Emma Bernard digs Jurassic fish

Emma Bernard, Curator of Fossil Fish at the Natural History Museum, has just taken part in the ‘Mission Jurassic’ excavations in Wyoming. These are a partnership between The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (project lead), with the Natural History Museum, the University of Manchester and Naturalis (Leiden).

A key part of the programme was to document the geology and all fossils, not just the dinosaurs, and Emma was there to keep an eye on this wider range of finds. Emma completed the MSc in Palaeobiology in Bristol in 2007, and did a variety of jobs before getting the Curator position.

As she reports on her NHM web page, “I participate and lead in a number of outreach events every year, such as the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival. I regularly take part in collection enhancing fieldwork all around the world; America, Morocco, France and have lead field teams to various localities within the UK.” Here she is leaving the BBC (yet again) after a live interview on Radio 5 about the recent dig.

Joe Bonsor on Mission Jurassic

In a recent excavation in the Morrison Formation in Wyoming, former Bristol MSc students, Joe Bonsor has been a key participant. This is the ‘Mission Jurassic’ enterprise between the Natural History Museum and the Children’s Science Museum in Indianapolis. Joe completed the MSc in 2010, and is currently completing a PhD on ‘The taxonomy and phylogeny of the Wealden iguanodontian dinosaurs’ jointly between University of Bath and the Natural History Museum. With his PhD supervisor, Dr Susie Maidment, Joe has had the adventure of his life, excavating classic dinosaurs and speaking to the press. Joe loved every minute of it and all the recent press interest ‘makes him want to go back!’

Read more on the special BBC web page.

Former student Amy Ball publishes her first book

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.

Adam Smith reaches another level in curatorial career

Congratulations to Adam Smith, curator of natural sciences, Nottingham City Council, who completed the MSc in Palaeobiology in 2003, and a PhD on plesiosaurs, in Dublin, in 2007. Adam has just been awarded a share of a grant of £200,000 awarded to seven curators in various museums around the country. His proposal is to research and display the museum’s nationally significant herbarium collection.

The Headley Fellowships with Art Fund is designed to help curators take time away from their day-to-day responsibilities to carry out in-depth research into their museum’s collection. The funding is linked to the ongoing decline in public spending on museums and galleries in England, which has fallen 13% in real terms over the past decade.

During his time in Nottingham, Adam has staged several highly successful exhibitions, including a massive exhibition in 2017 and 2018 on Chinese dinosaurs.

More details of the award are here.

Here is Adam, hiding down at bottom left (green trousers), behind Chris Packham, who opened the dinosaur exhibition in 2017.

 

New article about MSc graduate Emma Schachner

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.

http://www.tedxlsu.com/the-scoop/how-evolutionary-biologist-emma-schachner-is-helping-explain-the-rise-of-the-dinosaurs?fbclid=IwAR0jjqlUTgqyeAt0StjEHBzSB2-L4VeCw_fMEfEJRrtceT2dmfYNVlfxJ1Y

Antonio Ballell Mayoral wins Geologists’ Association MSc Prize

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.