Smiling Man


Associate Professor
Institute of Global Health and Human Ecology


Brief Biography

Hesham Sallam is an Egyptian associate professor at School of Sciences and Engineering, American University in Cairo and Department of Geology, Mansoura University, Egypt and the founder of Mansoura University Vertebrate Paleontology Center. In January 2018, Sallam and his team discovered Mansourasaurus in Mansoura, Egypt. He received his bachelor degree (1997) from the Department of Geology at Mansoura University in Egypt then he completed his Ph.D. in 2010 at the University of Oxford (UK). In addition, he was a visiting scholar at Stony Brook University, Ohio University, Denver Museum of Nature and Science and Duke University, USA for a year (2014/2017). Over the course of last 10 years, he has been conducting paleontological research on the vertebrate fossils of Afro-Arabia. The work resulted in a series of publications in high profile journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Nature Ecology and Evolution, Nature Communications, PLoS ONE, PeerJ, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, and Palaeontology. His important contribution to Egyptian paleontology is that he founded the Mansoura University Vertebrate Paleontology (MUVP), the only high-level vertebrate paleontology research unit in the Middle East, combined research, outreach, and conservation endeavor based out of Mansoura University, Egypt. MUVP’s most significant accomplishment was the discovery, recovery, and description of the large sauropod dinosaur Mansourasaurus, which was found in the Dakhla Oasis area of Egypt. This new species revealed previously unappreciated biotic links between the Afro-Arabian and Eurasian landmasses during the close of the Cretaceous period, around 73 million years ago.

  • El-Sayed S, Murray AM, Kora MA, Abu El-Kheir GA, Antar MS, Seiffert ER, Sallam HM (2020) Oldest record of African Bagridae and evidence from catfishes for a marine influence in the Late Eocene Birket Qarun locality 2 (BQ-2), Fayum Depression, Egypt. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2020.1780248

    Almécija S, Tallman M, Sallam HM, Fleagle JG, Hammond AS, Seiffert ER (2019) Early anthropoid femora reveal divergent adaptive trajectories in catarrhine hind-limb evolution. Nat Commun 10, 4778 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41467-019-12742-0

    Sallam HM, Gorscak E, O'Connor PM, El-Dawoudi IA, Saber S and El-Sayed SE, Kora MA, Sertich JJ, Seiffert ER, Lamanna M (2018) New Egyptian sauropod dinosaur unambiguously reveals Late Cretaceous (Campanian–Maastrichtian) faunal affinities between Africa and Europe. Nature Ecology & Evolution. 2, 445–451, doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0455-5

    Sallam HM and Seiffert ER (2016) New phiomorph rodents from the latest Eocene of Egypt, and the impact of Bayesian “clock”-based phylogenetic methods on estimates of basal hystricognath relationships and biochronology. PeerJ, DOI 10.7717/peerj.1717

    Sallam HM, Seiffert ER, Simons EL (2011) Craniodental Morphology and Systematics of a New Family of Hystricognathous Rodents (Gaudeamuridae) from the Late Eocene and Early Oligocene of Egypt. PLoS ONE 6(2): e16525. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016525

    Sallam HM, Seiffert ER, Steiper ME, and Simons EL (2009) Fossil and molecular evidence constrain scenarios for the early evolutionary and biogeographic history of hystricognathous rodents. (PNAS) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 106:16722-16727

    • Professor (associate), Department of Geology, Mansoura University, Egypt 2017- present
    • Director of the Mansoura University Vertebrate Paleontology Center (MUVP) center 2010- 2020
    • Research Associate, Department of Evolutionary Anthropology and Division of Fossil Primates, Duke Lemur Center, Duke University, USA 2015- 2017
    • Visiting Scholar, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ohio University College of Medicine, Athens, OH, USA2014-2015
    • Visiting Scholar, Department of Anatomical Sciences, Health Sciences Center, Stony Brook University, NY, USA
    • Visiting Scholar, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, CO, USA 2014-2015
    • Lecturer, Department of Geology, Mansoura University, Egypt 2010-2014
    • Affiliated Scientist, Department of Anatomical Sciences, Health Sciences Center, Stony Brook University, NY, USA 2008-2010
    • Ph.D. student, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, UK 2006-2010
    • Assistant Lecturer, Department of Geology, Mansoura University, Egypt 2003-2010
    • Demonstrator, Department of Geology, Mansoura University, Egypt 1997-2003
Research Interest
  • Working broadly on vertebrate paleontological research in Egypt
  • Currently focusing on Paleogene mammals from the Fayum Depression and Dinosaurs from Western Desert of Egypt.
  • Experience with research on Stratigraphy in the Paleozoic and Cretaceous deposits of Egypt.