Faculty & Staff Directory

J. G. M. ‘Hans’ Thewissen, Ph. D.

Phone: 330.325.6295
Email: thewisse@neomed.edu

Room: E-118


  • Ingalls-Brown Professor of Anatomy
  • Distinguished University Professor
  • Chair, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology


I study mammalian design from anatomical and embryological perspectives, focusing on evolutionary constraints and the limits of environmental effects on design. I study the anatomical changes that marine mammals underwent as they became aquatic in evolutionary time, using fossils from India and Pakistan and modern samples from Alaska. Of particular interest are the parts of the skeleton that do not remodel and can be used as markers of chronological time. Using embryos of modern whales and dolphins, I investigate the gene control of development of organs that underwent evolutionary change, such as the fluke and flippers. I also am interested in brain growth and scaling, and study the prevalence of hearing loss in aquatic mammals.


  • B.S., 1981, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • M.S., 1984, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  • Ph.D., 1989, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


  • Human Development and Structure
  • Mammalian Morphology and Evolution


See my publications at ResearchGate.


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