About Tom Phillips
Dr. Tom Phillips, former University of Illinois Professor Emeritus of Plant Biology and Geology, is recognized internationally for his visionary research on the evolution of land plants and the ecology of plant communities from the Devonian through the Pennsylvanian Periods. By integrating American and European fossil collections, he established the evolutionary trajectory of ferns and their relatives spanning 35 million years. Dr. Phillips’ pioneering research also revealed the ecological relationships of ancient plant communities – what actually grew in the swamps of the Carboniferous Period and how plants and insects interacted. His numerous published papers in biological and geological journals have deeply influenced the scholarly community. In recognition of his many contributions, the Department of Plant Biology and Department of Geology have established the annual Phillips Lecture in Paleoscience.