Christopher R. Noto, Ph.D



Grand Valley State University

Department of BiomedicalSciences

223 Padnos Hall

Allendale, MI 49401


Phone (office): 616-331-8953

fax: 616-331-2090




current position

Visiting Professor, Grand Valley State University. Courses taught:

BMS 202: Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology (Lab)

BMS 208: Human Anatomy (Lecture)

BMS 309: Human Anatomy (Lab)



Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution, August 2009. Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, NY). Advisor: Dr. Catherine A. Forster.


Dissertation: The influence of post-burial environment and plant-bone interactions on vertebrate preservation: an experimental taphonomic study.


Research Interests: vertebrate paleontology, dinosaur ecology and evolution, vertebrate anatomy, paleobiogeography, taphonomy, biogeochemistry


B.S. in Geophysical Sciences with honors, June 2001. University of Chicago (Chicago, IL). Advisor: Dr. Alfred M. Ziegler



Peer-Reviewed Articles, Published and Submitted

Main, D.J. and Noto, C.R. In review. New Theropod material from the Cretaceous (Cenomanian) Woodbine Formation at the Arlington Archosaur Site, North Texas. Submitted to the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.


Noto, C.R. and Grossman, A. (2010) Broad-Scale Patterns of Late Jurassic Dinosaur Paleoecology. PLoS ONE 5(9): e12553. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012553


Noto, C.R. In Press. Hierarchical Control of Terrestrial Vertebrate Taphonomy over Space and Time: Discussion of Mechanisms and Implications for Vertebrate Paleobiology. In Taphonomy: Process and Bias Through Time (P.A. Allison and D.J. Bottjer, eds.).  Topics in Geobiology Series. Springer, The Netherlands.


Rees, P.M., Noto, C.R., Parrish, J.M., and Parrish J.T. 2004. Late Jurassic climates, vegetation, and dinosaur distributions. Journal of Geology 112(6): 643-653.


Weishampel, D.B., Le Loeuff, J., Coria, R.A., Gomani, E.M.P., Zhao, X., Xu, X., Barrett, P.M., Sahni, A., and Noto, C.R. 2004. Dinosaur Distribution.  In The Dinosauria, 2nd edition (D.B. Weishampel, P. Dodson, and H. Osmolska, eds.).  University of California Press, Berkeley, CA. p. 517-606.


Books and Other Publications

Woo, E., Noto, C.R., Jonas, M., and Miyazaki, J.M. 2007. Implementing Active Learning in Large Classes. In Faculty Guidebook: A Comprehensive Tool for Improving Faculty Performance, Third Edition. Pacific Crest, Lisle, Illinois.


Jonas, M., Noto, C.R., Woo, E., and Miyazaki, J.M. 2006. Foundations of Scientific Research: BIO150 Course Manual, Eighth Edition. Pacific Crest. Lisle, Illinois.


Bole, G., Jonas, M., Miyazaki, J.M., and Noto, C.R. (alphabetical) 2005. Foundations of Scientific Research: Laboratory Manual for Introductory Biology, Seventh Edition. Pacific Crest. Lisle, Illinois.


            Book Reviews

2006. Virginia Tidwell and Kenneth Carpenter (Eds.), Thunderlizards: The Sauropodomorph Dinosaurs. The Quarterly Review of Biology 81: 386.




Noto, C.R. 2009. The potential utility of authigenic minerals on modern and fossil bones for environmental and taphonomic analysis. Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting, Bristol, England. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29(3S), 156A.


Main, D., Scotese, C. R., and Noto, C. R. 2009. Jurassic and Cretaceous paleogeographic connectivity, dinosaur biogeography, and the paleobiogeographic index. Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting, Bristol, England. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29(3S), 140A.


Noto, C.R. 2009. The influence of post-burial environment on vertebrate preservation: an experimental taphonomic study. North American Paleontological Convention, Cincinnati, Ohio.


Noto, C.R. 2008. Environmental signatures of authigenic mineral formation on modern and fossil bones. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Houston, Texas. GSA Abstracts with Programs 40(6), 503.


