Our ScientistsDon Brinkman, Ph.D.

Director of Preservation & Research

Don Brinkman

Don Brinkman studies how ancient animals, and turtles in particular, lived in their environments during the time of the dinosaurs. By comparing turtle specimens from Asia and North America, he investigates why some species lived where they did, what unique traits helped them to survive, and how environmental conditions affected them. This research allows Don to determine the conditions of life during specific periods of history, and why some species survived catastrophic events, while others did not.

Contact Information

Toll free in Alberta:
310-0000 then (403) 823-7707

Toll free in North America
(outside Alberta):
1-888-440-4240

Outside North American:
1-403-823-7707

Email: don.brinkman@gov.ab.ca

Current Research

Don's current research focuses on two main areas: the taxonomy, biostratigraphy, and distributions of Mesozoic turtles, as well as, the use of Cretaceous vertebrate microfossil assemblages for studies of palaeoecology and vertebrate distribution.

Turtles are the primary focus of his research, as they offer unique insights into the patterns of distribution of Mesozoic vertebrates and the degree to which faunal interchange was possible. Don is particularly interested in using information from turtles to clarify questions of interchange between Asia and North America and latitudinal zonation of North America during the Cretaceous.

Recent Publications

Brinkman, D.B. 2015. Judithemys russelli sp. nov., a new “macrobaenid” turtle from the Late Cretaceous of Saskatchewan, Canada. In: All Animals are Interesting: a Festschrift in Honour of Anthony P. Russell. Edited by: O.R.P. Bininda-Emonds, G.L. Powell, H.A. Jamniczky, A.M. Bauer, and J. Theodor. BIS Verlag, Oldenberg, pp. 107–119.

Brinkman, D.B., Densmore, M., Rabi, M., Ryan, M.J., and Evans, D.C. 2015. Marine turtles from the Late Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 52: 581–589.

Gardner, J. D., and Brinkman, D.B. 2015. A new frog (Lissamphibia, Anura) from the Late Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada. In: All Animals are Interesting: a Festschrift in Honour of Anthony P. Russell. Edited by: O.R.P. Bininda-Emonds, G.L. Powell, H.A. Jamniczky, A.M. Bauer, and J. Theodor. BIS Verlag, Oldenberg, pp. 35–105.

Wu, X.-C., and Brinkman, D.B. 2015. A new crocodylian (Eusuchia) from the uppermost Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 52: 590–609.

Brinkman, D.B. 2014. The size-frequency distribution of hadrosaurs from the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, Canada. In: Hadrosaurs. Edited by: D.A. Eberth and D.C. Evans. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, pp. 416–421.

Brinkman, D.B., Newbrey, M.G., and Neuman, A.G. 2014. Diversity and paleoecology of actinopterygian fish from vertebrate microfossil localities of the Maastrichtian Hell Creek Formation of Montana. In: Through the End of the Cretaceous in the Type Locality of the Hell Creek Formation in Montana and Adjacent Areas. Edited by: G.P. Wilson, W.A. Clemens, J.R. Horner, and J.H. Hartman. Geological Society of America Special Paper, 503: 247–270.

Cook, T.D., Newbrey, M.G., Brinkman, D.B., and Kirkland, J.I. 2014. Euselachians from the freshwater deposits of the Hell Creek Formation of Montana. In: Through the End of the Cretaceous in the Type Locality of the Hell Creek Formation in Montana and Adjacent Areas. Edited by: G.P. Wilson, W.A. Clemens, J.R. Horner, and J.H. Hartman. Geological Society of America Special Paper, 503: 229–246.

Eaton, J.G., Gardner, J.D., Kirkland, J.I., Brinkman, D.B., and Nydam, R.L. 2014. Vertebrates of the Iron Springs Formation, Upper Cretaceous, southwestern Utah. In: Geology of Utah’s Far South. Edited by: J.S. MacLean, R.F. Biek, and J.E. Huntoon. Utah Geological Association Publication, 43: 523–555.

Li, W.T, Liu, G.W., Braman, D.R., Li, Y.B., Cao, W.S., Brinkman, D., Shen, J., and Chen, Q.B. 2014. A potential stratotype for the regional lowermost stage of the continental Paleocene in China. Science China Earth Sciences, 57, p. 1109–116.

Brinkman, D.B. 2013. Non-trionychid turtles from the Paleoecene of Alberta, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 50: 282–293.

Brinkman, D.B., Newbrey, M.G., Neuman, A.G., and Eaton, J.G. 2013. Freshwater osteichthyes from the Cenomanian to late Campanian of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah. In: At the Top of the Grand Staircase: The Late Cretaceous of Southern Utah. Edited by: A.L. Titus and M.A. Loewen. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, pp. 195–236.

Brinkman, D.B., Yuan, C.-X, Ji, Q., Li, D.-Q., and You, H.-L. 2013. A new turtle from the Xiagou Formation (Early Cretaceous) of Changma Basin, Gansu Province, P. R. China. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 93: 367–382.

Densmore, M.J., and Brinkman, D.B. 2013. A new specimen of Porthochelys (Testudines: Chelonioidea) from the Late Cretaceous Niobrara Formation of Kansas. Kirtlandia, 58: 1–4.

