Dr. Andrew B. Heckert

Dr. Heckert is a vertebrate paleontologist specializing in microvertebrate assemblages of the Mesozoic, particularly the Triassic of the American Southwest and North Carolina. For the past three decades Dr. Heckert has worked extensively on the vertebrate paleontology and stratigraphy of the American Southwest, collecting fossils ranging in age from Devonian to Pleistocene. His courses focus on the history of life on the planet and include both general education (GES 1842, GES 1102) and majors’ courses (GES 2250, 3264) during the year. In the summer he teaches an introduction to field methods (GES 2857). In addition to his teaching responsibilities here, Dr. Heckert is the director of the McKinney Geology Teaching Museum.  He won the 2015 Donald W. Sink Outstanding Scholar Award, the 2017 Undergraduate Research Mentorship Excellence Award, the 2021 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research, and received the N.C. Geological Survey’s Outstanding Earth Science Educator Award in 2011.


  • B.S., Denison University
  • M.S., University of New Mexico
  • Ph.D., University of New Mexico

Courses Taught (current)

  • GES 1842 - Dinosaurs Then & Now
  • GES 2250 - Evolution of the Earth
  • GES 2857 - Paleontology Field & Museum Methods, aka "The Triassic Trip," "Jurassic Journey" or "Cretaceous Cruise."
  • GES 3264 - Paleontological Lab and Analytical Methods

Courses Taught (past)

  • GES 1101 - Introduction to Physical Geology (Lecture and lab)
  • GES 1102 -  Introduction to Historical Geology (Lecture and lab)
  • GH 1515 - Dinosaurs: Origins, evolution, extinction? (Honors seminar)

Website and CV

Select Publications

Visit Dr. Heckert's profile on Google Scholar. Much of his research is archived on NC DOCKS.

Asterisks (*) indicate Appalachian undergraduate student author.

  • Heckert, A.B., Nesbitt, S.J., Stocker, M.R., Schneider, V.P., Hoffman, D.K.*, and Zimmer, B.W. 2021. A new short-faced archosauriform from the Upper Triassic Placerias/Downs’ quarry complex, Arizona, USA, expands the morphological diversity of the Triassic archosauriform radiation. The Science of Nature 108 (4): 32.https://doi.org/10.1007/s00114-021-01733-1
  • Heckert, A.B., Viner, T.C., and Carrano, M.T. 2021. A large, pathological skeleton of Smilosuchus gregorii (Archosauriformes: Phytosauria) from the Upper Triassic of Arizona, U.S.A., with discussion of the implications of paleopathology in fossil archosauromorphs. Palaeontologia Electronica 24 (a21). https://doi.org/10.26879/1123
  • Hoffman, DK*, Miller-Camp, JA*, & Heckert, AB. 2021. Tooth enamel microstructure in North American Phytosauria (Diapsida:Archosauriformes): Implications for biogeography and ecology of a Late Triassic clade of crocodylian-like predators: Palaeontologia Electronica article 24.3.a31, 26 pp. https://doi.org/10.26879/1162
  • Hoffman, D. K.*, Heckert, A. B., and Zanno, L. E., 2019, Disparate growth strategies within Aetosauria: Novel histologic data from the aetosaur Coahomasuchus chathamensis: The Anatomical Record, v. 302, p. 1504-1515. Online version of record published in 2018.Figure 4b used for the cover of that issue of The Anatomical Record.
  • Heckert, A. B., Fraser, N. C., and Schneider, V. P., 2017, A new species of Coahomasuchus (Archosauria:Aetosauria) from the Upper Triassic Pekin Formation, Deep River Basin, North Carolina: Journal of Paleontology, v. 91, p. 162-178. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/jpa.2016.130
Title: Professor: Vertebrate Paleontology, Dinosaurs, Litho/Biostratigraphy, (he/him/his)
Department: Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-7609