Roger Smith

Current Position

Iziko South African Museum

Evolutionary Studies Institute,  University of the Witwatersrand




Roger Smith was born in Cambridge, England and came to South Africa in 1976 after graduating in Geology and Zoology from Manchester University. He joined the South African Museum in 1983 and gained his doctorate through the University of Cape Town in 1990. Since then he has been the curator of Karoo Palaeontology and was recently awarded an A- rating by the South African National Research Foundation. He is working on several projects under the general title of “Palaeoecology of Gondwana”. Roger’s research is field-based and integrates palaeontological and sedimentological data into palaeoenvironmental reconstructions of ancient landscapes- especially concerning the dramatic changes that took place in the Karoo Basin during the End-Permian mass extinction event.

Over the past 15 years Roger has participated in several collaborative research expeditions to Eritrea, Niger, Lesotho, Namibia, Madagascar, Antarctica, Zambia and Tanzania, mostly funded by the American National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society. These studies are ongoing with field projects in Tanzania, Zambia, Argentina and Brazil currently in progress.