UCMP’s summer adventures (cont.)

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localities in the Valley Lakes and also explored Paleocene and Eocene sites in the central Gobi Desert. Aside from a few vehicle problems, the work was successful and the fossiliferous fruits of this labor are expected to arrive at the UCMP sometime in October. Among the highlights are several early lagomorph (rabbits and their kin) jaws, a “reasonably nice” mesonychid (carnivorous animal that is possibly related to early whales) skull, a few great turtles, and lots of nice early tapirs.

Jane Mason joined Diane Erwin and Howard Schorn on a trip to investigate the possibilities of preserving a petrified forest. The three drove to Gerlach, NV, their base for the exploration of the George W. Lund Petrified Forest. Joining the group were BLM staff archaeologist, Regina Johnson, and digital map-maker, Laura Levy. The Lund, maintained by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is of particular interest because of the petrified remnants of huge trees that once formed a Miocene forest here. Jane experimented with consolidation techniques on stumps, which she described as large enough to “rival the conifers lining the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt State Park” (in northern California). They are hopeful that the techniques employed will slow the rate of erosion and allow the remnants of these Miocene giants to survive further into the Neogene.

Liz Perotti spent much of her summer in the Marin Headlands beneath the

  A petrified tree stump in the Lund Petrified Forest
One of the petrified tree stumps in the Lund Petrified Forest. Note the scissors on the stump for scale.

Golden Gate Bridge. Liz is studying how geologic history and evolution influence community ecology in the rocky intertidal, and so this summer provided an opportunity to collect field data. When she wasn’t in the field, she was preparing data for the two scientific conferences she attended. At the Society for the Study of Evolution meeting in Fairbanks, Alaska, Liz gave a talk presenting research undertaken with other graduate students in Integrative Biology, including UCMP grads Nat Hallinan and Jann Vendetti. Her next stop was the Ecological Society of America meeting in muggy Montreal, Canada where she presented the preliminary results from her dissertation research in the “Late-breaking and Newsworthy” poster session. This fall, Liz will continue to collect data and initiate a new project investigating the functional

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