Jin Meng

Curator-in-Charge, Fossil Mammals, Division of Paleontology

Professor, Richard Gilder Graduate School



  • Columbia University , Ph.D., 1991
  • Graduate School of Sciences & Technology, and the IVPP, Academia Sinica, Beijing, M.S., 1984
  • Beijing University, B.S., 1982

Research Interests

Dr. Jin Meng studies the morphology, systematics, and evolution of mammals, particularly early mammals (Mesozoic and Paleogene), such as haramiyidans, eutriconodontans, multituberculates and early therians. Within therian mammals, his research focuses on Glires, the group that includes rodents and lagomorphs. His researches have intended to address several issues related to higher-level mammalian phylogeny, origin of the Glires, evolution of mammalian dentitions and middle and inner ears, and the relationship of mammalian evolution in responding to changing environments of the earth during the geological history. He also works on Tertiary stratigraphy, with focus on the biochronology (land mammal ages) of terrestrial strata in Asia. Most of Dr. Meng's fieldwork takes place in Asia-primarily in Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang Province in northeast China, and southern China. 


Division of Paleontology

Richard Gilder Graduate School


2018. Csiki-Sava, Zoltán, Mátyás Vremir, Jin Meng, Stephen L. Brusatte, and Mark A. Norell. Dome-headed, small-brained island mammal from the Late Cretaceous of Romania." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115: 4857-4862.

2017. Han G., F.-Y. Mao, S.-D. Bi, Y.-Q. Wang and J. Meng. A Jurassic gliding euharamiyidan mammal with an ear of five auditory bones. Nature. 551: 451–456. [DOI: 10.1038/nature24483]

2017. Liu, L., J. Zhang, F.E. Rheindt, F. Lei, Y.H. Qu, Y. Wang, Y. Zhang, C. Sullivan, W.H. Nie, J.H. Wang, F.T. Yang, J.P. Chen, S.V. Edwards, J. Meng, and S.Y. Wu. Genomic evidence reveals a radiation of placental mammals uninterrupted by the KPg boundary. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. [DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1616744114]

2017. Bai, B., J. Meng, H.-B. Wang, and L. Holbrook. Osteology of the middle Eocene tapiromorph Hyrachyus modestus (Mammalia, Perissodactyla). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 413, 68 pp.

2016. Han, G., and J. Meng. A new spalacolestine mammal from Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota and implications for morphology, phylogeny and paleobiology of Laurasian “symmetrodontans.” Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 178: 343–380.

2017. Mao, F.-Y., Y.-Q. Wang, S.-D. Bi, J. Guan, and J. Meng. Tooth enamel microstructures of three Jurassic euharamiyidans and implications for tooth enamel evolution in allotherian mammals. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. [doi: 10.1080/02724634.2017.1279168]

2016. Meng, J., and H. Shilin. Earliest known mammalian stapes from an Early Cretaceous eutriconodontan mammal and implications for transformation of mammalian middle ear. Palaeontologia Polonica 67: 181–196.

2016. Meng, J., S.-D. Bi, X.-T. Zheng, and X.-L. Wang. The ear ossicles from a Jurassic haramyid mammal and implications to transformations of mammalian middle ear. Journal of Morphology.

2016. Meng, J., Y-Q. Wang, and C-K. Li. Primitive mammals, Fascicle 2 (Serial no. 15) in ZX Qiu and CK Li (eds). Volume III Basal Synapsids and Mammals, Palaeovertebrata Sinica. Science Press, Beijing, pp. 268.

2015. Xu, L., X. Zhang, H. Pu, S. Jia, J. Zhang, J. Lü, and J. Meng. Largest known Mesozoic multituberculate from Eurasia and implications for multituberculate evolution and biology. Scientific Reports. 5 14950; 11 pp., DOI: 10.1038/srep14950

2014. Roberts, E. M., Lamanna, M. C., Clarke, J. A., Meng, J., Gorscak, E., Sertich, J. J. W., O’Connor, P. M., Claeson, K. M., and MacPhee, R. D. E. Stratigraphy and vertebrate paleoecology of Upper Cretaceous-?lowest Paleogene strata on Vega Island, Antarctica. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 402:55-72.

