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.

Morphology and Ontogeny of Palaeocastor peninsulatus


I am interested in burrowing rodents and Arikareean faunas of Montana. As a consequence, I have worked on the palaeocastorine fauna (burrowing beavers) from the Fort Logan Formation (Montana). This fauna includes at least three different taxa. My work has focused on one of these: Palaeocastor peninsulatus. This animal was previously known only from Oregon. The material available from the Fort Logan Formation of Montana includes a juvenile, a sub-adult and an adult. These fossils curated at the University of Washington Burke Museum of Natural History include numerous elements of the post-cranial skeleton giving us an insight into the development of P. peninsulatus, its morphology and paleoecology.

This article is available online. It was mentioned and summarized on the UW BioGrad blog.

Calede, J. 2014. Skeletal morphology of Palaeocastor peninsulatus (Rodentia, Castoridae) from the Fort Logan Formation of Montana (Early Arikareean): ontogenetic and paleoecological interpretations. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 21: 223-241.

Morphology and Ontogeny of Alphagaulus pristinus


My undergraduate research project at the University of Oregon (during an exchange program) focused on understanding changes in morphology during ontogeny in the poorly known Alphagaulus pristinus described in 1903 by Douglass on the basis of a single isolated partial jaw.

The results of this research were presented at the SVP annual meeting in 2008 and are published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Calede, J., and Hopkins, S.S.B. 2012. New material of Alphagaulus pristinus (Mammalia: Rodentia: Mylagaulidae) from the Deep River Formation (Montana, USA): implications for ecology, ontogeny, and phylogeny. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 32:151–165.
Access to article

Collaborator: Samantha Hopkins