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Judy Scotchmoor, Assistant Director of Education and Public Programs Emerita was honored with the Pojeta Award from the Paleo Society in September 2016. The award recognizes exceptional professional or public service by individuals or groups in the field of paleontology above and beyond that of existing formal roles or responsibilities.
Emily Lindsey started a new position as the Assistant Curator and Excavation Site Director at the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum.
Allison Stegner began a new postdoctoral position in the at University of Wisconsin, Madison where she will be researching abrupt ecological change in the 21st century.
Susumu Tomiya accepted a new postdoctoral position in the Department of Anatomy, Des Moines University, Des Moines, Iowa.
Student Awards, Honors and Updates
UCMP graduate students continue to shine as they receive awards, honors, and recognition for their research and public service. Through earnings from UCMP endowments, we are pleased to support graduate student training, research and fieldwork. We offer our congratulations to recipients of the 2016-17 UCMP fellowships, research, and travel awards, and to the many other ways in which UCMP graduate students have been honored.
Jeffrey Benca received a UCMP Fellowship supported by the Annie Alexander Fund to continue experimental studies testing how lycopsids respond to elevated ultraviolet-B radiation exposure. His research is evaluating the plausibility of ozone-weakening as a major driver in the collapse of the Earth's terrestrial biota in response to the end-Permian Siberian Trap volcanism.
Dori Contreras' dissertation research continues to take her to New Mexico for field sampling and census projects in Cretaceous plant assemblages in the McRae Formation of New Mexico. In addition to support from UCMP, Dori also received the George D. Louderback Award, for outstanding scholarship, excellence in research and contributions to the Department Community.
Sara ElShafie received support from the Anthony P. Barnosky Fund to visit critical collections at the Field Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian NMNH and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in support of preliminary analyses of body size and ecology changes in fossil lizards and crocodilians during climate transistions. In the spring, Sara also organized a special artist talk from the Story Department at Pixar Animation Studios to discuss storytelling techniques and how they can be applied in science communication.
Tesla Monson received UCMP support to visit and survey the extensive extant primate collections at the Smithsonian NMNH for additional data collection on 10 Artiodactyla families. She presented part of her dissertation research at the International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology in Maryland. In 2016 she also received the Jerry O. Wolff Fellowship from the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Continuing her data collection, Tesla spent five weeks in Ethiopia looking at Pleistocene primate fossils at the National Museum in Addis Ababa.
Emily Orzechowski received a UCMP Fellowship (from the Annie Alexander Fund) and a Bill Berry Fund award to continue her research on controlled temperature and isotopic analyses of the gastropod Callinax biplicata for use in Quaternary paleotemperature and paleoenvironmental reconstructions in California. She was also honored with the Winifred Goldring Award from the Association of Women Geoscientists and the Paleontological Society in 2016.
Camilla Souto received a UCMP Fellowship from the Annie Alexander Fund to continue her research on irregular echinoids, Cassiduloida and Spatangoida. In summer and fall 2016 Camilla visited numerous museum collections in Europe including natural history museums in London, Paris, Leiden, Berlin and Vienna in support of her research. She also participated in the 3rd Latin-American Echonoderm Conference, where she presented on work with fellow Marshall Lab student Lucy Chang estimating echinoid diversity using data from large databases.
Nick Spano was interviewed for a Time magazine article/obituary: Remembering the Holocene Epoch (August 2016, http://time.com/4471327/holocene-epoch-end-anthropocene). He spoke about changes in climate and species variation that help to define the end of the Holocene and beginning of the Anthropocene.
Larry Taylor received support from the UCMP Kellog Fund to conduct isotopic analysis of modern barnacles from the California Academy of Sciences. This work is part of his dissertation research documenting the migratory behavior of mysticete cetaceans by reconstructing their migration routes through isotopic analysis of fossil coronulid barnacles.
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