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Q&A With Dr. Ted Daeschler

November 1, 2012

Dr. Ted Daeschler

Dr. Ted Daeschler

Dr. Ted Daeschler on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut Territory, Canada

Associate Professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science
Associate Curator, Department of Vertebrate Biology, Academy of Natural Sciences

Hometown: Millburn, NJ
Degree: Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Research Interests: Paleontology and geology

Q: What first attracted you to environmental science, and specifically vertebrate paleontology?
A: As an undergraduate geology major at Franklin and Marshall College I became fascinated with the history of the earth, which naturally led to the history of life on earth. Geology and working outdoors have always been what I enjoy most.

Q: What do you consider to be your biggest achievement thus far in your career?
A: Exploration in the high Canadian Arctic has produced a suite of previously unknown animals from the Late Devonian Period (aka The Age of Fishes). Among the new discoveries is Tiktaalik roseae, the best transitional form known between finned and limbed vertebrates.

Q: What is your favorite book?
A: Basin and Range by John McPhee

Q: What is your favorite food or restaurant?
A: Favorite restaurant lately is Melograno on Sansom Street

Q: What’s the one thing you couldn't live without?
A: Spending time in nature

Q: If you could have dinner with three people (dead or alive) who would they be?
A: Charles Darwin, Joseph Leidy, and Edward Cope

Q: What’s your favorite place you’ve travelled for research?
A: Ellesmere Island, Nunavut Territory, Canada

Q: Which current event/issue do you think students should know more about?
A: Sustainability

Q: What most excites you about the Drexel/Academy partnership?
A: I am most excited by the potential interactions of Academy scientists with Drexel students and researchers. The possibilities go beyond biodiversity, earth and environmental science to many other areas of shared knowledge and experience.

Q: What’s one thing every student who plans on taking one of your classes should know about you?
A: I expect students to keep track of their class responsibilities and give ample time to their assignments.

Q: And finally—we have to ask—what was it like being on the Colbert Report and meeting Stephen Colbert?
A: The Colbert Report was a blur of new experiences for me. I honestly did not know what to expect until the producer told me about his character and that I should just have fun with it. So I did. Although I only met him briefly, Stephen Colbert seems like a nice, family man sort of guy. His mind works so quickly it is hard to keep up!

Check him out on the Colbert Report »