2014. Wu, S.-Y., F.-C. Zhang, S. V. Edwards, W.-Y. Wu, J. Ye4, S.-D. Bi, X.-J. Ni, C. Quan, J. Meng, and C. L. Organ. The evolution of bipedalism in jerboas (Rodentia: Dipodoidea): origin in humid and forested environments. Evolution 68(7): 2108-2118.

2014. Mao, F.-Y., Y.Q. Wang, J. Meng, and X. Jin. Tooth crown formation time in three Asian coryphodontids and comparison of life history with extant analogues. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 52(2):153-170.

2014. Olivier Maridet, Wenyu Wu, Jie Ye, J. Meng, Shundong Bi, Xijun Ni. An Early Miocene microtoid cricetid (Rodentia, Mammalia) from the Junggar Basin of Xinjiang, China. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 59(1):1-7.

2014. Jiang, B.-Y., Z.-H. Zhou, G. E. Harlow, K. Wohletz and J. Meng. New evidence suggests pyroclastic flows are responsible for the remarkable preservation of the Jehol biota. Nature Communications.

2014. Hou, Shilin and Meng Jin. A new eutriconodont mammal from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of Liaoning, China. Chinese Science Bulletin 59(5–6):546–553.

2013. Li, Q. and J. Meng Eocene ischyromyids (Rodentia, Mammalia) from the Erlian Basin, Nei Mongol, China. Vertebrata PalAsiatica. 51: 289—304.

2013. Lucja Fostowicz-Frelik and J. Meng. Comparative morphology of premolar foramen in lagomorphs (Mammalia: Glires) and its functional and phylogenetic implications. PLoS ONE 8(11): e79794. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079794, pp 1-18.

2013. O’Leary, M. A. J. I. Bloch, J. J. Flynn, T. J. Gaudin, A. Giallombardo, N. P. Giannini, S. L. Goldberg, B. P. Kraatz, Z-X Luo, J. Meng, X-J Ni, M. J. Novacek, F. A. Perini, Z. Randall, G. W. Rougier, E. J. Sargis, M. T. Silcox, N. B. Simmons, M. Spaulding, P. M. Velazco, M. Weksler, J. R. Wible, A. L. Cirranello. Response to technical comment on “The placental mammal ancestor and the post-KPg radiation of placentals” Science 341: 613-c.

2013. Zheng, X.-t., S.-d. Bi, X.-l. Wang and J. Meng. A new arboreal haramyid and the Jurassic diversification of crown mammals. Nature 500: 199-202.

2013. Xijun Ni, Daniel L. Gebo, Marian Dagosto, Jin Meng, Paul Tafforeau, John J. Flynn, K. Christopher Beard. The Oldest Known Primate Skeleton and Early Haplorhine Evolution. Nature 498: 60–64; doi:10.1038/nature12200.

2013. Wu, W.-Y., X.-J. Ni, J. Ye, J. Meng, and S.-D. Bi. 2013. Mylagaulids (Mammalia: Rodentia) from the early Middle Miocene of northern Juggar Basin. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 51: 55-70.

2013. Meng, J.  J. Ye, W.-Y. Wu, X.-J. Ni, and S.-D. Bi. A Single-point base definition of the Xiejian age as an exemplar for refining Chinese land mammal ages. Pp. 124-141 in Wang, X.-M., L. J. Flynn and M. Fortelius (eds) Fossil Mammals of Asia – Neogene Biostratigraphy and Chronology. Columbia University Press, New York.

