Lauren Sallan

Lauren Sallan on the TED stage
Lauren Sallan speaking at TEDSummit 2019 (TED/Ryan Lash)
TED/Ryan Lash
Lauren Sallan speaking at TEDSummit 2019 (TED/Ryan Lash)

I am a fish paleobiologist who uses big data — the fossil record — to study how some species win and others lose. The living can't tell us; they know nothing but winning. So, we must speak with the dead.

Lauren Sallan earned a PhD in Integrative Biology from the University of Chicago in 2012. She then accepted a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship from the Michigan Society of Fellows, which included a faculty position in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Dr. Sallan was subsequently the Martin Meyerson Assistant Professor in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Pennsylvania before joining OIST to found the Macroevolution Unit in 2022. 

Dr. Sallan received the Stensio Award for top early career paleoichthyologist in 2015, and the University of Chicago Biological Science Division Distinguished Service Award for Early Achievement in 2018. In 2019, Lauren received an NSF CAREER award and became a TED Senior Fellow. Her TED Talks and videos on the evolution of fishes, mass extinction and paleontology have received over 3 million views. Dr. Sallan’s research has been published in high-profile venues such as Science, Nature, PNAS, and Current Biology, and been featured by popular outlets such as The New York Times, the BBC, Forbes, the New Scientist, and the Discovery Channel.

Martin Meyerson Assistant Professor in Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Pennsylvania
Assistant Professor, Earth and Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania
Michigan Fellow, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan
TED Senior Fellowship
University of Chicago, Biological Sciences Division Alumni (MBSAA), Distinguished Service Award for Early Achievement
Martin Meyerson Assistant Professorship in Interdisciplinary Studies (Endowed Chair), University of Pennsylvania
Stensio Award for Top Early Career Paleoichthyologist
Lauren Sallan smiling
Lauren Sallan
Assistant Professor
PhD, University of Chicago
SM, University of Chicago
MS, Florida Atlantic University
BS, Florida Atlantic University