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Dr. Alexander Hastings, Assistant Curator of Paleontology

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Professional Experience

  • Assistant Curator of Paleontology; Virginia Museum of Natural History; July 2015 to present
  • Postdoctoral Fellow; Geiseltal Collection, Center for Natural Science Collections, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg; June 2013 to May 2015
  • Visiting Instructor; Department of Geology and Geography, Georgia Southern University; August 2012 to May 2013


  • Ph.D. Geological Sciences, University of Florida, 2012
  • B.S. Geosciences, Penn State University, 2005

 Research Interests

  • Evolutionary relationship between temperature and body size in ectothermic (cold-blooded) animals
  • Factors influencing turnover and extinction in fossil predators
  • Ecology, evolution, taxonomy, and systematics of fossil reptiles
  • Evolutionary adaptations to new environments
  • Prehistoric human-induced changes to reptile and amphibian populations

 Professional Memberships

  • Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
  • Geological Society of America

 Exhibition Work

  • Titanoboa: Monster Snake (Traveling)
  • Gaining Ground: Horse-hunting Crocodiles & Giant Birds (Halle, Germany)

 Selected Publications

  • Hastings, A.K. and M. Hellmund. 2015. Rare in situ preservation of adult crocodylian with eggs from the Middle Eocene of Geiseltal, Germany. Palaios, 30(6):446–461.
  • Hastings, A.K. and M. Hellmund. 2015. Geiseltal Fossillagerstätte. Bilingual companion book for the exhibit “Gaining Ground: Horse-hunting Crocodiles and Giant Birds: New research results on the Eocene World of Germany ca. 45 Million Years Ago”. ISBN: 978-3-940744-61-6; 120 pp.
  • Hastings, A.K., Bloch, J.I., and C.A. Jaramillo. 2015. A new blunt-snouted dyrosaurid, Anthracosuchus balrogus gen. et sp. nov. (Crocodylomorpha, Mesoeucrocodylia), from the Paleocene of Colombia. Historical Biology, 27(8):998-1020.
  • Hastings, A.K., J. Krigbaum, D.W. Steadman, and N.A. Albury. 2014. Reptile-dominated terrestrial food web in the Bahamas prior to human occupation. Journal of Herpetology, 48(3):380–388.
  • Hastings, A.K., J.I. Bloch, C.A. Jaramillo, A.F. Rincon, and B.J. MacFadden. 2013. Systematics and Biogeography of Crocodylians from the Miocene of Panama. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 33(2):239–263.
  • Hastings, A.K., J.I. Bloch, and C.A. Jaramillo. 2011. A new longirostrine dyrosaurid (Crocodylomorpha, Mesoeucrocodylia) from the Paleocene of north-eastern Colombia: biogeographic and behavioral implications for New World Dyrosauridae. Palaeontology, 54(5):195–1116.
  • 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.
  • Hastings, A.K. 2010. Pantherophis alleghaniensis (Eastern Rat Snake) Diet. Herpetological Review, 41(3): 371.
  • 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, 457:715–718.