My name is Gabriel-Philip Santos. I am a first generation Filipino-American and I am a paleontologist. Born and raised in Southern California, I spent a lot of my childhood roaming around museums, watching episodes of Bill Nye the Science Guy and the Magic School Bus, and occasionally pretending I was a Green Lantern or a Jedi.
My career goals didn’t always involve paleontology. For my undergraduate work, I was a premed and eventually got my degree in biological science. After graduating, though, I decided medicine wasn’t for me. So after a short period of searching, my passion for science and education reignited after a visit to the American Museum of Natural History. A few weeks later, I began volunteering at the Dr. John D. Cooper Paleontological and Archaeological Center in Santa Ana. It was here that my love of science and passion for educating finally combined in the form of paleontology and my future career was finally decided.
Forward to a few years later, I am now the Collections Manager for the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology in Claremont, California where I also dabble in education and outreach programs for the museum. My master’s thesis revolves around studying a bonebed from San Clemente, CA that holds the fossils of animals from a rainforest that existed 45 million years ago. My other research interests include studying marine mammals like the hippo-like desmostylians. As a paleontologist of color, it is also my career goals to develop outreach programs for underserved and underrepresented communities.