MacArthur Fellows Program

John Robert Horner

Paleobiologist | Class of 1986

Bozeman, Montana
40 at time of award
Published August 1, 1986

About John's Work

John Horner studies the paleobiology of dinosaurs, with a focus on their physiology, behavior, ontogeny, and evolution.

His research findings derive primarily from discoveries of dinosaur eggs, embryos, nests of juveniles, and groups of adults, as well as from numerous dinosaur species and related geologic information collected in Montana and in Alberta, Canada.  His research has shown that some dinosaur species cared for their nest-bound young as living birds do today.  Horner is co-author of several books, including Maia, A Dinosaur Grows Up (1985), Dinosaur Lives (1997), and Dinosaurs Under the Big Sky (2001).  He has published numerous articles in such journals as Nature, Paleobiology, and the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.  He also served as a technical advisor to the Jurassic Park film series.


Horner is the Regent’s Professor of Paleontology and Curator of Paleontology at the Museum of the Rockies, Montana State University, and an adjunct assistant professor of geology at Montana State University and the University of Montana, Missoula.  He formerly worked for Princeton University as a fossil preparator and spent his summer vacations in Montana doing fieldwork on dinosaur remains.

Horner studied at the University of Montana without taking a degree.  He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science from the University in 1986.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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