Staff Spotlight

Dr. Jonathan I. Bloch

Jon Bloch headshotAssociate Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology
222 Dickinson Hall
Museum Road & Newell Drive
GainesvilleFL 32611



Ph.D. University of Michigan, 2001

Florida Museum Vertebrate Paleontology Collection


Concurrent Appointments

Associate Professor of Geological SciencesAnthropology, andZoology


Research Interests

I study fossil mammals in order to address questions surrounding the first appearance and early evolution of the modern orders of mammals. A major emphasis is the interval from the terminal Cretaceous through the early Eocene, which includes the evolution and diversification of "archaic" mammals following the extinction of the dinosaurs (ca. 65 mya), and the first appearance of nearly one-half of the modern orders of mammals, several appearing coincident with rapid, large-scale, global warming at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary (ca. 55 mya). Specific research topics include: (1) the response of mammal communities to climate change; (2) use of phylogenetic methods to infer hypotheses of relationships; and (3) use of functional morphology in order to study the evolution and paleoecology of small mammals. I am currently doing related field-based research in the Paleocene and Eocene of the Clarks Fork, Bighorn, and Crazy Mountains basins of Wyoming and Montana, and the Cerrejon and Bogota formations of northern Colombia.


Collection-related Activities


Courses Taught

  • Vertebrate Paleontology: The Fossil Record and Evolution of Vertebrates (ZOO 5115; GLY 6932)
  • Topics in Field Geology: Florida Vertebrate Paleontology (GLY 5786)



Richard Hulbert - Vertebrate Paleontology Collection Manager

Jason Bourque - Fossil Preparator

Arthur Poyer - Research Associate


Graduate Students

Alex Hastings, PhD Candidate, Geology
Email: | Curriculum Vitae
Paleocene crocodyliforms from northern Colombia

Carly Manz, PhD Candidate, Geology
Email: | Curriculum Vitae
Evolutionary morphology of Paleogene mammals

Aldo Rincón B., Masters Candidate, Geology
Email: | Curriculum Vitae
Mammalian evolution and Neotropical biostratigraphy in Central and South America


Representative Publications

Cadena, E. A., J. I. Bloch, and C. A. Jaramillo. 2010. New podocnemidid turtle (Testudines: Pleurodira) from the middle-upper Paleocene of South America. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 30(2):367–382.

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.

Silcox, M. T., C. K. Dalmyn, J. I. Bloch. 2009. Virtual endocast ofIgnacius graybullianus (Paromomyidae, Primates) and brain evolution in early Primates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106:10987-10992.

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: 715-717.

Silcox, M. T., J. I. Bloch, D. M. Boyer, M. Godinot, T. Ryan, F. S. Spoor, and A. Walker. 2009. The semicircular canal system in early primates. Journal of Human Evolution, 56:315-327

Boyer, D. M., and J. I. Bloch, 2008. Evaluating the Mitten-Gliding Hypothesis for Paromomyidae and Micromomyidae (Mammalia, "Plesiadapiformes") Using Comparative Functional Morphology of New Paleogene Skeletons. In E. J. Sargis and M. Dagosto (eds.),Mammalian Evolutionary Morphology: A Tribute to Frederick S. Szalay. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 233-284.

Bloch, J. I., M. T. Silcox, E. J. Sargis, and D. M. Boyer. 2007. New Paleocene skeletons and the relationship of plesiadapiforms to crown-clade primates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104:1159-1164. Cover article.

Bloch, J. I., D. M. Boyer. 2006. New skeletons of Paleocene-Eocene Plesiadapiformes: a diversity of arboreal positional behaviors in early primates. In M. Ravosa and M. Dagosto (eds), Primate Origins: Adaptations and Evolution. Springer, New York, pp. 535-581.

Missiaen, P., T. Smith, D. Guo, J. I. Bloch, and P. D. Gingerich. 2006. Asian gliriform origin for arctostylopid mammals.Naturwissenschaften, 93:407-411.

Bloch, J. I., M. T. Silcox. 2006. Cranial Anatomy of Carpolestes simpsoni (Mammalia, Primates) using ultra high-resolution X-ray computed tomography, and the relationships of plesiadapiforms to Euprimates. Journal of Human Evolution, 50:1-35.

Wing, S. L., G. J. Harrington, F. Smith, J. I. Bloch, and D. M. Boyer. 2005. Transient Floral Change and Rapid Global Warming at the Paleocene-Eocene Boundary. Science, 310:993-996. Cover article.

Zack, S. P., T. A. Penkrot, J. I. Bloch, and K. D. Rose. 2005. Affinities of "hyopsodontids" to elephant-shrews and a Holarctic origin of Afrotheria. Nature, 434:497-501.

Bloch, J. I., and D. M. Boyer. 2002. Grasping Primate Origins.Science 298:1606-1610.

Bloch, J. I., D. M. Boyer, P. D. Gingerich, and G. F. Gunnell. 2002. New primitive paromomyid from the Clarkforkian of Wyoming and dental eruption in Plesiadapiformes. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 22:366-379.

Bloch, J. I., M. T. Silcox. 2001. New basicrania of Paleocene-Eocene Ignacius: re-evaluation of the Plesiadapiform-Dermopteran link. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 116:184-198.

Bloch, J. I., D. C. Fisher, K. D. Rose, and P. D. Gingerich. 2001. New genus of late Tiffanian carpolestid and a stratocladistic analysis of North American Carpolestidae (Mammalia, Proprimates). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 21:118-130.


Current External Funding

2007-2010 Collaborative Research: Paleohydrology of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum: A Multiple Proxy Reconstruction, NSF-EAR-0719941, PI. $103,001
2007-2010 Environmental and Climatic Change Across the Paleocene-Eocene Boundary in the Continental Interior of North America, NSF EAR-0640076, Sedimentary Geology & Paleobiology, PI. $194,048
2006-2011 Collaborative Research: Resolving Mammalian Phylogeny with Genomic and Morphological Approaches, NSF EF- 0629836, Assembling the Tree of Life, CoPI. $135,993