2013. O’Leary, M. A. J. I. Bloch, J. J. Flynn, T. J. Gaudin, A. Giallombardo, N. P. Giannini, S. L. Goldberg, B. P. Kraatz, Z-X Luo, J. Meng, X-J Ni, M. J. Novacek, F. A. Perini, Z. Randall, G. W. Rougier, E. J. Sargis, M. T. Silcox, N. B. Simmons, M. Spaulding, P. M. Velazco, M. Weksler, J. R. Wible, A. L. Cirranello. Phylogenetic reconstruction of the post K-Pg placental ancestor and a transformation of phylophenomics. Science. 339: 662-667.

2013. Bi S, Meng J, McLean S, Wu W, Ni X, and Ye. J. (2013) A New Genus of Aplodontid Rodent (Mammalia, Rodentia) from the Late Oligocene of Northern Junggar Basin, China. PLoS ONE 8(1): e52625. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052625

2012. Wu, S.-Y., W.-Y. Wu, F.-C. Zhang, J. Ye, X.-J. Ni, J.-M. Sun, S. V. Edwards, J. Meng, and C. L. Organ. Molecular and paleontological support for a post-Cretaceous origin of rodents. PLoS One. October 2012 | Volume 7 | Issue 10 | e46445

2012. Ye, J., W.-Y. Wu, X.-J. Ni, S.-D. Bi, J.-M. Sun, and J. Meng. The Duolebulejin section of northern Junggar Basin and its stratigraphic and environmental implication (in Chinese). Scientia Sinica Terrae 42: 1523--1532.

2012. Fostowicz-Frelik, L., C.-K. Li, J. Meng, Y.-Q. Wang. New Gobiolagus (Mammalia: Lagomorpha) material from the Middle Eocene of Erden Obo (Nei Mongol, China). Vertebrata PalAsiatica 50: 219-236.

2012. Wang, Y.-Q., J. Meng and X. Jin. 2012. Comments on Paleogene localities and stratigraphy in the Erlian basin, Nei Mongol, China. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 50: 181-203.

2011. Wang, Y.-Q., Meng, J., Jin, X., Beard, K. C., Bai, B., Li, P., Ni, X.-J., Li, Q, and Gebo, D. L. 2011. Early Eocene perissodactyls (Mammalia) from the upper Nomogen Formation of the Erlian Basin, Nei Mongol, China. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 49: 123-140.

2011. Maridet, O, Wu W.-Y., Ye J., Bi S.-D., Ni X.-J., and J. Meng. Earliest occurrence of Democricetodon in China, in the early Miocene of the Junggar basin (Xinjiang) and comparison with the genus Spanocricetodon. Vertebrata PalAsiatica. Vertebrata PalAsiatic, 49(4): 393-405.

2011. Maridet O., Wu W.-Y, Ye. J., Ni X.-J. & J. Meng. Early Miocene cricetids from the Junggar basin (Xinjiang, China) and their biochronological implications. Geobios 44: 445–459.

2011. Bin Bai, Yuanqing Wang, and Jin Meng. Early Eocene Chalicothere Litolophus with hoof-like unguals. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 31:6, 1387-139.

2011. Maridet O., Wu W.-Y, Ye. J., Ni X.-J. & Meng J. New discoveries of glirids and eomyids (Mammalia, Rodentia) in the Early Miocene of the Junggar basin (Northern Xinjiang province, China). Swiss J Palaeontol (2011) 130:315–323. DOI 10.1007/s13358-011-0022-7.

2011. Meng, J., Yuanqing Wang and Chuankui Li. Transitional mammalian middle ear from a new Cretaceous Jehol eutriconodontan. Nature 472: 181-185. doi: 10.1038/nature09921.

2011. Bai, B. Yuanqing Wang, J. Meng, Xun Jin, Qian Li, and Ping Li. Taphonomic analyses of an early Eocene Litolophus (Perissodactyla, Chalicotherioidea) assemblage from the Erlian basin, Inner Mongolia, China. Palaios, 26: 187–196.

