Vice Provost & Dean of Graduate Education Scott Lanyon

Dean and Vice Provost of Graduate Education, Scott Lanyon

Dr. Scott Lanyon earned his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in 1985. He served as curator of birds at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History for ten years before becoming a faculty member in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior in 1995. 

Lanyon was appointed as vice provost and dean of graduate education at the University of Minnesota in 2016. His previous administrative experience at the University of Minnesota includes eight years as head of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior and 13 years as director of the Bell Museum of Natural History. He has also been actively involved in governance, serving as vice chair of the Faculty Consultative Committee and chair of the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs.

Lanyon’s research is in the field of avian systematics. Using DNA sequence data, he and his colleagues have developed an understanding of the evolutionary relationships between families, genera and species of birds, and have used that knowledge to shed light on the evolutionary processes responsible for behavioral and morphological patterns observed in birds today. In appreciation of his contributions to ornithology both as scholar and leader, Lanyon was elected president of the American Ornithologists' Union (2014-2016).

Lanyon has demonstrated a commitment to graduate and postdoctoral training throughout his career - as an advisor to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who have gone on to be very successful in a variety of career paths, as an administrator advocating for increased support (financial, health, and professional development) for graduate students, and as an educator training students to write competitive grant and fellowship proposals. In 2013, in recognition of his passion for graduate education, Lanyon was named chair of the Special Committee on Graduate Education by Provost Karen Hanson and the chair of the Faculty Consultative Committee.