UCMP Profiles
Mark Goodwin: Path to UCMP (cont.)
While he was working at Harvard, a job opened up at UCMP for a fossil preparator—someone to prepare fossils for research, teaching and exhibits. Goodwin had never been to the San Francisco Bay Area before, but on the advice of a former college roommate living in the area he flew out for an interview. By the end of the week UCMP had offered him the job.

Goodwin finished his bachelor’s degree at UC Berkeley while working as a preparator in UCMP. He then went to Montana with Dr. Bill Clemens. Goodwin helped Clemens’s graduate students collect specimens while formulating and answering a number of his own questions about the fauna. With the results of this research, Goodwin earned his master’s degree. This field work also initiated a long-term collaboration that has spanned over two decades. Goodwin has worked with Clemens and others in various localities from the freezing North Slope of Alaska to the Blue Nile Gorge in Ethiopia.

Goodwin in Ethiopia
Goodwin (left) in Ethiopia with colleagues Chuck Schaff, Howard Hutchison, and C.B. Wood.

Changing roles at UCMP
“When I first went out there,” says Goodwin, “I was younger than most of the graduate students.”

After earning his master’s degree, Goodwin continued working at UCMP, focusing on research and collections, now as a Museum Scientist. He focused his research efforts on the topic of bone development in dome-headed pachycephalosaurs and Triceratops.


Back to school
After a long break from formal academic training, Goodwin returned to graduate school and completed his Ph.D. in Geology at the University of California, Davis in 2008, with a focus on stable isotope geochemistry and diagenesis in fossil bioapatite.

Future directions
Research in stable isotope geochemistry addressing questions related to the paleobiology and paleoecology of vertebrate paleocommunites through time. The identification of elemental changes that occur with fossilization and how this effects the preservation of an original biogeochemical signal in fossils and fossilization in general. Continued research in the evolution and paleobiology of dinosaurs from the Late Cretaceous of Montana and further exploration of the Mesozoic of Ethiopia, searching for new Gondwanan localities in hopes of learning more about the evolution and paleogeography of these assemblages.

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