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Bruce MacFadden - University of Florida. Gainesville, FL, US

Bruce MacFadden

Director and Distinguished Professor | University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, UNITED STATES

Bruce MacFadden is a distinguished professor and paleontologist at the Florida Museum.


Bruce MacFadden is a distinguished professor, director of the Thompson Earth Systems Institute and curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Bruce's research interests include fossil vertebrates, stable isotopes, global change, diagenesis of fossil bones and teeth, informal science education and the broader impacts of natural history museums. Bruce is the author of 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles and has served as the principal investigator on more than 50 external grants, mostly from the National Science Foundation totaling nearly $40 million.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Fossil Vertebrates



Stable Isotopes

Vertebrate Paleontology

Media Appearances (3)

TESI Director Bruce MacFadden Named 2022 Broader Impacts Champion

Florida Museum  online


Bruce MacFadden, director of the University of Florida Thompson Earth Systems Institute and a distinguished professor and curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History has been named a 2022 Broader Impacts Champion by the Center for Advancing Research in Society (ARIS).

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UF earned $1.3 million grant to teach middle schoolers about shark teeth using AI

CBS 4 News  online


The University of Florida has received a $1.3 million grant to teach Florida middle school teachers and students how to use artificial intelligence (AI) to identify fossil shark teeth. Florida Museum of Natural History Science Writer, Jerald Pinson, said UF's Thompson Earth Systems Institute (TESI), the College of Education and the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering will be partnering with the Calvert Marine Museum in Maryland for the three year grant project, which was funded by the National Science Foundation.

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Fossils... Florida's Past Unearthed -- One Find at a Time

Naples Florida Weekly  online


Standing in a Desoto County creek near the Peace River in mid-April, when the water is near its lowest annual point, Ken Follmann sifted through the gravel in his screen. A large shark’s tooth emerged from the grit. This nearly three-inch fang from the creek bed conjured Florida’s ancient past, a lost world that seems almost mythical now with 20-foot tall sloths, armadillo relatives as big as Volkswagen Beetles and Megalodon sharks the size of semi-truck trailers, with bone-crunching teeth like this one.

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Articles (5)

Science in School: Transforming K-12 Outreach through Scientist Teacher Partnerships

The Journal of STEM Outreach

Brian Abramowitz, et. al


The Scientist in Every Florida School (SEFS) program was started in 2019 with a long-term vision to connect earth systems scientists with public K-12 schools in Florida and therefore create long-term scientist-teacher partnerships. SEFS fulfills personalized requests to create meaningful and impactful interactions to support teacher pedagogy and student learning. We have as part of our mission a focus on mainstream public schools, and in particular, those that are Title I. We also are committed to working with at-risk teachers.

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Exploring the role of 3D printing and STEM integration levels in students' STEM career interest

British Journal of Educational Technology

Li Cheng, et. al


The use of 3D printing in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning is a promising way for integrated STEM education. This study examined the influence of 3D printing infused STEM integration on students' interest in STEM careers, which is essential for students to participate in STEM disciplines and future STEM careers. The participants included 26 teachers across six states in the United States and their 1455 students in primary and secondary classrooms. Teachers' lesson plans were analyzed to examine the level of 3D printing and STEM integration.

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Applications of 3D Paleontological Data at the Florida Museum of Natural History

Frontiers in Earth Science

Michael J. Ziegler, et. al


The past decade has seen an exponential increase of innovative applications of 3D technology in the geosciences. Here, we present a case study from the Florida Museum of Natural History applied to the multidisciplinary field of paleontology. We have deployed 3D scanning and printing techniques for the purposes of scientific research, formal education and informal outreach. Depending on the application of the 3D file, different techniques are utilized to create high-fidelity models of physical fossil specimens or geologic field sites.

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Exploring the influence of teachers' beliefs and 3D printing integrated STEM instruction on students’ STEM motivation

Computers & Education

Li Cheng, et. al


As an emerging technology in K-12 education, 3D printing has gained much attention from educators and researchers. However, meaningful 3D printing integration in K-12 curricula is still scarce, and little is known about how teachers' beliefs and the integration in science classrooms may influence student motivation. This study examined the influence of teachers' beliefs and 3D printing integration in science classrooms on students' science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) motivation, which is essential for students' academic experiences and future careers. Study sample included 26 teachers across six states in the U.S. and 1,501 students who engaged with STEM learning using 3D printing in the context of paleontology.

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Body mass predicts isotope enrichment in herbivorous mammals

Proceedings of the Royal Society B

Julia V. Tejada-Lara, et. al


Carbon isotopic signatures recorded in vertebrate tissues derive from ingested food and thus reflect ecologies and ecosystems. For almost two decades, most carbon isotope-based ecological interpretations of extant and extinct herbivorous mammals have used a single diet–bioapatite enrichment value. Assuming this single value applies to all herbivorous mammals, from tiny monkeys to giant elephants, it overlooks potential effects of distinct physiological and metabolic processes on carbon fractionation. By analyzing a never before assessed herbivorous group spanning a broad range of body masses, sloths, we discovered considerable variation in diet–bioapatite enrichment among mammals.

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Early Miocene Land Mammals From Belgrade, NC presented by Dr. Bruce MacFadden Florida Museum 360: Florida Fossil Hall Bruce Macfadden 2022 ARI Conference


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