Congratulations to Sam Coatham who has published his MSc research on Titanichthys – a giant armoured fish that lived in the seas of the late Devonian. Sam’s work has shown that Titanichthys fed in a similar manner to modern day basking sharks. The research has attracted lots of media attention. You can read a summary here and the original paper here. Image by Mark Witton.
Well done to all the MSc students who graduated this week! A special mention goes to Oliver Demuth, who won both the David Dineley Prize for the best MSc thesis in the class and also the Geologists Association Curry Prize for an outstanding MSc thesis in an Earth Science subject. Oliver is pictured here receiving the David Dineley Prize from Head of School Rich Pancost.
Congratulations to Sophie Kendall (left) and Chloe Todd (right) who have both published their MSc research.
Chloe’s project looked at the effect of the late Pliocene environment, when carbon dioxide levels were similar to today, on the size and weight of planktonic foraminifera. Her paper is published in Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology and you can read it here. Chloe is now doing a PhD in Southampton.
Sophie used CT data to study morphological plasticity during the development of the first planktonic foraminifera. Her study is published in the Journal of Micropalaeontology and is available here. Some of her reconstructions are below.
Congratulations to MSc graduate Amy Ball, who has just published her first book, The Rocking Book of Rocks. The book written with Florence Bullough and illustrated by Anna Alanka is published by Wide-Eyed Editions and is aimed at children aged 8-11. You can find out more about the book here. Amy currently works as the Education Officer for the Geological Society of London.
Msc students regularly volunteer for projects at Bristol City Museum, which is next door to the School. This year the students are working to curate and catalogue the historic collections of E.T. Higgins – mostly Rhaetic material from the classic local site of Aust Cliff. The students are gaining invaluable curation skills from the Curator of Geology (and former MSc student) Debs Hutchinson.
Congratulations to Rob Brocklehurst for publishing the first paper from his MSc project. This looks at the differences between the cranial muscles of fish that feed by suction feeding and those that feed by biting. The paper is published in the Journal of Anatomy.
Many congratulations to Neil Adams for publishing his MSc thesis on competition between rodents and extinct multituberculate mammals. The paper is published in Royal Society Open Science and you can read it here.
Congratulations to all of the Palaeobiology MSc students who graduated today! Special congratulations go to Jodie Murphy who won the David Dineley Prize, which is awarded annually to the student with the best MSc thesis of the cohort. Jodie won for her outstanding thesis on ‘The distribution of homoplasy in morphological datasets’.
Congratulations to Richie Howard who has published his MSc project on the evolution and terrestrialization of scorpions. Richie, who is now a PhD student in Exeter has published his findings in the journal Organisms, Diversity & Evolution and it is available open access here:
Here’s one of our great Bristol MSc in Palaeobiology graduates Emma Schachner, surveying her very successful career so far. As she says, The Bristol MSc ‘was like boot camp for paleontology. They throw you in the deep end and see if you can sink or swim. I loved it, and then came back to the US for my PhD.’ She is now a Professor at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, where she uses her palaeontological skills, combined with remarkable artistic skills, and a love of vertebrate anatomy to study questions about the evolution of physiology and the origin of the dinosaurs.
Congratulations to Antonio Ballell Mayoral who has won the Geologist’s Association’s Curry MSc Prize. This award is for the best MSc thesis in the country on an Earth Science topic and has a £1000 prize. Antonio won for his thesis on morphofunctional trends in Crocodylomorpha. Antonio is the third Bristol Palaeobiology student to win this prize after Nick Crumpton in 2010 and Karina Vanadzina in 2017.