Our ScientistsJames Gardner, Ph.D.

Curator of Palaeoherpetology

James Gardner

James (Jim) Gardner, focuses on palaeoherpetology, the study of fossil amphibians (such as frogs and salamanders) and reptiles (such as snakes, lizards, and turtles). The primary goal of his research is to document and interpret the evolutionary history of Mesozoic and Tertiary members of the Lissamphibia, or so-called modern amphibians. His research focuses on the morphology, systematics, distribution (both geographically and temporally), and paleobiology of lissamphibian taxa, especially those with North American representatives. Because fossil and living lissamphibians have a near global distribution, his research includes regional and international components.

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: james.gardner@gov.ab.ca

Current Research

Over the next five years Jim’s work will include the following solo and collaborative research projects:

  • re-evaluation of the supposed Late Cretaceous frog Nezpercius
  • description of new Late Cretaceous frogs from Alberta
  • revision and descriptions of new scapherpetontid and batrachosauroidid salamanders from the latest Cretaceous and Paleocene of the North American Western Interior
  • survey of Late Cretaceous salamanders and albanerpetontids from Utah
  • re-evaluation of a previously described Eocene salamander skeleton from Wyoming
  • descriptions of new albanerpetontid fossils and taxa from the Paleocene of Alberta, the Late Cretaceous of Hungary and Romania, and the Pliocene of Romania
  • description of a new amphibian assemblage from the Lower Cretaceous of southern England

Much of his fieldwork is in collaboration with Craig Scott, the Museum’s Curator of Fossil Mammals, and focuses on Upper Cretaceous and Palaeocene non-marine strata in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Their work involves relocating known fossil vertebrate localities and prospecting for new ones, interpreting the stratigraphic and depositional context of the localities, and collecting material from them. In future years they hope to expand the geographic scope of their fieldwork.

Recent Publications

Gardner, J.D., and Přikryl, T. (editors). 2016. “Contributions in honour of Zbyněk Roček”. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 96 (Special Issue no. 1): 1–220.

Gardner, J.D., and Přikryl, T. 2016. Introduction to the special issue “Contributions in honour of Zbyněk Roček”. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 96: 1–12.

Gardner, J.D., and Rage, J.-C. 2016. The fossil record of lissamphibians from Africa, Madagascar, and the Arabian Plate. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 96: 169–220.

Hoek Ostende, L.W., van den, Gardner, J.D., Bennekom, L. van, Alçiçek, M.C., Murray, A., F. P. Wesselingh, F.P., Alçiçek, H., and Tesakov, A. 2015. Ericek, a new Pliocene vertebrate locality in the Çameli Basin (southwestern Anatolia, Turkey). Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 95: 305–320.

Redman, C.M., Gardner, J.D., Scott, C.S., and Braman, D.R. 2015. Geological setting of vertebrate microfossil localities across the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary in southwestern Saskatchewan, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 52: 846–862.

Venczel, M., Gardner, J.D., Codrea, V.A., Csiki-Sava, Z., Vasile, S., and Solomon, A.A. 2016. New insights into Europe’s most diverse Late Cretaceous anuran assemblage from the Maastrichtian of western Romania. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 96: 61–95.

Gardner, J.D. 2015. An edentulous frog (Lissamphibia; Anura) from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) Dinosaur Park Formation of southeastern Alberta, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 52: 569–580.

Gardner, J. D., and D. B. Brinkman. 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.

Gardner, J.D., Henderson, D.M., and Therrien, F. (editors). 2015. Papers Commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 52 (Special Issue no. 8): i–xxxiii & 537–700.

Gardner, J.D., Henderson, D.M., and Therrien, F. 2015. Introduction to the Special Issue commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, with a summary of the museum’s early history and its research contributions. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 52: v–xxxiii.

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.

Roček,  Z., Wuttke, M., Gardner, J.D., Bhullar, B.-A. S. 2014. Euro-American genus Eopelobates, and re-definition of the family Pelobatidae (Amphibia, Anura). Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 94: 529–567.

Strilisky, B., and Gardner, J.D. 2014. Why do we have all this stuff anyway? In: 52 Things You Need to Know About Palaeontology. Edited by: A. Cullum and A.W. Martinus. Agile Libre, Nova Scotia, pp. 120–121.

Gardner, J.D., and DeMar, D.G., Jr. 2013. Mesozoic and Paleocene lissamphibian assemblages of North America: a comprehensive review. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 93: 459–515.

Gardner, J.D., and Nydam, R.L. (editors) 2013. Mesozoic and Cenozoic lissamphibian and squamate assemblages of Laurasia. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 93: 391–565.

Gardner, J.D., and Nydam, R.L. 2013. Editorial: Mesozoic and Cenozoic lissamphibian and squamate assemblages of Laurasia. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 93: 391–395.

Gardner, J.D., Eaton, J.G., and Cifelli, R.L. 2013. Preliminary report on salamanders (Lissamphibia; Caudata) from the Late Cretaceous (late Cenomanian–late Campanian) of southern Utah, U.S.A. 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. 237–272.

Jass, C.N., and Gardner, J.D. 2013. Herpetofaunas from the “overburden” (Quaternary) of western Canada. Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 103: 583–595.

Maddin, H.C., Venczel, M., Gardner, J.D., and Rage, J.-C. 2013. Micro-computed tomography study of a three-dimensionally preserved neurocranium of Albanerpeton (Lissamphibia, Albanerpetontidae) from the Pliocene of Hungary. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 33: 568–587.

