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Faculty Experts

Ted Daeschler, PhD

Associate Curator of Vertebrate Biology and Vice President for Systematic Biology and the Library, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and College of Arts and Sciences

Contact:

edward.b.daeschler@drexel.edu

215.299.1133

Daeschler has been at the Academy since 1987 and joined the faculty of Drexel’s Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science upon its founding in 2012. His responsibilities at the Academy focus on research, collections building and on public programs within the museum. He served as a scientific advisor for the renovation of the Academy’s Dinosaur Hall and a variety of other paleontological exhibits. 
 
Daeschler’s research in vertebrate paleontology focuses on the vertebrate fauna of the Late Devonian Period (385-363 million-years-ago) in eastern North America, including the well-known transitional fish fossil Tiktaalik roseae, which he co-discovered. The research involves active fossil collecting, systematic work focusing on freshwater vertebrates and the nature of early non-marine ecosystems. Fossil discoveries from the incompletely-known Late Devonian interval help answer questions about the diversification of major groups of fishes, the origin of limbed vertebrates, and the invasion of land by plants and animals.
 

For news media inquiries, contact Frank Otto at fmo26@drexel.edu or 215.571.4244.

In the News

  • Philly Museum's Fossil Surgeon Reveals Ancient Past

    Fred Mullison, fossil preparator at the Academy of Natural Sciences, was featured in a May 19 Philadelphia Inquirer story on his work. Ted Daeschler, PhD, vice president of Collections and the Library of the Academy and professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was also quoted in the piece.

  • Philly Fossil Hunter Treks to End of Earth in Search of Fish

    Ted Daeschler, PhD, vice president of Collections and the Library of the Academy of Natural Sciences and a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was quoted in a Jan. 11 Philadelphia Inquirer story about his fossil-hunting expedition to Antarctica.

  • Philly Scientists Find Prehistoric Armored Fish 'Like a Tank'

    Jason Downs, PhD, a research associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences, and Ted Daeschler, PhD, vice president of Collections and the Library of the Academy and a professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, were both quoted in a Nov. 3 Philadelphia Inquirer story about the discovery of a new, extinct species of armored fish called B. rex.


  • Similarities Found Between How Ancient and Modern Fish Survived Youth

    Ted Daeschler, PhD, vice president of Collections at the Library of the Academy of Natural Sciences, was quoted in an Oct. 7 Heritage Daily story about the unique discovery of an ancient nursery shared by many different, extinct armored fish species in what is now Belgium.

  • Will Teenage Tetrapods Change the Story of Leap from Sea to Land?

    Ted Daeschler, PhD, associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and vice president of the Academy of Natural Sciences, was quoted in a Sept. 8 Christian Science Monitor story about fossils of juvenile animals found in Greenland that could help explain the evolutionary jump from the sea to land.

  • Did Early Land Animals Get a Leg Up By Using Their Tails?

    Ted Daeschler, PhD, associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and associate curator of vertebrate zoology at the Academy of Natural Sciences, was quoted in a July 8 Christian Science Monitor story about how vertebrates became terrestrial animals.

  • Why Don't Fish Have Necks?

    Ted Daeschler, PhD, associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and associate curator of Vertebrate Biology in the Academy of Natural Sciences, was quoted in a Live Science article April 18 exploring why fish evolved to not have necks.

  • New Discovery Means P.E.I. Fossil Name Could Change

    Ted Daeschler, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and vice president of collections at the Academy of Natural Sciences, was quoted in Nov. 26 Guardian and Truro Daily News stories about a dinosaur fossil from the Academy that raised new questions about fossils discovered on Prince Edward Island more than 150 years ago.

  • Success as a Sweet Antidote for Failure

    Ted Daeschler, PhD, vice president for collections at the Academy of Natural Sciences and associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, read an audio essay on WHYY radio’s “The Pulse” on July 27 about the process of discovering the fish fossil Tiktaalik roseae.

  • Fossil Fragments Reveal Enormous Ancient Turtle

    Ted Daeschler, PhD, vice president at the Academy of Natural Sciences and associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was quoted in a contributed article on LiveScience.com on May 19 about the discovery announced last year of the missing half of a large fossil sea turtle limb.