Eberth, D.A., Evans, D.C., Brinkman, D.B., Therrien, F., Tanke, D.H., and Russell, L.S. 2013. Dinosaur biostratigraphy of the Edmonton Group (Upper Cretaceous), Alberta, Canada: evidence for climate influence. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 50: 701–726.

Hutchison, J.H., Knell, M.J., and Brinkman D.B. 2013. Turtles from the Kaiparowits Formation, Utah. In: At the Top of the Grand Staircase: the Late Cretaceous of Southern Utah. Edited by: A.L. Titus and M.A. Loewen. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, pp. 295–318.

Newbrey, M.G., Murray, A.M., Wilson, M.V.H., Brinkman, D.B., and Neuman, A.G. 2013. A new species of the paracanthopterygian Xenyllion (Sphenocephaliformes) from the Mowry Formation (Cenomanian) of Utah, USA. In: Mesozoic Fishes 5 – Global Diversity and Evolution. Edited by: G. Arratia, H.P. Schultze, and M.V.H. Wilson. Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, Munich, pp. 363–384.   

Newbrey, M.G., Brinkman, D.B., Winkler, D.A., Freedman, E.A., Neuman, A.G., Fowler, D.W., and Woodward, H.N. 2013. Teleost centrum and jaw elements from the Late Cretaceous Nemegt Formation (Campanian – Maastrichtian) of Mongolia and a re-identification of the fish centrum found with the theropod Raptorex kreigsteini. In: Mesozoic Fishes 5 – Global Diversity and Evolution. Edited by: G. Arratia, H.P. Schultze, and M.V.H. Wilson. Verlag Dr. Friedrich Pfeil, Munich, pp. 291–303

Tong, H.Y., and Brinkman, D.B. 2013. A new species of Sinemys (Testudines: Cryptodira: Sinemydidae) from the Early Cretaceous of Inner Mongolia, China. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 93: 355–366.

Wilson, A.E., Newbrey, M.G., Brinkman, D.B., Cook, T.D., and Neuman, A.G. 2013. Age and growth in Myledaphus bipartitus, a Late Cretaceous freshwater guitarfish from Alberta, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 50: 930–944.

Brinkman, D.B., Holroyd, P.A., and Gardner, J.D. (editors). 2012. Morphology and Evolution of Turtles: Proceedings of The Gaffney Turtle Symposium (2009) in Honor of Eugene S. Gaffney. Springer, Dordrecht. 577 p.

Brinkman, D.B., Eberth, D.A., Xu, X., Clark, J.M., and Wu, X.-C. 2012. Turtles from the Jurassic Shishugou Formation of the Junggar Basin, People’s Republic of China, with comments on the basicranial region of basal eucryptodires. In: Morphology and Evolution of Turtles: Proceedings of The Gaffney Turtle Symposium (2009) in Honor of Eugene S. Gaffney. Edited by: D.B. Brinkman, P.A. Holroyd, and J.D. Gardner. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 147–172.

Ryan, M.J., Evans, D.C., Currie, P.J., Brown, C.M., and Brinkman, D. B. 2012. New leptoceratopsids from the Late Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada. Cretaceous Research, 35: 69–80.

Konishi, T., Brinkman, D.B., Massare, J.A., and Caldwell, M.W. 2011. New exceptional specimens of Prognathodon overtoni (Squamata: Mosasauridae) from the upper Campanian of Alberta. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 31: 1026–1046.

Brinkman, D.B., Densmore, M.J., and Joyce, W.G. 2010. “Macrobaenidae” (Testudines: Eucryptodira) from the late Paleocene (Clarkforkian) of Montana and the taxonomic treatment of “Clemmysbackmani. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History, 51:147–155.

Eberth, D.A., Brinkman, D.B., and Barkas, V. 2010. A centrosaurine mega-bonebed from the Upper Cretaceous of southern Alberta: implications for behaviour and death events. In: New Perspectives on Horned Dinosaurs: the Royal Tyrrell Museum Ceratopsian Symposium. Edited by: M.J. Ryan, B.J. Chinnery-Allgeier, and D.A. Eberth. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, pp. 495–508.

Larson, D.W., Brinkman, D.B., and Bell, P.R. 2010. Faunal assemblages from the upper Horseshoe Canyon Formation, an early Maastrichtian cool-climate assemblage from Alberta, with special reference to the Albertosaurus sarcophagus bonebed. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 47: 1159–1181. 

Li, W., Liu, G., Braman, D.R., Cao, W., Chen, Q., and Brinkman, D.B. 2010. A proposal to further investigate the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary section at Dangyang, Hubei Province. Journal of Stratigraphy, 34: 187–206.

Newbrey, M.G., Murray, A.M., Brinkman, D.B., Wilson, M.V.H., and Neuman, A.G. 2010. A new articulated freshwater fish (Clupemorpha, Ellimmichthyiformes) from the Horseshoe Canyon Formation, Maastrichtian, of Alberta, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 47: 1183–1196.

