Stuart Sumida, a Cal State San Bernardino professor of biology and world-renowned paleontologist has been elected vice president of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, the largest professional organization of paleontologists in the world.
Sumida, who joined CSUSB in 1991, lectures on a number of subjects that includes human anatomy and physiology, evolution, and topics in zoology, He will be installed as vice president in November for a two-year term in the SVP, which has membership on every continent with the exception of Antarctica. The office automatically transitions into the presidency with Sumida becoming SVP president in November 2024.
“I am very proud that my career, almost exclusively at CSUSB, demonstrates the potential of our department, college, campus, and the CSU system,” said Sumida. “Leading this group both as VP and later as president will undoubtedly bring a good deal of attention to CSUSB, and I intend to make sure it serves us well.”
“Stuart will bring his love for science widely and proudly, both inside and outside the walks of his classrooms and labs, to the world through his new leadership role at SVP,” said Sastry G. Pantula, dean of the College of Natural Sciences. “At CSUSB, his enthusiasm for biology and paleontology fires up his students’ sense of wonder and excitement and earns the respect of faculty, alumni, and staff. I am thrilled to see how the depth of his knowledge and significant talents are being recognized through a new leadership role in a field he is so deeply passionate about. This will not only bring visibility to CSUSB, but also brings science closer to the public under his leadership.”
Although many California State University faculty and students are SVP members, Sumida becomes the first CSU faculty member elected to the society’s leadership or presidency.
Sumida is the author of three books and more than 70 journal articles – many with students, introducing them to the process of research and publication in refereed journals. He is recognized internationally for his research on biological transformations that took place as back-boned animals adapted to life on land and as co-discoverer of the earliest bipedal animal to ever run on two legs, predating dinosaurian bipeds by over 60 million years.
Outside the classroom, Sumida’s expertise on human and animal anatomy has led to him working on a number of film animation projects as a consultant, where he works with animators to achieve accurate animal movements and behavior with their characters. Sumida worked on Pixar’s “Soul” winner of the 2021 Academy Award and the 2021 Golden Globe for Best Animated Film.
About the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology is a diverse organization of scientists, students, artists, preparators, advocates, writers and scholars across the globe. The purpose of this society shall be to: advance the science of vertebrate paleontology throughout the world; serve the common interests and facilitate the cooperation of all persons concerned with the history, evolution, ecology, comparative anatomy and taxonomy of vertebrate animals, as well as the field occurrence, collection and study of fossil vertebrates and the stratigraphy of the beds in which they are found; support and encourage the discovery, conservation, and protection of vertebrate fossils and fossil sites; foster the scientific, educational, and personal appreciation and understanding of vertebrate fossils and fossil sites by avocational, student and professional paleontologists and the general public.