Anthony (Tony) J. Martin is a paleontologist and geologist who specializes in ichnology, the study of modern and ancient traces caused by animal behavior, such as tracks, trails, burrows, and nests. He is a Professor of Practice in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Emory University, where he has been for 27 years. At Emory, he teaches a variety of courses in paleontology, geology, and the environmental sciences on campus and in field courses, including study-abroad programs.
Along with his interest in the ichnology of the Georgia barrier islands – summarized in his book Life Traces of the Georgia Coast (2013, Indiana University Press) – Dr. Martin has studied modern traces and trace fossils from elsewhere in the U.S. and other countries. He has published more than a hundred peer-reviewed articles and abstracts on traces and trace fossils made by plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates representing the past 550 million years of the geologic record. His research results and discoveries have been reported by The New York Times, the BBC, National Geographic News, Smithsonian Magazine, Wired, and Australian Geographic. He is also often quoted in news articles about other researchers’ fossil discoveries. In 2015, in recognition of his significant contributions to ichnology and paleontology, he was elected as a Fellow in The Explorers Club and a Fellow in the Geological Society of America. He frequently presents his research results at professional meetings, but also enjoys public speaking.
Martin’s latest book is The Evolution Underground: Burrows, Bunkers, and the Marvelous Subterranean World Beneath Our Feet (2017, Pegasus Books), which explores burrows and burrowing animals through time. Previous to that was Dinosaurs Without Bones: Dinosaur Lives Revealed by Their Trace Fossils (2014, Pegasus Books), a lively discussion of dinosaur tracks, nests, burrows, feces, and other trace fossils. He also wrote two editions of a college textbook on dinosaurs (Introduction to the Study of Dinosaurs), a field guidebook to trace fossils of the Bahamas (Trace Fossils of San Salvador), and a book for teenagers (The Dinosaur that Dug Its Burrow) about the first known burrowing dinosaur, which he co-discovered. He scripted and performed lectures for The Great Courses, with a DVD course on evolution and the fossil record, titled Major Transitions in Evolution. As an artistically inclined scientist, he drew his own illustrations for The Evolution Underground, Dinosaurs Without Bones, Life Traces of the Georgia Coast.
In Martin’s spare time, he is an avid reader and enjoys drawing, cooking, biking, and hiking. He lives with his wife, Ruth Schowalter, in Decatur, Georgia. Ms. Schowalter has been an integral and invaluable field partner with Martin over the past 16 years on the Georgia coast, as well as in the western U.S., Australia, the Bahamas, and many other places. As a visionary artist, Schowalter is creatively inspired by the life and environments of the Georgia barrier islands, so together they make for a remarkable science-art team.