Warren D. Allmon


As PRI’s Director since 1992, Warren Allmon has led the organization in its ambitious renovation and expansion, including the design and construction of the Museum of the Earth. In addition to his technical research, he writes and speaks frequently on the history of science, evolution and creationism, natural history museums and collections, and Earth science education. Dr. Allmon also supervises Cornell graduate and undergraduate students’ work on a wide variety of topics, from the causes of snail evolution, to unraveling the identity of problematic fossils from the Devonian rocks around Ithaca, to brain evolution in camels. Dr. Allmon currently has a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation which is supporting comparison of evolutionary “tempo and mode” in marine gastropods from the Cretaceous of the Western U.S. and the Plio-Pleistocene of Florida.

Gregory P. Dietl

Director of Collections

Dr. Dietl serves as the Curator of Cenozoic Invertebrates and Director of Collections at PRI. He also serves as Adjunct Associate Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University.

Don Haas

Director of Teacher Programming

Dr. Haas, Director of Teacher Programs, has played an active role in the development of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which are intended to replace the 1996 National Science Education Standards. He has also served as Chair of the Geological Society of America's Geoscience Education Division and on the New York State Science Leadership Team for the NGSS.

Jonathan Hendricks

Director of Publications

Dr. Jonathan Hendricks is Director of Publications at the PRI. Prior to moving to the PRI in 2016, he was an associate professor in the Department of Geology at San Jose State University (part of the California State University system), where he taught multiple courses on paleontology and also mentored graduate students. Besides managing PRI’s publications, he is also active in paleobiological research and outreach activities associated with the National Science Foundation-supported Digital Atlas of Ancient Life project.

Elizabeth Hermsen

Research Scientist

Dr. Elizabeth Hermsen is a Research Scientist specializing in paleobotany at the Paleontological Research Institution. Before joining PRI in 2018, she had postdoctoral positions at the University of Kansas and Cornell University; she was later a faculty member at Ohio University, where she taught structural botany. Her current research projects including elucidating the fossil record of water ferns and describing plant taxa from the fruit and seed flora of the early Pliocene Gray Fossil Site, Tennessee. She is also contributing to the Digital Encyclopedia of Ancient Life, an online, open-access textbook of paleontology.

Alexandra Moore

Senior Education Associate

Alexandra Moore specializes in science education, with emphasis on undergraduate geoscience programs. She focuses on student-centered learning, virtual and actual fieldwork, geospatial analysis, and quantitative skills in the geoscience classroom. Dr. Moore has conducted field work with undergraduate students on five continents, and directed the Cornell Earth & Environmental Systems Field Program in Hawai‘i for 12 years. Special interests include climate-neutral curricula, service learning and community partnerships, and the integration of science and cultural studies.

Robert M. Ross

Associate Director for Outreach

Dr. Ross is the Associate Director for Outreach (education and exhibits) at the Paleontological Research Institution and its Museum of the Earth. Rob received his B.S. in Geological Sciences from Case Western Reserve University and a Ph.D. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences from Harvard University. He spent two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Kiel in Germany and four years in the Faculty of Science at Shizuoka University in Japan before coming to PRI in 1997. At PRI he is responsible for the education and exhibits programs and oversees a wide variety of grant-funded projects.

Jansen Smith

Research Scientist

Dr. Smith is a Research Scientist at the PRI. In addition, he is a lecturer in the Department of Biology at Ithaca College, where he teaches a course on the history of life. Smith has also worked in the PRI collections identifying western Pacific Cenozoic mollusks prior to curation.