Ryan, M. J., Eberth, A.E., Brinkman, D.B., Currie, P.J., and Tanke, D.H. 2010. A new Pachyrhinosaurus-like ceratopsid from the upper Dinosaur Park Formation (late Campanian) of southern Alberta, Canada. In: New Perspectives on Horned Dinosaurs: the Royal Tyrrell Museum Ceratopsian Symposium. Edited by: M.J. Ryan, B.J. Chinnery-Allgeier, and D.A. Eberth. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, pp. 141–155.

Brinkman, D.B., M.G. Newbrey, A.G. Neuman and J.G. Eaton. 2010. Non-marine actinopterygians fish assemblages from the Late Cretaceous of the Western Interior of North America – Evidence from vertebrate microfossil localities. Fifth International Meeting on Mesozoic Fishes, Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, August 1-7.

Konishi, T., D.B. Brinkman, and M. W. Caldwell. 2010. New morphological data on Prognathodon (Squamata: Mosasauridae) from the Campanian of North America, and its bearing on the systematics of the genus. Third Mosasaur Meeting, Paris, May 19-21, Abstracts:11 [Oral Presentation].

Newbrey, M.G., M.V.H. Wilson, A.G. Neuman, A.M. Murray and D.B. Brinkman. 2010. A new genus of Percopsiformes from the Upper Cretaceous Scollard Formation of Alberta, Canada. Fifth International Meeting on Mesozoic Fishes, Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, August 1-7.

Eberth, D.A., Brinkman, D.B., Barkas, V., 2010. A centrosaurine mega-bonebed from the Upper Cretaceous of southern Alberta: Implications for behaviour and death events. In, Ryan, M.J., Chinnery-Allgeier, B, and Eberth, D.A., eds. New Perspectives on Horned Dinosaurs: The Ceratopsian Symposium at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, September 2007. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana, p. 495–508.

Brinkman, D. B. 2009. A Sea Turtle Skull (Cheloniidae: Carettini) from the Lower Miocene Nye Formation of Oregon, U. S. A. Paludicola 7: 39-46.

Brinkman, D., Aquillon-Martinez, M.C., De Leon Davila, C.A., Jamniczky, H., Eberth, D.A., Colbert, M., 2009. Euclastes coahuilaensis sp. nov., a basal cheloniid turtle from the late Campanian Cerro del Pueblo Formation of Coahuila State, Mexico. PaleoBios, 28(3):76–88.

Liu Gengwu; Braman, D.R.; Li Weitong; and Brinkman, D. 2009. Palynostratigraphic characteristics of Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary of western North America and review on searching for Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary in eastern China. Journal of Stratigraphy, v. 33, no. 1, p. 54-61.

Brinkman, D. B. In press. A review of nonmarine turtles from the Late Cretaceous of Alberta. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences. 40.

Brinkman, D.B.. 2005. Turtles: diversity, paleoecology and distribution. In, Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed. Edited by, P.J. Currie and E.B. Koppelhus. Indiana University Press, pp. 202-202.

Brinkman, D.B., A.P. Russell & J.-H. Peng. 2005. Vertebrate Microfossils and their contribution to studies of paleoecology. In, Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed. Edited by, P.J. Currie and E.B. Koppelhus. Indiana University Press, pp. 88-98.

Brinkman, D.B.; Braman, D.R.; Neuman, A.G.; Ralrick, P.E. and Tamaki Sato. 2005. A vertebrate assemblage from the marine shales of the Lethbridge Coal Zone. In Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed, P.J. Currie and E.B. Koppelhus (eds.), Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana, p. 486-500.

Brinkman, D.B., A.P. Russell, D.A. Eberth & J. Peng. 2004. Vertebrate palaeocommunities of the lower Judith River Group (Campanian) of southern Alberta, Canada, as interpreted from vertebrate microfossil assemblages. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Paleoecology 213: 295- 313.

Brinkman, D.B. 2003. Anatomy and systematics of Plesiobaena antique (Testudines; Baenidae) from the mid-Campanian Judith River Group of Alberta, Canada. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.23(1):146-155.

Brinkman, D.B. & A.G. Neuman. 2002. Teleost centra from uppermost Judith River Group (Dinosaur Park Formation, Campanian) of Alberta, Canada. Journal of Paleontology 76: 138-155.

Brinkman, D.B., D.A. Eberth, M.J. Ryan and Pei-ji Chen. 2001. The occurrence of Psittacosaurus xinjiangensiss Sereno and Chow, 1988 in the Urho area, Junggar Basin, Xinjiang, People's Republic of China. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences.38(12):1781-1786.

Brinkman, D.B. 2001. New material of Drachochelys (Eucryptodira: Sinemydidae) from the Junggar Basin, Xinjiang, People's Republic of China. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences.38(12):1645-1651.

Eberth, D.A., Brinkman, D.B., Chen, P.J., Yuan, F.T., Wu, S.Z., Gang, L., and Cheng, X.S. 2001: Sequence stratigraphy, paleoclimate patterns and vertebrate fossil preservation in Jurassic-Cretaceous strata of the Junggar Basin, Xinjiang Autonomous Region, People's Republic China. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 38: 1627-1644.

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