Dr. Adiel A. Klompmaker

Curator of Paleontology, Department of Museum Research & Collections
Affiliated Staff, Alabama Museum of Natural History


  • Postdoctoral Scholar & Assistant Project Scientist, University of California Berkeley, Department of Integrative Biology & UC Museum of Paleontology, 2015-2019
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History & Department of Geological Sciences, 2012-2015
  • PhD, Kent State University, Department of Geology, 2012
  • MS, Utrecht University, Department of Earth Sciences, 2006


At a young age, I had the great pleasure of finding fossil plants and marine invertebrates close to my parents’ house. My passion for paleontology ultimately led to a master’s degree, a PhD, and couple of postdoctoral positions. Although I like plants and vertebrates as well, I am primarily an invertebrate paleontologist. My research focuses mainly on biotic interactions among marine animals, but I also study many aspects of the fossil record of crustaceans. Thus far, I have published ~70 scientific articles and supervised research of >15 students. Currently, I serve as an associate editor for the journal Paleobiology. In terms of curation, I am taking care of and enhancing the UA Museums paleontology collection. I also enjoy teaching a class per year related to paleontology and general geology. Furthermore, I am involved in a wide variety of outreach activities for the general public and avocational paleontologists and manage Harrell Station Paleontological Site. Feel free to contact me about any paleontology-related question you may have!


  • Interested in volunteering or an internship in the paleontology collections? Just contact me.
  • Are you a UA student wanting to do a research project in invertebrate paleontology? Please contact me.
  • We do have a Paleontology Collection Enhancement Fund. Please check it out for tax-deductible donations.
  • If you have a question about a fossil found in Alabama, you may send a picture by email.

Selected Publications

10 selected articles; for all, >70 scientific publications see my Google Scholar profile

  • Klompmaker, A.A., C.M. Robins, R.W. Portell, and A. De Angeli. 2022. Crustaceans as hosts of parasites throughout the Phanerozoic. In: K. de Baets and J.W. Huntley (eds), The Evolution and Fossil Record of Parasitism, Topics in Geobiology 50: 121–172.
  • Klompmaker, A.A. and N.H. Landman. 2021. Octopodoidea as predators near the end of the Mesozoic Marine Revolution. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 132: 894–899.
  • Klompmaker, A.A., P.H. Kelley, D. Chattopadhyay, J.C. Clements, J.W. Huntley, and M. Kowalewski. 2019. Predation in the marine fossil record: studies, data, recognition, environmental factors, and behavior. Earth-Science Reviews, 194: 472520.
  • Klompmaker, A.A., M. Hyžný, R.W. Portell, C. Jauvion, S. Charbonnier, S.S. Fussell, A.T. Klier, R. Tejera, and S.L. Jakobsen. 2019. Muscles and muscle scars in fossil malacostracan crustaceans. Earth-Science Reviews 194: 306326.
  • Klompmaker, A.A. and S. Finnegan. 2018. Extreme rarity of competitive exclusion in modern and fossil marine benthic ecosystems. Geology 46: 723726.
  • Klompmaker, A.A., M. Kowalewski, J.W. Huntley, and S. Finnegan. 2017. Increase in predator-prey size ratios throughout the Phanerozoic history of marine ecosystems. Science 356: 11681170.
  • Klompmaker, A.A., R.W. Portell, and M.G. Frick. 2017. Comparative experimental taphonomy of eight marine arthropods indicates distinct differences in preservation potential. Palaeontology 60: 773–794.
  • Klompmaker, A.A., S.L. Jakobsen, and B.W. Lauridsen. 2016. Evolution of body size, vision, and biodiversity of coral-associated organisms: evidence from fossil decapod crustaceans in cold-water coral and tropical coral ecosystems. BMC Evolutionary Biology 16: 132.
  • Klompmaker, A.A. and P.H. Kelley. 2015. Shell ornamentation as a likely exaptation: evidence from predatory drilling on Cenozoic bivalves. Paleobiology 41: 187201.
  • Klompmaker, A.A., C.E. Schweitzer, R.M. Feldmann, and M. Kowalewski. 2013. The influence of reefs on the rise of Mesozoic marine crustaceans. Geology 41: 11791182.

Other Activities

Associate Editor, Paleobiology (2024 – present)

Associate Guest Editor, Journal of Paleontology (2023 – 2025)

Reviewer ~90 scientific articles

Author of ~300 popular science articles in paleontology and earth sciences

Selected Media Appearances 

‘UA paleontologist discovers rare soft tissue in fossil’, 13 December 2023.

‘Evidence of predation by octopuses pushed back by 25 million years’, 22 February 2021.

‘Coral reefs and squat lobsters flourished 150 million years ago’, 18 September 2019.

‘Marine predators bulked up over eons to dominate their prey’, 15 June 2017.

‘Bringing paleontological research into the classroom’, 8 October 2015.

‘It’s little crabs vs. big environmental problems in reef habitats’, 9 September 2015.

‘Study reveals 180 million years of parasitic infestation in crustaceans’, 8 October 2014.

‘Fossil record shows crustaceans vulnerable as modern coral reefs decline’, 23 September 2013.

‘Research highlights biodiversity hotspot in fossil coral reef’, 23 January 2013.

‘World record find: Oldest evidence of lobsters living together discovered in gas shale’, 8 March 2012.

Websites and Social Media

Google Scholar