Dr. Croft has been a faculty member of Case Western Reserve University since 2003. He teaches human anatomy to medical and graduate students, and his research focuses on the evolution and paleoecology of extinct South American mammals. He is actively involved in faculty governance at both the school and university levels and currently serves as director of the MS in Applied Anatomy program. He is part of the design team for Block 6 (Cognition, Sensation & Movement) of the Medical School’s University Program (4-year MD curriculum), representing Block 7 (gross anatomy, radiology, and living anatomy).
Dr. Croft uses a variety of approaches to study evolution and adaptation in extinct mammals, particularly those of South America. He has authored more than 75 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on fossil mammals and related topics as well as a popular science book entitled “Horned Armadillos and Rafting Monkeys: The Fascinating Fossil Mammals of South America”, published in 2006 by Indiana University Press. He is a research associate at several major museums, including the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and is actively engaged in science outreach. He serves as a research mentor for undergraduate students majoring in Biology, Evolutionary Biology, and Origins and for graduate students in the Biology Department, where he has a secondary appointment. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Mammalian Evolution.
For additional details about Dr. Croft’s research and outreach, visit his personal web page: dcpaleo.org
Awards and Honors
Docente Externo, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile
Research Associate, Department of Geology, The Field Museum, Chicago
Research Associate, Department of Vertebrate Paleontology, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Ohio
Research Associate, Division of Vertebrate Paleontology, American Museum of Natural History, New York
Research Associate, Section of Mammals, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Brandoni, D., A.A. Carlini, F. Anaya, P. Gans & D.A. Croft. 2018. New remains of Megathericulus patagonicus Ameghino (Xenarthra, Tardigrada) from the Serravallian (middle Miocene) of Bolivia; chronologic and biogeographic implications. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 25:327-337.
Catena, A. M. & D.A. Croft. 2020. What are the best modern analogs for ancient South American mammal communities? Evidence from ecological diversity analysis (EDA). Palaeontologia Electronica 23(1):a03.
Catena, A.M., D.I. Hembree, B.A. Saylor, F. Anaya & D.A. Croft. 2017. Paleosol and ichnofossil evidence for significant Neotropical habitat variation during the late middle Miocene (Serravallian). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 487:381-398.
Croft, D.A. & F. Anaya. 2020. A new typothere notoungulate (Mammalia: Interatheriidae) from the Miocene Nazareno Formation of southern Bolivia. Ameghiniana 57(2):189-208.
Croft, D.A., R.K. Engelman, T. Dolgushina & G. Wesley. 2018. Diversity and disparity of sparassodonts (Metatheria) reveal non-analogue nature of ancient South American mammalian carnivore guilds. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 285:20172012.
Croft, D.A., J.N. Gelfo & G.M. López. 2020. Splendid innovation: the South American native ungulates. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 48:259-290.
Croft, D.A., D.F. Su & S.W. Simpson (eds.). 2018. Methods in Paleoecology: Reconstructing Cenozoic Terrestrial Environments and Ecological Communities. Springer (Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology Series), Cham, Switzerland, 410 pp.
Eldridge, M.D.B, R.M.D. Beck, D.A. Croft, K.J. Travouillon & B.J. Fox. 2019. An emerging consensus in the evolution, phylogeny and systematics of marsupials and their fossil relatives (Metatheria). Journal of Mammalogy 100(3):802–837.
Engelman, R.K. & D.A. Croft. 2019. Strangers in a strange land: Ecological dissimilarity to metatherian carnivores may partly explain early colonization of South America by Cyonasua-group procyonids (Carnivora). Paleobiology 45(4): 598-611
Engelman, R.K., J.J. Flynn, A.R. Wyss & D.A. Croft. 2020. Eomakhaira molossus, a new saber-toothed sparassodont (Metatheria: Thylacosmilinae) from the early Oligocene (?Tinguirirican) Cachapoal locality, Andean Main Range, Chile. American Museum Novitates 3975:1-75.
Gibert, L, A. Deino, L. Valero, F. Anaya, M. Leria, B. Saylor & D.A. Croft. 2020. Chronology of late middle Miocene terrestrial deposits and fossil vertebrates from Quebrada Honda (Bolivia). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 560:110013.
McGrath, A.J., F. Anaya & D.A. Croft. 2018. Two new macraucheniids (Mammalia: Litopterna) from the late middle Miocene (Laventan South American Land Mammal Age) of Quebrada Honda, Bolivia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 38(3):e1461632
McGrath, A.J., F. Anaya & D.A. Croft. 2020. New proterotheriids (Litopterna, Mammalia) from the middle Miocene of Quebrada Honda, Bolivia, and trends in diversity and body size of proterotheriid and macraucheniid litopterns. Ameghiniana 57(2):159-188.
Wyss, A.R., J.J. Flynn & D.A. Croft. 2018. New Paleogene notohippids and leontiniids (Toxodontia; Notoungulata; Mammalia) from the early Oligocene Tinguiririca Fauna of the Andean Main Range, Central Chile. American Museum Novitates 3903:1-42.