Doug Erwin is currently Senior Scientist and Curator of Paleobiology at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D. C. His research involves aspects of the history of life and evolution, including ecological and developmental aspects of the origin of animals. His current work involves evolutionary novelty and innovation. Various field projects have taken Doug repeatedly to China, South Africa and Namibia, and he has done geological field work in various other regions as well. Erwin received an A.B. from Colgate University in 1980 and a Ph. D from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1985. He is the author or editor of a number of books.