About Dr. Peter Dodson

I walk with one leg in the present and one in the past. I have three degrees in earth sciences and yet I am delighted at my career as a professor of veterinary gross anatomy. Teaching gross anatomy to vet students is a great pleasure–what a fine subset of humanity our students are! The University of Pennsylvania has been a wonderful home for me for 35 years. I have superb graduate students through the department of earth and environmental science–my second home on campus. With my grad students I have studied dinosaurs around the globe–in Montana, Egypt, Madagascar, Argentina, but above all China. My Chinese student, You Hailu (Ph.D. U Penn 2002) is now my Chinese colleague. I have been working in China, traveling there once or twice a year,since 2004 to work with Hailu and his associate (and now my dear friend) Li Daqing.
Notoriety sometimes erupts unbidden. Enter stage right Dr. Phil Manning of the University of Manchester. Phil is a young, endlessly energetic and imaginative paleontologist who loves hanging around the Vet School looking at interesting dead things such as alligators, ostriches and emus with my students. Phil is running around the world hosting a National Geographic series of six programs on dinosaur biology. Phil chose to do some of the filming in the Vet gross anatomy lab, and more out at New Bolton Center with our own celeb Dean Richardson. Best of all, Phil invited me to come to China with him for filming on site, hence my travels to China Oct. 12 — 29. It will be my 12th trip to China.



  1. Ken Harkewicz, VMD said,

    October 21, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Glad to find your blog. Had you at Penn(graduated 1981). Am now an exotic animal vet in Berkeley, CA, seeing about 65% herptiles as clients!
    Ken Harkewicz, VMD

  2. Greg Lewbart said,

    October 24, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Dear Dr. Dodson,

    Like Ken above I’m glad to have found your blog; I used the link provided by the Penn Vet Extra e-mail. I look forward to reading more about your wonderful experiences!

    My wife Diane Deresienski (VMD, ’89) and I are doing well and spending some time in Windsor, CT near her parents, not far from the Dinosaur Park in Rocky Hill, CT. Have you ever visited the place?

    Take care, good luck, and keep the stories coming!

    Best regards,

    Greg Lewbart (VMD ’88)

  3. Sara ElShafie said,

    October 28, 2009 at 1:41 am

    Hey Peter D!

    Your blog is deliciously detailed. You truly delight in sharing your experiences with others, every step of the way!

    Many thanks,
    ~Sara ElShafie

  4. Lynda said,

    July 27, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Hi Peter,

    This is Lynda your sister-in-law and I was so happy to learn about your Blog. I guess family are last to know. It is a great read. We all are very proud of you !

    Lynda Swank Rabanales

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