431 East College Street
Granville, OH 43023
Phone: 740-321-1140
Toll free: 800-233-8787
Fax: 740-321-1141

 

 

 

Robert Martin


 

 

 

Dr. Robert A. Martin, Professor Emeritus

Department of Biological Sciences
Murray State University
Murray, KY 42071
270/978-0049

rmartin@murraystate.edu


Robert Martin is author of Missing Links: Evolutionary Concepts & Transitions Through Time.

Robert grew up in Westbury, Long Island, New York, graduating from W. T. Clarke H.S. in 1961. He earned a B.A. in Biology at Hofstra University in 1965, where he became fascinated with the evolutionary process and human fossil history. At Tulane University he began a Master’s study of the tree shrews, considered at the time to be the most primitive primates. After his major professor left Tulane to pursue a job elsewhere, Robert joined Dave Webb as a Ph. D. candidate at the University of Florida, where he began field and lab work with North American Pleistocene mammals that has continued to this day. Graduating in 1969, he taught for three years in the Biology department at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in Rapid City. That was his first introduction to the outcrops and fossils of the Great Plains. Robert then taught in the Biology Departments at Fairleigh Dickinson University (1972-1986), Berry College (1986-1993) and Murray State University (1993-2013), each time trying to find a good fit that supported his research interests. In addition to his work on fossils, Robert studied hibernating bat colonies in the caves and abandoned mines of the Black Hills of South Dakota and the caves of northern Georgia. He identified the first known colony of endangered gray bats in Georgia.

Subsequent to taking the job at Murray State University, Robert began a reconnaissance in the Meade Basin of southwestern Kansas. With the late Jim Honey (then of the US Geological Survey) and Pablo Peláez-Campomanes of the National Museum of Natural History in Madrid, Robert began the Meade Basin Rodent Project, a long-term effort to generate a dense rodent database for the Neogene and Quaternary and to use the database to test a number of ecological and evolutionary hypotheses, such as the MacArthur-Wilson equilibrium theory of island biogeography and punctuated equilibrium. Supported by the National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation, that effort continues, currently administered by colleague David Fox at the University of Minnesota.

In addition to his work on the Central Great Plains, Robert also works with colleagues on a variety of projects in southern Spain. His primary contribution to these efforts is to help sequence and place fossil localities in time based on their arvicolid rodents; a classic example of biostratigraphy and biochronology.

Robert currently lives in Erie, Pennsylvania and continues his field and lab work in paleontology. He also enjoys gardening, playing guitar, painting portraits and landscapes, cooking and golf.

Robert is available for lectures and book signings. He can be reached by phone or email.

Topics:

  1. Evolution and creationism.
  2. Contributions of the Meade Basin Rodent Project to ecological and evolutionary theory.

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