Dr. Thomas Hegna grew up in western Iowa and attended the University of Iowa where he fell in love with invertebrate paleontology. He graduated in the spring of 2004 with honors and high distinction in Geoscience (B.S.) with minors in English and Philosophy.
Dr. Hegna stayed at the University of Iowa for his M.S., graduating in the fall of 2006 after completing a project on the systematics and phylogeny of a fauna of upper Cambrian trilobites. He then moved on to Yale University where he completed his thesis on branchiopod crustacean phylogeny and their fossil record in the spring of 2012. He has been teaching at Western Illinois University since the fall of 2011. He continues to study both the fossil record of trilobites and early crustaceans.