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History of the department
The Department of Palaeozoology was established in 1864 when Nils Petter Angelin was appointed Professor and Curator of the palaeozoological collections that had been donated to the Royal Academy of Sciences ever since its foundation in 1739. Angelin was succeeded by Gustaf Lindström in 1876, and the latter by Gerhard Holm in 1901. These three are known for careful and fundamental descriptions of Swedish invertebrate fossils.
T. Ørvig, E. Jarvik, E. Stensiö and J-P. Lehman (August 1975). Photo Carl Pleijel
The Department was given a new research direction by Erik Stensiö, the Professor from 1923 to 1959. Stensiö founded the so-called Stockholm School of studies in vertebrate structure and evolution. Stensiö and his successors Erik Jarvik (Professor from 1959 to 1973) and Tor Ørvig (Professor from 1973 to 1982) focused on the "lower" vertebrates, from cyclostomes to transitional forms between bony fish and amphibians.
Valdar Jaanusson. Photo Stefan Bengtson
With Valdar Jaanusson (1982-1989) and Jan Bergström (1989-2005), leadership has been returned to invertebrate palaeontologists, and research on vertebrates has shifted to Tertiary and Quaternary mammals.