Woo, E., Noto, C.R., and Miyazaki, J.M. and Jonas, M. 2008. Using active learning methodologies in large-enrollment lecture classes to improve student performance: The experiment continues. Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Noto, C.R. 2007. Experimental taphonomy and environmental control of vertebrate preservation. Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting, Austin, Texas. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 27(3S), 124A-125A.


Woo, E., Noto, C.R., Jonas, M., and Miyazaki, J.M. 2007. Active student participation in lectures with large enrollments: an experiment in progress. Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, San Jose, California.


Noto, C.R. 2006. The paleobiological implications of climatic influence over vertebrate fossil distribution patterns. Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting, Ottawa, ON, Canada. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 26(3S), 105A.


Noto, C.R. and Grossman, A. 2005. Dinosaur functional morphology and Late Jurassic ecological diversity. Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting, Mesa, Arizona. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 25(3S), 97A.


Rees, P.M., Noto, C.R., and Weishampel, D. 2005. A new online database of dinosaur distributions. Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting, Mesa, AZ. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 25(3S), 103A.


Noto, C.R. 2005. The role of climate in determining vertebrate fossil preservation and distribution patterns. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah. GSA Abstracts with Programs 37(7), 117.


Noto, C.R. and Grossman, A. 2005. Using functional morphology to compare dinosaur communities.  Northeast Ecology and Evolution Conference, Penn State University.


Noto, C.R. 2004. Impact of climate on dinosaur diversity and distribution over time.  Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 24(3S), 98A.


Noto, C.R. 2003. Paleobiology by the numbers: a method for quantifying global dinosaur diversity patterns.  Northeast Ecology and Evolution Conference, Rutgers University.


Noto, C.R., Rees, P.M., Ziegler, A.M., and Weishampel, D.B. 2002. Rocks, bones, and plants: A pattern of latitudinal dependence demonstrated by the distribution of Jurassic dinosaurs.  Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting, Norman, OK. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 22(3S), 92A-93A.



Invited Talks

Dallas Paleontological Society. Dallas, TX. July 24, 2010.


Tulip City Gem and Mineral Society. Holland, MI. April 2010.


Fredfest, a symposium in honor of Dr. Alfred M. Ziegler on his retirement from the Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago. 2003.


Annual EXPO of the Geophysical Sciences Department at the University of Chicago. 2001 and 2002.



Field Experience

Field Crew Member. Morrison Formation, Wyoming. Six weeks spent uncovering, removing, and documenting dinosaur fossils at established site and prospecting for new sites.  Field Leader: Dr. Nicholas Fraser, Virginia Museum of Natural History. 2003-2004.


Field Course. Lance Formation, Wyoming. One week of extensive prospecting, collecting, preservation, and identification of vertebrate fossils.  Trip leader: Dr. Paul Sereno, U of C. 2000.


Field Trip Leader. Mazon Creek, Illinois. Led small group of  eight Paleontology students from the University of Chicago Summer Residency Program on a day trip in search of fossil invertebrate fauna of the Mazon Creek assemblage.  Trip leaders: Myself and Dr. Darren Croft, University of Chicago. 2000.


Geology Field Camp. Three and a half week course covering stratigraphy, geophysics, and paleontology in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico.  Trip leader: Dr. Alfred M. Ziegler, University of Chicago. 1999.



Research Experience

Database Administrator. Updated and maintained computer database of worldwide dinosaur fossil localities for use in the second edition of The Dinosauria (Weishampel et al. 2004). 2000-2003.


Undergraduate Research Assistant, Paleogeographic Atlas Project. University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Advisor: Dr. Alfred M. Ziegler. 2000-2001.


Fossil Preparator, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Supervisor: Dr. Paul Sereno.  Fossil preparation, casting/molding, and sculpting replacements for missing or incomplete bones.  1997-2001.

Specimens worked on include:

Suchomimus tenerensis, an unusual sail-backed predatory dinosaur from Africa

Jobaria tiguidensis, a medium-sized sauropod dinosaur from Africa

Afrovenator abakensis, a medium-sized predatory dinosaur from Africa

Sarcosuchus imperator, a gigantic predatory crocodilian from Africa



Teaching Experience

Course Instructor, Stony Brook University. BIO 150: The Living Word.  Helped collaboratively design new, innovative course in undergraduate biology that utilizes new technologies to enhance student engagement and critical thinking skills. Collaboratively taught the course, giving lectures, creating lesson plans, running class activities, and coordinating 10 graduate and 10 undergraduate teaching assistants. Fall 2006, 2007.


