Full First Name(s)
Robert (Rob) Wolfgang
Title (honorific)
Academic Qualifications
PhD (2011, University of the Witwatersrand); MSc (2003, University of Fort Hare); HDE (1992, Rhodes University); BSc (1991, Rhodes University)
Research Discipline(s)
Brief Biography (English)

Dr Robert Gess's chief focus is on early vertebrate (fish and early tetrapod) evolution and Devonian (360-420 myo) ecosystems. He is driven by a passion for understanding the reciprocal relationship between ecological change and evolution. His belief is that popular understanding of evolution contributes to a scientific worldview, resulting in an enhanced appreciation of living organisms and of the importance of sustaining a life-supporting biosphere. For this reason, as well as from a desire to instill pride in national heritage, he is fervent about education, outreach, and the development of palaeotourism.

Born and growing up in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, he early on developed an interest in local geology and palaeontology, particularly of the Devonian portions of the Cape Supergroup. Prior to his research career knowledge of South African Devonian fossils was still largely restricted to early Devonian marine invertebrate faunas. His own subsequent research has opened a window into Late Devonian coastal systems, and he is also researching new early and mid-Devonian localities. Dr Gess's research has been published in top international journals including Nature and Science and includes a description of Africa’s earliest known four-legged-animals, diverse fish and plants, and the earliest terrestrial (invertebrate) animals from Gondwana.

Job Title
Primary Organisation
Albany Museum
Website Address for Primary Organisation
African Country
South Africa
African Region
Southern Africa

Profile Photo