Stephen Chester

Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology and Archaeology
Brooklyn College
City University of New York

Education

B.A. 2005, University of Florida
B.S. 2005, University of Florida
M.Phil. 2008, Yale University
Ph.D. 2013, Yale University

Contact

Email: stephenchester@brooklyn.cuny.edu
Website: Brooklyn College Faculty Profile
Tel: (718) 951-5000 x 2685
Fax: (718) 951-3169

Overview of Research

Stephen Chester is a paleontologist primarily dedicated to improving our understanding of primate origins. He studies fossil mammals from the Late Cretaceous to the early Eocene with particular focus on two events that are very significant in mammalian and early primate evolution. The first is the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago, which eliminated the non-avian dinosaurs, and represents the beginning of a major radiation of Paleocene mammals including plesiadapiforms. The second is the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum 55.8 million years ago, which was a major global warming event that marks the appearance of several modern groups of mammals including euprimates (primates of modern aspect), and is important for understanding the effects of global warming on mammalian evolution. He is currently co-leading annual expeditions focused on mammalian faunal composition across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary in the Hell Creek and Fort Union formations of North Dakota and Montana.

Publications

Chester, S. G. B., and Sargis, E. J. Accepted. Pan-Primates. In K. de Queiroz, P. D. Cantino, and J. A. Gauthier (eds.), Phylonyms: A Companion to the PhyloCode, University of California Press: Berkeley.

Chester, S. G. B., Williamson, T. E., Bloch, J. I., Silcox, M. T., Sargis, E. J. 2017. Oldest skeleton of a plesiadapiform provides additional evidence for an exclusively arboreal radiation of stem primates in the Paleocene. Royal Society Open Science 4: 170329.

Silcox, M. T., Bloch, J. I., Boyer, D. M., Chester, S. G. B., Lopez-Torres, S. 2017. The evolutionary radiation of plesiadapiforms. Evolutionary Anthropology 26:74-94.

Bloch, J. I., Chester, S. G. B., Silcox, M. T. 2016. Cranial anatomy of Paleogene Micromomyidae and implications for early primate evolution. Journal of Human Evolution 96:58-81.

Boyer, D. M., Yapuncich, G. S., Chester. S. G. B., Bloch, J. I., Godinot, M. 2016. Hands of Paleogene primates. In The Evolution of the Primate Hand: Anatomical, Developmental, Functional and Paleontological Evidence. Kivell, T.L., Lemelin, P., Richmond, B.G., Schmitt, D. (eds). Springer Publishing, New York. pp. 373-419.

Chester, S. G. B., Bloch, J. I., Boyer, D. M., Clemens, W. A. 2015. Oldest known euarchontan postcrania and affinities of Paleocene Purgatorius to Primates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(5):1487-1492.

Manz, C. L., Chester, S. G. B., Bloch, J. I., Silcox, M. T., Sargis, E. J. 2015. New partial skeletons of Palaeocene Nyctitheriidae and evaluation of proposed euarchontan affinities. Biology Letters 11:20140911.

Granatosky, M. C., Lemelin, P., Chester, S. G. B., Pampush, J. D., and Schmitt, D. 2014. Functional and evolutionary aspects of axial stability in euarchontans and other mammals. Journal of Morphology 275:313-327.

Boyer, D. M., Yapuncich, G. S., Chester, S. G. B., Bloch, J. I., and Godinot, M. 2013. Hands of early primates. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology 57:33-78.

Chester, S. G. B., and Bloch, J. I. 2013. Systematics of Paleogene Micromomyidae (Euarchonta, Primates) from North America. Journal of Human Evolution 65:109-142.

Chester, S. G. B. 2013. Origin and Early Evolutionary History of Primates: Systematics and Paleobiology of Primitive Plesiadapiforms. Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, New Haven, CT.

Chester, S. G. B., and Beard, K. C. 2012. New micromomyid plesiadapiforms (Mammalia, Euarchonta) from the late Paleocene of Big Multi Quarry, Washakie Basin, Wyoming. Annals of Carnegie Museum 80:159-172.

Secord, R., Bloch, J. I., Chester, S. G. B., Boyer, D. M., Wood, A. R., Wing, S. L., Kraus, M. J., McInerney, F. A., and Krigbaum, J. 2012. Evolution of the earliest horses driven by climate change in the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Science 335:959-962.

Pointer, M. A., Kamilar, J. M., Warmuth, V., Chester, S. G. B., Delsuc, F., Mundy, N. I., Asher, R. J., Bradley, B. J. 2012. RUNX2 tandem repeats and the evolution of facial length in placental mammals. BMC Evolutionary Biology 12:103 (Open Access).

Chester, S. G. B., Sargis, E. J., Szalay, F. S., Archibald, J. D., and Averianov, A. O. 2012. Therian femora from the Late Cretaceous of Uzbekistan. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 57:53-64.

Rose, K. D., Chester, S. G. B., Dunn, R. H., Boyer, D. M., and Bloch, J. I. 2011. New Fossils of the oldest North American Euprimate Teilhardina brandti (Omomyidae) from the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 146:281-305.

Lyson, T. R., Bercovici, A., Chester, S. G. B., Sargis, E. J., Pearson, D., and Joyce, W. G. 2011. Dinosaur extinction: closing the ‘3 m gap’. Biology Letters 7:925-928.

Chester, S. G. B., Sargis, E. J., Szalay, F. S., Archibald, J. D., and Averianov, A. O. 2010. Mammalian distal humeri from the Late Cretaceous of Uzbekistan. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 55:199-211.

Chester, S. G. B., Bloch, J. I., Secord, R., and Boyer, D. M. 2010. A new small-bodied species of Palaeonictis (Creodonta, Oxyaenidae) from the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 17:227-243.