Lucy Edwards

Copyright Paleontological Research Institution

Dr. Lucy Edwards is a Research Geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Her research specialties are biostratigraphy, paleoecology, taxonomy, and taphonomy of Mesozoic and Cenozoic dinoflagellate cysts, stratigraphy of the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains, stratigraphic nomenclature and methods of stratigraphic correlation.

Dr. Edwards graduated from high school in 1969. At that time, the University of Virginia was men-only and she didn't want to go to a separate women-only college or to the more rural Virginia Tech.  So she moved as far away from home as possible, and went to the University of Oregon. By the end of her first year, she knew she wanted to be a micropaleontologist.  So she took years of biology and a year each of chemistry and physics. She also took math and computer science, back in the days of punch cards and slide rules.

She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Riverside in 1977. While a student, she spent two summers at Exxon Production Research Company in Houston. There were no female professionals there, but they hired women for summer graduate student jobs, and would soon hire them professionally. As she was writing up her dissertation, she began to apply for jobs. She had always assumed that she would teach at a university, like her parents and grandfather. Somehow, the job as a dinoflagellate biostratigrapher at the U.S. Geological Survey just fell in her lap. She was at the right place at the right time and her strength in math and computers was just what they were looking for. Dr. Edwards has been with the USGS since 1977.