2011. Ting, S.-Y., Y.-Q., Wang. W.C. Clyde, P.L. Koch, Y.-S. Tong, J. Meng, G. Bowen, Q. Li Q. Li, and K. E. Snell. Asian early Paleogene  chronology and mammalian faunal turnover events. Vertebrata PalAsiatica. 49, 1-28.

2010. Beard, K. C., Y.-Q. Wang, J. Meng, X.-J. Ni, D. L. Gebo, and C.-K. Li. Paleocene Hapalodectes (Mammalia: Mesonychia) from Subeng, Inner Mongolia: Further evidence of “East of Eden” dispersal at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 48, 375-389.

2010. Meng. J. and Li, C.-K. New rodents from the earliest Eocene of Nei Mongol (Inner Mongolia), China. Vertebrata PalAsiatica, 48, 390-401.

2010. Wang, Y.-Q., J. Meng, K. Christopher BEARD, LI Qian, NI Xi-Jun, Daniel L. GEBO, BAI Bin, JIN Xun & LI Ping. Early Paleogene stratigraphic sequence, mammalian evolution and its response to the environmental change in Erlian Basin, Nei Mongol, China. Science China, Geology, 40, 1277-1286.

2010. Kraatz, B. P., J. Meng, M. Weksler, C.-K. Li. Evolutionary patterns in the dentition of Duplicidentata (Mammalia) and a novel trend in the molarization of premolars. PLoS ONE 5(9): e12838. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012838

2010. Li, Q. and J. Meng. Erlianomys combinatus, a primitive myodont rodent from the Eocene Ashanto Formation, Nuhetingboerhe, Nei Mongol, China. Vertebrata PalAsiatica.

2010. Bai, B. Y.-Q. Wang, and J. Meng.New Materials of Litolophus gobiensis (Perissodactyla, Eomoropidae) from Inner Mongolia, China, and Phylogenetic Analysis of Eocene Chalicotheres. American Museum Novitates.

2010. Sun J.-M., J. Ye, W.-Y. Wu, X.-J. Ni, S.-D. Bi, Z.-Q. Zhang, W.-M. Liu and J. Meng. Late Oligocene-Miocene mid-latitude aridification and wind patterns in the Asian interior. Geology 38, 515–518.

2010. Hu, Y.-M, J. Meng, Li C.-K., and Wang, Y.-Q. A New Basal Eutherian Mammal from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota, Liaoning, China. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 277: 229—236.

2010. Ni, X.-J., J. Meng, K. Christopher Beard, Y.-Q. Wang, D. L. Gebo, C.-K. Li. A new tarkadectine primate from Inner Mongolia, China. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 277: 247—256.

Teaching Experience

Faculty Appointments

  • Adjunct faculty, Biology Department, CUNY, 2000-present
  • Adjunct faculty, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, CUNY, 2000-present
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1996-1999
  • Visiting Lecturer, Vassar College, 1991

Courses Taught

  • Vertebrate Paleontology (one class) (RGGS)
  • Evolution (four classes) (RGGS)

Graduate Advisees

  • Matthew Mihlbacher, Geology, Columbia University
  • Bolorseteg Minjin, Earth and Environmental Sciences, CUNY
  • Hu Yaoming, Biology, CUNY

Graduate Committees

  • Kaori Tsukui - Columbia
  • Abagael West - RGGS
  • Aki Watanabe - RGGS
  • Maria Eugenia Leone Gold - RGGS
  • Chen Jianye - Columbia
  • Hongyu Yi - Columbia
  • Rei Pei - Columbia

Postdoctorial Advisor 

  • Brian Kraatz (AMNH fellowship)
  • Marcelo Weksler (NSF, AToL project)
  • Xijun Ni (2009, NSF grants)
  • Lucja Fostowicz-Frelik (T. Roosevelt, AMNH)
  • Olivier Maridet (IVPP, CAS)