W. Steadman, N.A. Albury, R. Franz, M. Hofreiter and U. Fritz. 2017. Tropical ancient DNA reveals relationships of the extinct Bahamian giant tortoise Chelonoidis alburyorum. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 284(1846), doi: 10.1098/rspb.2016.2235.
  • Hastings, A.K. and M. Hellmund. 2017. Evidence for prey preference partitioning in the Middle Eocene high-diversity crocodylian assemblage of the Geiseltal-Fossillagerstätte, Germany utilizing skull shape analysis. Geological Magazine, 154(1):119–146, doi: 10.1017/S0016756815001041.
  • Hastings, A.K., M. Reisser and T.M. Scheyer. 2016. Character evolution and the origin of Caimaninae (Crocodylia) in the New World Tropics: new evidence from the Miocene of Panama and Venezuela. Journal of Paleontology, 90(2):317–332, doi: https://dx.doi.org/10.1017/jpa.2016.37.
  • Whiting, E.T. and A.K. Hastings. 2015. First fossil Alligator from the late Eocene of Nebraska and the late Paleogene record of alligators in the Great Plains. Journal of Herpetology, 49(4):560–569, doi: 10.1670/14-069.
  • Hastings, A.K. and M. Hellmund. 2015. Rare in situ preservation of adult crocodylian with eggs from the Middle Eocene of Geiseltal, Germany. Palaios, 30(6):446–461.
  • Hastings, A.K. and M. Hellmund. 2015. Geiseltal Fossillagerstätte. Bilingual companion book for the exhibit “Gaining Ground: Horse-hunting Crocodiles and Giant Birds: New research results on the Eocene World of Germany ca. 45 Million Years Ago”. ISBN: 978-3-940744-61-6; 120 pp.
  • Hastings, A.K., Bloch, J.I., and C.A. Jaramillo. 2015. A new blunt-snouted dyrosaurid, Anthracosuchus balrogus gen. et sp. nov. (Crocodylomorpha, Mesoeucrocodylia), from the Paleocene of Colombia. Historical Biology, 27(8):998-1020.
  • Hastings, A.K., J. Krigbaum, D.W. Steadman, and N.A. Albury. 2014. Reptile-dominated terrestrial food web in the Bahamas prior to human occupation. Journal of Herpetology, 48(3):380–388.
  • Hastings, A.K., J.I. Bloch, C.A. Jaramillo, A.F. Rincon, and B.J. MacFadden. 2013. Systematics and Biogeography of Crocodylians from the Miocene of Panama. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 33(2):239–263.
  • Hastings, A.K., J.I. Bloch, and C.A. Jaramillo. 2011. A new longirostrine dyrosaurid (Crocodylomorpha, Mesoeucrocodylia) from the Paleocene of north-eastern Colombia: biogeographic and behavioral implications for New World Dyrosauridae. Palaeontology, 54(5):195–1116.
  • Hastings, A.K., J.I. Bloch, E.A. Cadena, and C.A. Jaramillo. 2010. A new small short-snouted dyrosaurid (Crocodylomorpha, Mesoeucrocodylia) from the Paleocene of Northeastern Colombia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 30(1):139–162.
  • Hastings, A.K. 2010. Pantherophis alleghaniensis (Eastern Rat Snake) Diet. Herpetological Review, 41(3): 371.
  • Head, J.J., J.I. Bloch, A.K. Hastings, J.R. Bourque, E.A. Cadena, F.A. Herrera, P.D. Polly, and C.A. Jaramillo. 2009. Giant boid snake from the Paleocene neotropics reveals hotter past equatorial temperatures. Nature, 457:715–718.


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