Roček, Z., Gardner J.D., J.G. Eaton, and T. Přikryl. 2013. Anuran ilia from the Upper Cretaceous of Utah—diversity and stratigraphic patterns. In: At the Top of the Grand Staircase: The Late Cretaceous of Southern Utah. Edited by A. L. Titus and M. A. Lowen. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, pp. 273–294.

Scott, C.S., and Gardner, J.D. (editors). 2013. Special Issue in honour of Richard C. Fox. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 50: 213–378.

Scott, C.S. and Gardner, J.D. 2013. Summary of fossil vertebrate taxa named by Richard C. Fox, with an annotated list of named taxa between 1962 and 2012 and new photographs for non-mammalian therapsid and mammalian holotypes erected between 1968 and 1994. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 50: 213–234.

Scott, C. S., Gardner, J.D., Clemens, W.A., and Cifelli, R.L. 2013. Richard Carr Fox, Canadian paleontologist. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 50: v–xi.

Sweetman, S.C., and Gardner, J.D. 2013. A new albanerpetontid amphibian from the Barremian (Early Cretaceous) Wessex Formation of the Isle of Wight, southern England. Acta Paleontologica Polonica, 58: 295–324.

Szentesi, Z., Gardner, J.D., and Venczel, M. 2013. Albanerpetontid amphibians from the Late Cretaceous (Santonian) of Iharkút, Hungary, with remarks on regional differences in Late Cretaceous Laurasian amphibian assemblages. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 50: 268–281.

Gardner, J.D. 2012. Revision of Piceoerpeton Meszoely (Caudata: Scapherpetontidae) and description of a new species from the late Maastrichtian and ?early Paleocene of western North America. Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France, 183: 611–620.

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.

Roček, Z., Gardner, J.D. Eaton, J.G., and Přikryl, T. 2012. Similarities and differences in the ilia of Late Cretaceous anurans and urodeles.
Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France, 183: 529–535.

Roček, Z., Eaton, J.G., Gardner, J.D., and Přikryl, T. 2010. Evolution of anuran assemblages in the Late Cretaceous of Utah, USA.
Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 90: 341–393.

Gardner, J.D., Roček, Z., Přikryl, T., Eaton, J.G., Blob, R.W., and Sankey, J. 2010. Comparative morphology of the ilium of anurans and urodeles (Lissamphibia) and a re-assessment of the anuran affinities of Nezpercius dodsoni Blob et al., 2001. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 30: 1684–1696.

Roček, Z., J. G. Eaton, J. D. Gardner, and T. Přikryl. 2010. Evolution of anuran assemblages in the Late Cretaceous of Utah, USA. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments [published online Sept 2010; printed publication to follow later this fall.

Gardner, J. D. 2000. Revised taxonomy of albanerpetontid amphibians — Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 45(1): 55–70.

Gardner, J. D. 2000. Albanerpetontid amphibians from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian and Maastrichtian) of North America. — Geodiversitas, 22(3): 349–388.

Gardner, J. D. 2001. Monophyly and the affinities of albanerpetontid amphibians (Temnospondyli; Lissamphibia). — Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 131(3):. 309–352.

Eberth, D. A., P. J. Currie, D. B. Brinkman, M. J. Ryan, D. R. Braman, J. D. Gardner, V. D. Lam, D. N. Spivak, and A. G. Neuman. 2001. Alberta's dinosaurs and other fossil vertebrates: Judith River and Edmonton groups (Campanian-Maastrichtian); pp. 47–75 in: C. L. Hill (ed.), Mesozoic and Cenozoic Paleontology in the Western Plains and Rocky Mountains. Guidebook for the Field Trips of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology 61st Annual Meeting. – Museum of the Rockies Occasional Paper No. 3.

Gardner, J. D. 2002. Monophyly and intra-generic relationships of Albanerpeton (Lissamphibia; Albanerpetontidae). — Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 22(1): 12–22

Gardner, J. D., S. E. Evans, and D. Sigogneau-Russell. 2003. New albanerpetontid amphibians from the Early Cretaceous of Morocco and Middle Jurassic of England. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 48(2): 301–319.

Gardner, J. D. 2003. Revision of Habrosaurus Gilmore (Caudata: Sirenidae) and relationships among sirenid salamanders. Palaeontolgy, 46(6): 1089–1122.

Gardner, J. D. 2003. The fossil salamander Proamphiuma Estes (Caudata; Amphiumidae) and relationships within the Amphiumidae. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 23(4): 769–782.

Gardner, J. D. 2005. Lissamphibians; pp. 186–201 in: P. J. Currie and E. B. Koppelhus (eds.), Dinosaur Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed. Indiana University Press, Indianapolis, i–xxiii + 648 pp.

Venczel, M. and J. D. Gardner. 2005. The geologically youngest albanerpetontid amphibian, from the lower Pliocene of Hungary. Palaeontology, 48(6):1273–1300.

Gardner, J. D. and Böhme, M. 2008. Review of the Albanerpetontidae (Lissamphibia), with comments on the paleoecological preferences of European Tertiary albanerpetontids; 178–218 in: J. T. Sankey and S. Baszio (eds.), Vertebrate Microfossil Assemblages: Their Role in Paleoecology and Paleobiogeography. Indiana University Press, Indianapolis, i–x + 278 pp.

Gardner, J. D. 2008. New Information on frogs (Lissamphibia: Anura) from the Lance Formation (late Maastrichtian) and Bug Creek Anthills (late Maastrichtian and early Paleocene), Hell Creek Formation, USA; 219–249 in: J. T. Sankey and S. Baszio (eds.), Vertebrate Microfossil Assemblages: Their Role in Paleoecology and Paleobiogeography. Indiana University Press, Indianapolis, i–x + 278 pp

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