Paleobiologist and Curator of Dinosauria

Wide shot of Dr. Matthew Carrano in shorts and t-shirt in the field touching a gray Crestacious boundary rock surface.
Dr. Matthew Carrano touches the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary in the field near Hell Creek, Montana. Courtesy of Smithsonian.

Dr. Matthew Carrano’s interest in dinosaurs was sparked when, as a second grader, he read a National Geographic book with illustrations by Jay Matternes. As an undergraduate at Brown University, he studied the functional morphology of dinosaurs, and went on to earn his PhD at the University of Chicago. Since 2003, Matthew has been Curator of Dinosauria at the National Museum of Natural History.

He currently studies the evolutionary history, functional morphology, and ecology of dinosaurs. His fieldwork has taken him to the Western Interior of North America, Chile, and Madagascar in search of new dinosaurs and the Mesozoic ecosystems of which they formed an important part. He is also studying the quality of the dinosaur fossil record, and is particularly interested in filling in the "gaps" of certain regions and time periods. Over the last 20 years, he has conducted research in museum collections around the world, including England, France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Argentina, Canada, Australia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.