Adjunct Faculty Instructor, Stony Brook University, Department of Anthropology. ANP 300: Human Gross Anatomy. Taught two sections of model-based human anatomy lab, gave quizzes and exams, and graded assignments. Fall 2005.


Lab Coordinator, Stony Brook University. Responsible for running lab preparation sessions, instructing teaching assistants, and reviewing/updating lab course curriculum.

BIO 344: Chordate Zoology–Spring 2007, 2008.

BIO 150: The Living World –Fall 2004, 2005.


Teaching Assistant, Stony Brook University, Undergraduate Biology. Taught multiple lab sections.  Lectured, gave quizzes and exams, and graded assignments.

BIO 201: Organisms to Ecosystems–Fall 2001.

BIO 150: The Living World–Spring 2002, 2003; Fall 2003.

BIO 344: Chordate Zoology–Spring 2004, 2005, 2006.


Instructor, University of Chicago Summer Residency Program.  Worked with one undergraduate student, one graduate student, and two educators to plan, create, and implement 2 two-week programs in sciences for gifted minority students from the Chicago public schools. 1999-2000.

First two-week program in basic science skills and concepts related to Biology, Astrophysics, and Paleontology

Second two-week program invited students back from previous year to take part in more intensive Paleontology course.



Grants and Fellowships

Jurassic Foundation Research Grant: “Experiments in terrestrial vertebrate taphonomy.” 2007.


Professional Development Funds, Graduate Student Employees Union—CWA 1104. 2006.


Geological Society of America Research Grant. 2005.


Jurassic Foundation Research Grant: “Investigating the effects of plant-bone interactions on preservation through a survey of fossil sites.” 2004.


Jurassic Foundation Research Grant: “Creating a Worldwide Dinosaur Fossil Database.” 2002.


Presidential Fellowship, Stony Brook University. 2001-2004.




Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student, Stony Brook University. 2007.


Outstanding Teaching Assistant. Department of Ecology and Evolution, Stony Brook University. 2006.



Professional Activity and Service

Director of Audiovisual Services and Computer Resources. Evolution 2006 International Conference, Stony Brook University. Organized and facilitated audiovisual services for conference presenters, including equipment and volunteer moderators, across several buildings on campus where presentations were held. Designed and implemented computer resource room for conference participants and procured equipment. Provided technical support and troubleshooting for audiovisual and computer problems. 2006.


Mentor. Experience mentoring six undergraduate research assistants (3 male, 3 female) who worked with me for academic credit on my dissertation project. Each student was given an individual project to complete for a semester. One student successfully presented the results of her project at the annual campus undergraduate research fair (URECA) in Spring 2007. 2005-present.


Participant.  General Education Assessment. Participated in panel for the SBU Provost that assessed the effectiveness of current teaching methods in Undergraduate Biology.  Results of this study were used to direct campus and statewide improvements in the undergraduate science curriculum. 2003.


Panelist.  New graduate student orientation.  Panelist on education for general orientation session.  Gave brief presentation and answered questions on the challenges of teaching at Stony Brook. 2005-2006. 


Co-organizer and Presenter. Biology teaching assistant orientation. 2004-present.


Education Outreach Volunteer. Darwin Day, Stony Brook University. Helped run information table on evolution, providing educational materials and expertise on fossils and geology. 2006-2008.


Department Senator. Graduate Student Organization. Served as Chairman of Board of Appeals and Library Committees. Maintained Library Committee website. 2002-2003.


Founding Member. Freewheel Bicycle Club. Officer in charge of communication and web design; responsible for public outreach and teaching basic bicycle maintenance and repair skills to students.  The club has won numerous campus organization awards for its service to the campus community. 2005-present.


Coach. Stony Brook University Crew Club. Assistant Coach responsible for novice men and women rowers (2001-2003). Head Coach of varsity men and women (2004). Ran daily practices, designed workouts, attended regattas, and mentored undergraduate student-athletes. 2001-2004.



Professional Society Memberships

Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

The Paleontological Society

The Palaeontological Association

Geological Society of America