Michael J. Polcyn

Research Associate Director of the Digital Earth Sciences Laboratory at SMU





  • Vertebrate Paleontology
  • Computer Science


    GEOL 3359 – Computer Methods in Earth Sciences


    Michael Polcyn is a vertebrate paleontologist whose current research interests include the early evolution of Mosasauroidea and adaptations in secondarily aquatic tetrapods. His research involves the application of advanced imaging techniques and other computer-based technology to problems in paleontology. His fieldwork is currently focused in Upper Cretaceous marine deposits of Angola.


    Adams, T.L., Strganac, C., Polcyn, M.J. and Jacobs, L.L. (2010) High resolution three-dimensional laser-scanning of the type specimen of Eubrontes (?) glenrosensis Shuler, 1935, from the Comanchean (Lower Cretaceous) of Texas: implications for digital archiving and preservation. Palaeontologia Electronica, 13(3):1T, 11pp. http://palaeo-electronica.org/2010_3/226/index.html 

    Polcyn, M.J., Jacobs, L.L., Schulp, A.S. and Mateus, O. (2010) The North African mosasaur Globidens phosphaticus from the Maastrichtian of Angola. Historical Biology, 22:175–185.

    Jacobs, L.L., Mateus, O., Polcyn, M.J., Schulp, A.S., Scotese, C.R., Goswami, A., Ferguson, K.M., Robbins, J.A., Vineyard, D.P. and Buto Neto, A. (2009) Cretaceous paleogeography, paleoclimatology, and amniote biogeography of the low and mid-latitude South Atlantic Ocean. Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France, 180:333–341.

    Jacobs, L.L., Mateus, O., Polcyn, M.J., Schulp, A.S., Antunes, M.T., Morais, M.L. and da Silva Tavares, T. (2006) The occurrence and geological setting of Cretaceous dinosaurs, mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and turtles from Angola. Journal of the Paleontological Society of Korea, 22:91–110.

    Bell, G.L., Jr. and Polcyn, M.J. (2005) Dallasaurus turneri, a new primitive mosasauroid from the Middle Turonian of Texas and comments on the phylogeny of Mosasauridae (Squamata). In: Schulp, A.S. and Jagt, J.W.M. (eds.), Proceedings of the First Mosasaur Meeting. Netherlands Journal of Geosciences, 84:177–194.

    Polcyn, M.J. and Bell, G.L. (2005) Russellosaurus coheni n. gen., n. sp., a 92 million-year-old mosasaur from Texas (USA), and the definition of the parafamily Russellosaurina. In: Schulp, A.S. and Jagt, J.W.M. (eds.), Proceedings of the First Mosasaur Meeting. Netherlands Journal of Geosciences, 84:321–333.

    Polcyn, M.J., Jacobs, L.L., and Haber, A. (2005) A morphological model and CT assessment of the skull of Pachyrhachis problematicus (Squamata, Serpentes), A 98 million year old snake with legs from the Middle East, Palaeontologia Electronica,8(1):26A, 24pp. http://palaeo-electronica.org/2005_1/polcyn26/issue1_05.htm 

    Polcyn, M.J., Tchernov, E. and Jacobs, L.L. (2003) Haasiasaurus gen. nov., a new generic name for the basal mosasauroid Haasia Polcyn et al. 1999. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 23(2):476.

    Polcyn, M.J., Rogers, J.V, II, Kobayashi, Y. and Jacobs, L.L. (2002) Computed tomography of an Anolis lizard in Dominican amber: systematic, taphonomic, biogeographic and evolutionary implications. Palaeontologia Electronica, 5(1):13pp. http://palaeo-electronica.org/2002_1/amber/issue1_02.htm 

    Polcyn, M.J., Winkler, D.A., Jacobs, L.L., and Newman, K. (2002) Fossil occurrences and structural disturbance in the Triassic Chinle Formation at North Stinking Springs Mountain near St. Johns Arizona. In: Heckert, A.B. and Lucas, S.G. (eds.), Upper Triassic Stratigraphy and Paleontology. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin, 21:43–49.
M Polcyn