My work was recently cited in a few different articles. For those of you interested in mylagaulid systematics (There might be some), Dr. William Korth just published the mylagaulid fauna from the Barstovian of New Mexico. He cited my work with Dr. Samantha Hopkins on Alphagaulus pristinus and the mylagaulids from the Great Basin.

Dr. Susumu Tomiya published his research on the link between body size and extinction probability (or lack thereof). He cited my article with Drs. Samantha Hopkins and Edward Davis on burrowing rodents diversity through time in the northern Great Basin. That same article was cited last year by Jardine et al. in their study of hypsodonty in small mammals.

Update 11/28/2014: Dr. Edward Davis and Brianna McHorse recently published an article on multivariate discriminant function analysis of camelid astragali and cited the work of Dr. Davis and I on antelope astragali.

Update 03/25/2014: A team of Argentinean scientists just published an article (available online) on the burrowing rodent Ctenomys citing my work on Palaeocastor peninsulatus and Alphagaulus pristinus.

Update 07/01/2014: Dr. Clara Stefen just published the description of a skull of Capacikala from the John Day Fossil Beds. She used the description of Palaeocastor peninsulatus I recently published.

Discoveries in Geosciences Field School

I just came back from NE Montana where I had the opportunity to help out Dr. Gregory Wilson, Lauren DeBey, and their crew for the 2013 Discoveries in Geosciences (DIG) field school. This year’s was the biggest ever with 20 teachers from Oregon, Washington, and Montana. The 4 day workshop was a success. The teachers will be able to go back to their classrooms ready to share great stories, new experiences, and content from the DIG box.

You can learn more about the DIG field school on their page on the Burke website, their website, by reading this article by Winifred Kehl, or by following them on Facebook.

1,000 words challenge

Tonight, the Burke museum is hosting their annual graduate student happy hour. This year, the museum and FOSEP encouraged graduate students and post-docs to describe their research using only the 1,000 most common words in the English language (using this text editor). Below is my attempt. It is really is quite a difficult task… I won the Burke Museum’s “Style” award for this presentation!

“I study what’s left of groups of hair-having animals that lived a really long time ago near where we live now. I study these groups of hair-having animals because they are more like the hair-having animals we have today than the hair-having animals that lived even longer ago. They are also interesting because they lived at a time when stuff was happening and it was getting warmer, then cooler, then warmer. Today, it’s getting warmer and warmer. If we understand what happened to these really old hair-having animals when stuff happened, we might be able to know stuff about the hair-having animals we have today.

How can we learn about stuff from these old hair-having animals? I find what’s left of the hair-having animals in rocks, give them a name, and put them in groups. I do that for different places that are kind of close to one another. I end up with many names and different groups for each place. Then I look at how different the groups and names are from one place to another. I want to know if some of these places shared animals with the same name or same groups.

I hope that by understanding how different hair-having animals are across the land and how that was coupled with stuff happening we can tell how those groups of animals were put together and worked as a team (in which your friends eat you and you die and end up in rock).”

You can read more of the presentation’s on FOSEP’s blog.

UW’s Biology department did particularly well at this challenge. Read a summary on SciPos.