Alan Feduccia, PhD

Title: Biologist, Educator (Retired)
Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

Alan Feduccia, a Retired Biologist and Educator, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in evolutionary biology.

Growing up, Dr. Feduccia loved spending time in nature. He knew there was nowhere else he’d rather be, so he decided to turn his passion into his career. To aid him in this endeavor, he obtained a Bachelor of Science from Louisiana State University in 1965 and both a Master of Arts and a PhD from the University of Michigan in 1969. Dr. Feduccia then joined the Smithsonian Institution as a research associate and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, as a S. K. Heninger professor, chairman of the division of natural sciences, and chairman of the department of biology. He retired in 2007.

Looking back, Dr. Feduccia considers the highlight of his career to be the discovery of what he calls the bird evolution big bang. This major breakthrough in evolutionary science proves that modern bird evolution took place after cataclysmic events 65 million years ago. Some of Dr. Feduccia’s other professional achievements include having a professorship started in his name in the College of Arts and Science at his university, pioneering the genome science building there, and being named a Smithsonian Distinguished Lecturer by the Smithsonian Institution. He was also proud to have confuciusornis feducciai, a 20-million-year-old bird, named after him. He contributed his work to more than 180 articles in professional journals over the years.

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