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2006 news archive


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Judd Case is part of a team to discover a baby plesiosaur fossil in Antarctica Judd Case is part of a team to discover a baby plesiosaur fossil in Antarctica
December 22, 2006
On December 11, UCMP research associate Judd Case announced the discovery of a nearly-complete baby plesiosaur fossil, excavated from the harsh landscape of Vega Island, Antarctica. The skull was eroded away, but this rare find is in otherwise excellent shape, including preserved rib cartilage and gastroliths. This is only the latest in a series of Antarctic discoveries by Case.
Matt Wedel receives Fourth International Award in Palaeontology Research Paleonturology '06 Matt Wedel receives Fourth International Award in Palaeontology Research Paleonturology '06
December 14, 2006
Fundación Conjunto Paleontológico de Teruel-Dinópolis of Spain recognized UCMP graduate student Matt Wedel with the Fourth International Award in Palaeontology Research Paleonturology '06. The award, which includes a prize of 4,500 euros, is for Wedel's paper "Postcranial Skeletal Pneumaticity in Sauropods and Its Implications for Mass Estimates", published as a chapter in The Sauropods (UC Press).
UCMP Receives Funding for Understanding Science UCMP Receives Funding for Understanding Science
November 9, 2006
UCMP has received funding from the National Science Foundation under grant #EAR-0624436 to develop a freely accessible website that will provide an accurate portrayal of the nature of science, as well as tools for teaching associated concepts. Learn more about Understanding Science.
Randy Irmis awarded the Patterson Grant Randy Irmis awarded the Patterson Grant
November 3, 2006
In October 2006, at the 66th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Ottawa, Randy Irmis was awarded the Bryan Patterson Grant. This award, named in honor of Dr. Bryan Patterson, is to support student field work in vertebrate paleontology.
Bill Clemens awarded the Romer-Simpson Medal for his contributions to vertebrate paleontology Bill Clemens awarded the Romer-Simpson Medal for his contributions to vertebrate paleontology
November 1, 2006
In October 2006, at the 66th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Ottawa, Bill Clemens was awarded the Alfred S. Romer - George G. Simpson Medal. The medal is "for sustained and outstanding scholarly excellence and service to the discipline of vertebrate paleontology" and is the society's highest honor.
Jere Lipps awarded the 2006 International Joseph A. Cushman Award for Outstanding Achievement in Foraminiferal Research Jere Lipps awarded the 2006 International Joseph A. Cushman Award for Outstanding Achievement in Foraminiferal Research
November 1, 2006
The award was presented at the Cushman Award dinner and reception held at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Philadelphia on Tuesday evening, October 24, attended by over 200 paleontologists. Previous awardees include an international list of the outstanding foraminiferal workers of the past century. Jere was also named a Fellow of the Paleontological Society, an honor initiated in 2005 to recognize outstanding paleontologists in the Society.
UCMP receives renewal for The Paleontology Portal UCMP receives renewal for The Paleontology Portal
October 30, 2006
UCMP in collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History, the Paleontological Research Institution, Bloomsburg University, and the Yale Peabody Museum has received additional funding from the National Science Foundation under grant #EAR-0552969 to expand the already highly popular Paleontology Portal website. New features now include the expansion to Canada and Mexico, an RSS feed, the ability to submit sites for inclusion in the Famous Flora and Fauna section, and a special K-12 section. Keep your eye on http://www.paleoportal.org for additional features in the upcoming months.
Pyenson selected for presentation at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology press conference Pyenson selected for presentation at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology press conference
October 23, 2006
An abstract by UCMP grad student Nick Pyenson and Scripps Institution of Oceanography's Megan McKenna was selected to be presented at a press conference for the 66th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. The abstract is entitled "How did early toothed whales echolocate? An analysis of fossil and living species elucidates key transitions in the evolution of sound production."
Members of the UCMP and BNHM communities prominent at the 2006 California Science Education Conference Members of the UCMP and BNHM communities prominent at the 2006 California Science Education Conference
October 23, 2006
Dave Lindberg, UCMP Faculty Curator; Doris Sloan, UCMP Research Associate; and Brent Mishler, Director of the University and Jepson Herbaria were invited as Focus Speakers at this year's annual science education conference held in San Francisco and sponsored by the California Science Teachers Association (CSTA). Kevin Padian, UCMP Faculty Curator, and Eugenie Scott, UCMP Research Associate, received recognition as CSTA Faculty Fellows at the Awards Luncheon held during the conference.
Goodwin and Horner publish about major cranial changes during <i>Triceratops</i> ontogeny Goodwin and Horner publish about major cranial changes during Triceratops ontogeny
October 23, 2006
UCMP's Mark Goodwin and University of Montana's Jack Horner analyzed a growth series of 10 Triceratops skulls and documented significant changes in the frill, horns, and ornamental bones known as epoccipitals, as the animals aged. Among other changes, they determined that the postorbital horns of Triceratops curved posteriorly in juveniles, straightened in subadults, and recurved anteriorly in adults. This change in horn orientation is thought to function in display as a visual cue to other adults that the juveniles have reached sexual maturity. This work was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences and was widely reported in the popular press.
Hlusko receives a 4-year NSF grant to study the evolution of modularity in the dentition of Old World Monkeys Hlusko receives a 4-year NSF grant to study the evolution of modularity in the dentition of Old World Monkeys
September 5, 2006
Two fundamental questions in biology concern the relationship between genes and anatomy. How does the genotype effect the phenotype? And how has this relationship influenced morphological evolution as seen through the fossil record? In this project, we will test hypotheses about genetic correlations and investigate how these correlations evolved through time.
UCMP and the public understanding of science UCMP and the public understanding of science
August 1, 2006
UCMP is serving as the Program Office of a new collaborative project entitled the Coalition on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS). Through its programs, the COPUS network seeks to achieve its vision: Americans will be empowered to appreciate the pragmatic outcomes of science, to distinguish science from non-science, and to participate in social discourse that provides insight into the nature of science. For more information on COPUS, visit http://copusproject.org.
UCMP receives renewal for The Paleontology Portal UCMP receives renewal for The Paleontology Portal
July 15, 2006
UCMP in collaboration with the American Museum of Natural History, the Paleontological Research Institution, Bloomsburg University, and the Yale Peabody Museum has received additional funding from the National Science Foundation under grant # EAR-0552969 to expand the already highly popular Paleontology Portal website. New features will include the expansion to Canada and Mexico, an RSS feed, the ability to submit sites for inclusion in the Famous Flora and Fauna section, best practices modules in fossil preparation and management of fossil collections, and a special K-12 section. Keep your eye on http://www.paleoportal.org.
Mark Goodwin, Bill Clemens and Kevin Padian in the <i>Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology</i> with the smallest Triceratops skull Mark Goodwin, Bill Clemens and Kevin Padian in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology with the smallest Triceratops skull
July 14, 2006
The discovery of the smallest Triceratops skull (UCMP 154452) provides a new ontogenetic end member for the earliest stage of ceratopsid (Centrosaurinae plus Chasmosaurinae) cranial development.


