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, and has been since 1990. He has also been a Senior Scientist since 2004. His primary research interests are in evolutionary novelty and innovation across biological, cultural and technological domains; the evolution of animal regulatory genomes; the origin and early evolution of animals; and the end-Permian mass extinction. 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. At SFI, he has been a Resident faculty member (part-time), Chair of the Science Steering Committee, Chair of Faculty, and is now a member of the External faculty.