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Faculty Updates

A two-volume set of transcribed interviews of Bill Clemens and his former students were presented to Bill during UCMP's weekly "Fossil Coffee" seminar at the end of the spring semester. The Clemens Oral History volumes include interviews from Bill's students and colleagues including Bill's first PhD Student Jay Lillegraven (Univ. of Wyoming) at Univ. of Kansas to his last Greg Wilson (Univ. of Washington) at UC Berkeley. Paul Burnett of the Bancroft Library's Oral History Center was the interviewer and lead archivist on the project. At Fossil Coffee, he provided an overview of the project's uniqueness while previewing videos of both Bill and the interviewees. In the near future, the video transcriptions and excerpts of videos will be hosted on the UCMP website. We thank Bill, the Clemens family, and the many donors who generously contributed to the project.

Bill Clemens 2009

Bill Clemens circa 2009.

Seth Finnegan was recently awarded a new NSF grant: Pleistocene to Recent Environments and Species Distributions on the California Coast together with UCMP Postdoctoral Scholar Jessica Bean.

Charles Marshall continues to challenge the biological community to properly integrate our paleontological knowledge into their analyses of current biodiversity, most recently with a paper entitled "Five paleobiological laws needed to understand the evolution of the living biota", published in Nature Ecology and Evolution (2017; 1: 0165).

Cindy Looy received a new NSF Collaborative Research grant entitled: A Unique Window into the Ecology of Cretaceous Forests during the Rise of Angiosperms. The grant will further the research of Cindy and graduate student Dori Contreras on exceptionally preserved fossil floras. The grant will also support a new public exhibit on the 2nd floor of the Valley Life Sciences Building.

Julia Sigwart and Afifah johor identifies molluscs Cymbiola nobilis Group photo in Malaysia

Dr Julia Sigwart (UCMP) and Nurulafifah binti Yahya (Universiti Malaysia Terengganu) discuss the identification of a mollusc; the Noble Volute, Cymbiola nobilis, among seagrass; Mollusc Taxonomy Workshop group photograph, instructors Dr Chong Chen (JAMSTEC, 6th from left), Dr Julia Sigwart (UCMP, centre), and Dr Leena Wong (far right)

Jerre Lipps and Prof. Nigam's Lab Jerre Lipps with his hosts from Pune Univ. at Deccan trap 5

Jere with Professor R. Nigam and his students in their lab complex at the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India. Jere with his hosts from Pune University at outcrops of the Deccan Traps.

At the southern tip of peninsular Malaysia, a sea grass meadow and world marine biodiversity mega hotspot, Julia Sigwart (UCMP Visiting Scholar) and colleaguesfrom Malaysia and Japan recently led a training workshop in molluscan taxonomy. Participants included graduate students and junior faculty from universities across Malaysia and Singapore, as well as several members of an environmental kids club that is developing ecotourism with local youth.

During February and March, Curator and Professor Emeritus Jere Lipps gave six lectures, from "PaleoParks", extinctions, and astrobiology at universities, institutes and paleontological laboratories in India. He spoke at the annual meeting of the Palaeontological Society of India at the Wadia Institute for Himalayan Geology in Dehradun, at the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences in Lucknow, in Varanasi at the Baranasi Hindu University, at Pune University, and the National Institute of Oceanography in Goa where he also visited Professor R. Nigam, an acclaimed micropaleontologist, and his students and post-docs. While in Pune, he also visited the Deccan site.

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