Meet a Paleontologist

LUIZ EDUARDO ANELLI

Short biography

Paleontologist and Brazilian writer, Luiz Eduardo Anelli is known for his books on Brazilian dinosaurs and scientific dissemination. He graduated in Biological Sciences at the State University of Londrina in 1989 and concluded postgraduate studies in Sedimentary Geology and Paleontology from the University of São Paulo (Master's Dissertation in 1994 and Doctorate in 1999). He studied bivalve mollusks from the Carboniferous and Permian of Brazil, and from the Cenozoic of King George Island, Antarctica. Since 2006 he is dedicated to projects of scientific dissemination as curator of great exhibitions and as a writer of scientific divulgation books. He is the author, for example, of "Dinos do Brasil" (2011) and most recently, of "Dinossauros e outros Monstros - uma viagem à pré-história do Brasil" (2015).

Career Milestones

Luiz Eduardo's career is marked by projects of scientific divulgation, especially directed to the knowledge of the national prehistory and of the Brazilian dinosaurs. With the curatorship of the exhibition "Dinosaurs in the Oca - and other prehistoric animals", held in 2006, and visited by an excess of 550,000 people, new horizons have opened for Luiz Eduardo's work and for the scientific dissemination of Brazil's prehistory and paleontological heritage. Several of his books were published as a result, and three of them were nominated for Jabuti, the greatest prize in Brazilian literature.

Current Projects

Scientific
  1. Systematics and paleoecology of the Carboniferous invertebrates from the Piauí Formation, Parnaíba Basin, Brazil.
  2. Systematics and paleobiogeography of the Permian invertebrates of the Passa Dois Group, Paraná Basin, Brazil.
  3. Systematics and paleobiology of the Mississippian bivalves of the Bluefield, Hinton, Princeton and Bluestone formations, West Virginia, USA.
  4. Systemic description of a complete skeleton of tapejarid pterosaur from Santana Formation, Brazil.
Scientific divulgation projects
  1. 2016-2018 The Brazil of Dinosaurs - New book and exhibition.
  2. 2017 Dinos do Brasil. 3D Animation for Oculus Rift, in Catavento Cultural, São Paulo.
  3. 2018 Dinosaurs from Brazil and other prehistories. Series in 13 episodes for television.

Gallery


LUIZ EDUARDO ANELLI on PALEONTOLOGY in BRAZIL

Paleontology Strong Points and Opportunities

After 20 years of dedication to the systematics of Paleozoic mollusks, to the publication of books and to developing scientific dissemination projects related to Brazilian prehistory, I can gladly say that the national popularization of Brazilian prehistory has come a long way in the last two decades, and interest is now widespread. New opportunities are thus generated. For example, books written by me in partnership with Celina Bodenmüller were adopted in Portuguese language schools in the State of Utah, USA, demonstrating that outreach is not only needed but sought after by educators. The valorization of scientific divulgation books represents a new opportunity for paleontologists working in that area and for paleoartists interested in illustrating and reconstructing Brazilian prehistory, rebuilding skeletons, modeling life and producing illustrations from Brazilian prehistory.

Paleontology Week Points and Threaths

With most of the time devoted to curatorial books and projects, I have not targeted graduate students. Scientific divulgation and curation are growingly demanding and it's frequently difficult to conciliate those activities with the demands of tutoring and participating in multiple research projects. In term of threats to Brazilian paleontology, fossil smuggling is one of the greatest. With the consent of European collectors and institutions (Museums and Universities), thousands of fossils have been taken away by smugglers who market them abroad. The lack of financial incentive to large projects that, for decades, limited Brazilian Paleontology, continues to be a major problem. The devaluation of Paleontology, a scientific field viewed as not immediately applicable to the pressing national problems, continues to be a reality and a threat to the development of Paleontology in Brazil.

Paleontology for the XXI century

Despite financial problems, Brazil has experienced a great advance in paleontological knowledge in the last 30 years. Dozens of new dinosaurs, pterosaurs and Mesozoic terrestrial crocodiles have brought to light the existence of a national prehistory, that is, a rich and diversified natural history that the Brazilian people are beginning to recognize as an important patrimony. Until then, the prehistoric education offered in the middle and fundamental schools was not Brazilian, but European and American. The Brazilians are now able to know their own prehistory and to take pride in their paleontological heritage.

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