Dr. Allison Tumarkin-Deratzian

Expedition Assistant, RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

Allison Tumarkin-Deratzian received her B.S. (1997) in Geology and Environmental Geosciences from Lafayette College, and her Ph.D. (2003) in Earth and Environmental Science from the University of Pennsylvania.  She served as visiting assistant professor of Earth Science and Geography at Vassar College (2003-2006), before joining the faculty of Earth and Environmental Science at Temple University, where she is currently Associate Professor of Instruction.  Her training, teaching, and research in paleontology straddles the interface between geology and biology.

Curriculum vitae



Allison’s research focuses on bone histology and growth processes in modern and fossil vertebrates, and its implications for understanding developmental and evolutionary patterns.  She is also interested in gross and histological studies of paleopathology, and taphonomy, studying the history of formation of vertebrate skeletal assemblages.  She has done field work in the Mesozoic of Montana, Alberta, and Egypt.


Photo Credit: J. Anné

Selected Publications

  • Hedrick, B.P., Goldsmith, E., Rivera-Sylva, H., Fiorillo, A.R., Tumarkin-Deratzian, A.R., and Dodson, P.  2019.  Filling in gaps in the ceratopsid histologic database: histology of two basal centrosaurines and an assessment of the utility of rib histology in the Ceratopsidae.  The Anatomical Record.

  • Hedrick, B.P., Gao, C., Tumarkin-Deratzian, A.R., Shen, C., Holloway, J.L., Zhang, F., Hankenson, K.D., Liu, S., Anné, J., and Dodson, P.  2016.  An injured Psittacosaurus (Dinosauria: Ceratopsia) from the Yixian Formation (Liaoning, China): Implications for Psittacosaurus biology.  The Anatomical Record.  299(7): 897-906.

  • Hedrick, B.P., Tumarkin-Deratzian, A.R., and Dodson, P.  2014.  Bone microstructure and relative age of the holotype specimen of the diplodocoid sauropod dinosaur Suuwassea emilieae.  Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.  59(2): 295-304.

  • Tumarkin-Deratzian, A.R.  2012.  Designing an upper-level-vertebrate paleontology and taphonomy course for undergraduate geoscience majors.  pp. 43-58.  In:  Yacobucci, M.M. and Lockwood, R. (eds.), Teaching Paleontology in the 21st Century. The Paleontological Society Special Publications, vol. 12.

  • Tumarkin-Deratzian, A.R.  2010.  Histological evaluation of ontogenetic bone surface texture changes in the frill of Centrosaurus apertus.  pp. 251-263.  In:  Ryan, M.J., Chinnery-Allgeier, B., and Eberth, D.A. (eds.), New Perspectives on Horned Dinosaurs: The Royal Tyrrell Museum Ceratopsian Symposium.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

  • Tumarkin-Deratzian, A.R.  2009.  Evaluation of long bone surface textures as ontogenetic indicators in centrosaurine ceratopsids.  The Anatomical Record.  292(9): 1485-1500.

See Dr. Tumarkin-Deratzian’s Curriculum vitae for a complete publication list.

Teaching Experience

Allison has extensive experience teaching geology, biology, and paleontology at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  At Temple University she teaches courses in physical and historical geology, invertebrate paleontology and stratigraphy, and vertebrate paleontology and taphonomy.  She has also taught gross anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (1998-2001) and comparative osteology at Drexel University (2007).   At Temple, she has been the recipient of the College of Science and Technology Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award (2009) and Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award (2015).


In Her Own Words

“A paleontologist is by nature both a biologist and a geologist; it is impossible to appreciate fully the life of the past without taking into account the world in which it lived, and our understanding of the biological aspects of the ancient world is only as good as the geological record that preserves it allows it to be.”