Dr. Farke received a B.Sc. in Geology from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 2003, and completed his Ph.D. in Anatomical Sciences at Stony Brook University in 2008. He joined the staff at the Alf Museum in June 2008, as Augustyn Family Curator of Paleontology.
Dr. Farke’s research interests primarily focus on the evolution and functional morphology of the ceratopsians, or horned dinosaurs. As such, he has used a variety of techniques and taxa in pursuit of these goals. Interests in this realm include paleopathology, finite element analysis and other biomechanical methods, morphometric and statistical techniques, general descriptive morphology and phylogenetic analysis. In order to better understand aspects of ceratopsian cranial anatomy, much of Dr. Farke’s dissertation research focused on the evolution and function of the frontal sinuses within the skulls of horned mammals. Presently, he is co-PI on an NSF-sponsored grant with Scott Sampson, Cathy Forster, and Mark Loewen, which focuses on documenting the ceratopsid evolutionary radiation.
Beyond ceratopsians, Dr. Farke is interested in Late Cretaceous ecosystems in North America and Gondwana. After several seasons of participation in the Mahajanga Basin Project of northwestern Madagascar, he initiated the Ambilobe Basin Project, which aims to recover vertebrate remains from the Late Cretaceous of northernmost Madagascar. He has also conducted fieldwork in the Almond Formation of Wyoming (in collaboration with University of Utah), the Fox Hills Formation of South Dakota, and the Kaiparowits Formation of southern Utah, among other areas in the western United States.
Outside of research and curatorial duties, Dr. Farke is actively involved in Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, PaleoPortal, The Open Dinosaur Project, and the Timber Lake and Area Museum, as well as bringing paleontology to the public through lectures, television, and consulting.
Farke, A.A., M.J. Ryan, P.M. Barrett, D.H. Tanke, D.R. Braman, M.A. Loewen, and M.R. Graham. 2011. A new centrosaurine from the Late Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada, and the evolution of parietal ornamentation in horned dinosaurs. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 56:691-702. doi:10.4202/app.2010.0121 [link to PDF]
Farke, A.A. 2011. Anatomy and taxonomic status of the chasmosaurine ceratopsid Nedoceratops hatcheri from the Upper Cretaceous Lance Formation of Wyoming, U.S.A. PLoS ONE 6(1):e16196. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016196 [link to full text] [link to PDF]
Farke, A.A. 2010. Evolution, homology, and function of the supracranial sinuses in ceratopsian dinosaurs. Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology 30:1486-1500. [link to abstract]
Farke, A.A. 2010. Evolution and functional morphology of the frontal sinuses in Bovidae (Mammalia: Artiodactyla), and implications for the evolution of cranial pneumaticity. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 159:988-1014. [link to abstract]
Sampson, S.D., M.A. Loewen, A.A. Farke, E.M. Roberts, C.A. Forster, J.A. Smith, and A.L. Titus. 2010. New horned dinosaurs from Utah provide evidence for intracontinental dinosaur endemism. PLoS ONE 5(9): e12292. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012292. [link to full text] [link to PDF]