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Tidbits, June 2015

Congratulations!
To the following on completion of their dissertation research and the earning of their Ph.D.s this spring and summer:

Jessie Atterholt (Lindberg and M. Wake Labs), A study of the influence of post-natal development on avian evolution

Elizabeth Ferrer (Padian Lab), The importance of phylogeny in temporal and regional diversity and disparity dynamics

Jenny Hofmeister (Caldwell Lab), The behavior and foraging ecology of key marine predators in California

Jenna Judge (Lindberg Lab), Patterns of specialization in the deep sea at the individual, ecosystem, and evolutionary level

Marwa Wafeeq
Marianne Brasil and Tesla Monson
Top: Marwa Wafeeq Ibrahim El-Faramawi. Photo by Diane Erwin. Bottom: Marianne Brasil and Tesla Monson at the WAVP in Turlock. Photo by Tesla Monson.
 
Welcome Marwa, a Visiting Research Scholar from Egypt
Marwa Wafeeq Ibrahim El-Faramawi's home institution is the Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt, where she is a lecturer in paleobotany. After receiving a bachelor's degree in botany, Marwa researched the life strategies in mosses for her Master's thesis and, for her Ph.D. dissertation, she studied the early Oligocene fossil wood flora of the Cairo Petrified Forest. After navigating through all the required procedures and with the help and support of UCMP Director Charles Marshall, Marwa started a one-year Visiting Research Scholar appointment in the UCMP in April. She will be working with Assistant Professor and Curator Cindy Looy and Senior Museum Scientist Diane Erwin and participating in several research projects, gaining hands-on experience working with museum collections, and learning about curatorial practices. Marwa has already begun one of the projects with Diane to re-study, review and investigate the fossil flora of the Moreno Formation. However, her research interests go beyond the study of fossil wood as she is eager to learn more about all other types of fossil plant specimens. Marwa is extremely happy, honored and proud to be part of the UCMP and UC Berkeley communities and the UCMP is delighted to be hosting her.

UCMP Education and Outreach Fund
The new UCMP Education and Outreach Fund ensures that UCMP education programs reach beyond the university to as broad an audience as possible. Inspired by the guidance and generosity of Assistant Director Emeritus Judy Scotchmoor, resources from the fund will support UCMP staff and students to be engaged in those efforts and maintain and expand effective educational programs and resources. These include the award-winning Understanding Evolution and Understanding Science websites. You can make a direct, charitable donation to the UCMP Education and Outreach Fund via Berkeley's secure Give to Cal website.

UCMP at the WAVP
UCMP was well represented at the Western Association of Vertebrate Paleontology conference at CSU Stanislaus in Turlock, CA, this past February. Oral presentations were given by grad students Marianne Brasil and Tesla Monson of the Hlusko Lab; UCMP Curator and Professor of Integrative Biology (IB) Kevin Padian; and UCMP Research Associate Ralph Molnar. A number of other past and present members of the UCMP community were coauthors on both oral presentations and posters. These included Curator and Associate Professor of IB Leslea Hlusko, Museum Scientist Emeritus J. Howard Hutchison, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at CSU Fullerton Jim Parham, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Oregon Samantha Hopkins.

New UCMP grant!
The UCMP has been awarded a new four-year NSF Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections program grant for "Documenting Fossil Marine Invertebrate Communities of the Eastern Pacific: Faunal Responses to Environmental Change over the last 66 million years." Collaborating institutions include the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, University of Washington, University of Oregon, the LA County Museum, the Museum of the Earth, and the Cooper Center.