Jakob Vinther ’11 PhD
Jakob Vinther joined Bristol University in 2012 in an interdisciplinary role that straddles earth sciences and biological sciences. His research is focused primarily towards integrating the fossil record with molecular biological techniques in order to understand evolution.
It was while he was studying for his PhD at Yale University that Vinther and a team of researchers first discovered the presence of melanin in fossilized dinosaur feathers, documented in the seminal 2008 paper “The Colour of Fossil Feathers,” which eventually led to the first ever realistic reconstruction of color patterns in feathered dinosaurs.
Vinther’s research sees him traveling to Morocco and North Greenland, from where he has amassed thousands of fossils that form the bedrock of his work in mapping the process of evolution across a variety of species, primarily mollusks and other invertebrates.
As a lecturer in macroevolution, he hopes that by sharing the emerging findings of this exciting new integrative discipline, he can inspire others to forge new approaches to science.