  • Dual Roles at the Academy

    Ted Daeschler, PhD, an associate professor in the College of Arts & Sciences and vice president for collections at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, was profiled in a Philadelphia Business Journal article on Nov. 21 about playing multiple roles following Academy’s merger with Drexel three years ago.

  • Your Inner Fish

    Ted Daeschler, PhD, vice president for collections and associate curator of vertebrate zoology in the Academy of Natural Sciences, and an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was featured on “Your Inner Fish” on PBS on April 9 for his research discovering Devonian fish fossils including Tiktaalik roseae.

    Link to video (part 2)


  • What Fish Teach Us About Us

    Ted Daeschler, PhD, associate vice president for collections and associate curator of vertebrate zoology at the Academy of Natural Sciences and associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was mentioned in a New York Times interview of Neil Shubin for his role in co-discovering Tiktaalik roseae with Shubin, who hosts the documentary “Your Inner Fish” on PBS airing April 9.

  • Missing Half of Fossil Shows that Prehistoric Sea Turtle Was 3 Meters Long

    Continuing coverage of a turtle fossil bone assembled after discoveries centuries apart appeared on March 26 in Scientific American and the Huffington Post. Ted Daeschler, PhD, associate curator of vertebrate zoology and associate vice president for collections at the Academy of Natural Sciences, and associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was featured in the stories.

  • Turtle bone found in 1800s had been missing its other half -- till now

    Additional stories on March 25 and 26 featured Ted Daeschler, PhD, associate curator of vertebrate zoology and vice president for collections at the Academy of Natural Sciences and an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, for his role in identifying that a partial turtle bone fossil found by an amateur paleontologist in 2012 was the missing half of a fossil bone held in the Academy’s collections since at least 1849. Stories ran in the Los Angeles Times, FoxNews.com, The Daily Mail, Christian Science Monitor, Yahoo! News, International Business Times, CBC radio (Canada) and WAMU-FM (Washington, D.C.).

  • Monster turtle fossils re-united

    Ted Daeschler, PhD, associate curator of vertebrate zoology and vice president for collections at the Academy of Natural Sciences and associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was quoted in stories on March 25 about a discovery with the New Jersey State Museum that a fossil turtle bone found in 2012 was the missing half of a bone in the Academy’s collections since 1849 or earlier. Stories ran in the Philadelphia Inquirer, BBC News, WHYY/NewsworksLiveScience and The Verge.

  • On the Boards

    Ted Daeschler, PhD, vice president for collections and associate curator of vertebrate zoology at the Academy of Natural Sciences, and an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer’s “On the Boards” section March 10 for his appointment to the board of the Nature Conservancy Pennsylvania nonprofit organization.

  • Discovery fills gap in fossil record between fins, limbs

    Ted Daeschler, PhD, vice president for collections and associate curator of vertebrate zoology at the Academy of Natural Sciences, and an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was interviewed on “The Pulse” on WHYY-FM on Jan. 24 about his recent discovery about the transition from fins to limbs in vertebrate evolution.

  • How Fins Gave Way to Feet

    Ted Daeschler, PhD, vice president for collections and associate curator of vertebrate zoology at the Academy of Natural Sciences and an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was interviewed on “Science Friday” on NPR on Jan. 17 about the fossil fish species Tiktaalik roseae and new discoveries about the transition from finned to limbed animals.

  • Fossil reveals transition from fins to feet

    Additional coverage continued to appear on Jan. 14 of a study co-led by Ted Daeschler, PhD, vice president for collections and associate curator, showing that the rear fins of the transitional fish fossil Tiktaalik were more robust than previously assumed, suggesting that hind fins became involved in locomotion earlier than once believe. Outlets included Reuters, AFP and History.com.

  • An Ancient Fish’s Four-Wheel Drive

    Ted Daeschler, PhD, a vice president and associate curator of vertebrate zoology at the Academy of Natural Sciences and associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, was quoted in multiple stories on Jan. 13 and Jan. 14 about his contribution to a discovery of fossil fish pelves that challenge previous theories about the transition from swimming to walking in vertebrates. Coverage appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, BBC News, Boston Globe, Discovery News and other outlets.

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