Jere Lipps awarded the 2006 International Joseph A. Cushman Award for Outstanding Achievement in Foraminiferal Research
The award was presented at the Cushman Award dinner and reception held at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Philadelphia on Tuesday evening, October 24, attended by over 200 paleontologists. Previous awardees include an international list of the outstanding foraminiferal workers of the past century. Jere was also named a Fellow of the Paleontological Society, an honor initiated in 2005 to recognize outstanding paleontologists in the Society. (November 02, 2006)
Read more...

Bill Clemens awarded the Romer-Simpson Medal for his contributions to vertebrate paleontology
In October 2006, at the 66th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Ottawa, Bill Clemens was awarded the Alfred S. Romer - George G. Simpson Medal. The medal is "for sustained and outstanding scholarly excellence and service to the discipline of vertebrate paleontology" and is the society's highest honor. (November 02, 2006)
Read more...

Members of the UCMP and BNHM communities prominent at the 2006 California Science Education Conference
Brent Mishler, Director of the University and Jepson Herbaria; Dave Lindberg, UCMP Faculty Curator; and Doris Sloan, UCMP Research Associate were invited as Focus Speakers at this year's annual science education conference held in San Francisco and sponsored by the California Science Teachers Association (CSTA). Kevin Padian, UCMP Faculty Curator, and Eugenie Scott, UCMP Research Associate, received recognition as CSTA Faculty Fellows at the Awards Luncheon held during the conference. (October 23, 2006)
Read more...

Scotchmoor Receives AIBS Education Award
Judy Scotchmoor, Director of Education and Public Programs at the UC Museum of Paleontology and Project Coordinator of "Explorations Through Time" and "Understanding Evolution" is the 2006 recipient of the Education Award from the American Institute of Biological Sciences. The AIBS Education Award is presented annually to individuals or groups who have made significant contributions to education in the biological sciences, integrative and organismal biology in particular, at any level of formal and informal education. The award is presented at the AIBS Annual Meeting. (May 17, 2006)
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Barnosky Receives Grant from NSF to Study Species Richness in the American West
UCMP's Tony Barnosky has received a grant from the National Science Foundation of $270,000 for three years in order to establish a natural baseline of species richness in the American West. Establishing this baseline and examining patterns of species richness over time will allow us to better understand the human impact on this ecosystem. (April 24, 2006)
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UCMP Receives Supplement from NASA
UCMP has received notification of the success of the NASA Education and Public Outreach proposal (EPO) submitted as a supplement to the NASA research award entitled Evolutionary Dynamics of Planetary Biodiversity Gradients: Origin, Maintenance and Future of Latitudinal Trends. This award was granted to David Jablonski (University of Chicago), Kaustuv Roy (UC San Diego), and Jim Valentine (UCMP). Within our EPO project, we will develop a research profile and a global biodiversity module, which will be disseminated through the UCMP Understanding Evolution website ( http://evolution.berkeley.edu) in order to share the research with a broader audience. (April 24, 2006)
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UCMP Partners with New York Hall of Science
UCMP has received a subaward to a National Science Foundation grant awarded to the New York Hall of Science (NYHS), entitled Life Changes. UCMP will develop an online and reproducible Family Guide that will enhance and extend the visit to the Life Changes exhibits and will develop a web-based docent/explainer training manual on evolution by repackaging key components of the Understanding Evolution website. Martin Weiss (NYHS) is the Principal Investigator on the Life Changes project. (April 24, 2006)
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Lawsuit over Understanding Evolution Website Dismissed
On March 13, 2006 a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Roseville couple claiming that UCMP's Understanding Evolution website (http://evolution.berkeley.edu) uses evolution to promote religion. The case was dismissed on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacked standing, meaning that they could not demonstrate sufficient personal interest in the outcome of the case. (March 20, 2006)
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Understanding Evolution Updates -- March 2006
We continue to add new resources to the Understanding Evolution website. This month you can find out how DNA fingerprinting is being used to prosecute and exonerate the accused, and how this technique relies on the processes of mutation and genome evolution. Also, read about how Andy Ellington's investigations into the origins of life led him to techniques for evolving new cancer-fighting drugs in the laboratory. We've added a news brief, describing how a mutated zebrafish gene may help us understand human evolution and the genes underlying human skin color. And our new advanced evo-devo tutorial explains how the process of development can help us understand how some major evolutionary changes occurred and why others did not. (March 17, 2006)
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