Welcome to our Spotlight Series!
We’re talking paleo-science with some paleo-people! Across this 5-part series, you’ll get to know some paleontologists as we interview them about their research and their lives as scientists.
Our theme for this series is Invertebrate Paleontology
Here on this blog post, we’ll collect information on our guests, ways you can find them on the internet, and some photos of what we discussed in the episodes!
We’ll be updating this post as we release our Spotlight episodes throughout September!
Dave is a PhD candidate at the University of Bristol. He studies Paleozoic predatory arthropods called eurypterids and is a creator and host of the podcast Palaeocast and its related science education projects!
Eurypterids are a group of ancient arthropods known commonly as “sea scorpions.” Dave is interested in how they used their eyes and claws to hunt prey in Paleozoic seas.
Adriane is a PhD candidate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She studies microscopic organisms called foraminifera and is a creator of the educational science website Time Scavengers.
Foraminifera are microscopic, hard-shelled aquatic protists (so, not technically invertebrates). Adriane uses them to explore how the ocean have evolved over the past ~20 million years.
Dr. Stigall is a professor at Ohio University and head of the Stigall Research Lab. She studies a group of very ancient shelled animals called brachiopods to investigate evolution and environmental change in the deep past.
Brachiopods are two-shelled animals that look a lot like bivalves (clams, oysters, etc.) from the outside, but are a totally different group with a totally different internal structure. They are rare in the modern world, but were incredibly diverse during the Paleozoic Era.
Dr. Mah is a research associate at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. He studies the evolution and diversity of sea stars (=starfish or Asteroidea), past and present!
Starfish are echinoderms with at least five arms around a central disk. They go back in the fossil record almost to the beginning of the Paleozoic Era, and have – and still do – come in an incredible diversity of looks and lifestyles.
Ranjeev is a PhD student at the University of Missouri who studies evidence of predation and parasitism on the shells of ancient bivalves.
Bivalves are a group of molluscs with two shells that contain a squishy inside, including all clams, mussels, oysters, and more. They come in an incredible array of shapes, sizes, and lifestyles, and have for many millions of years.
And that brings our Spotlight series to a close! If you enjoyed it, please let us know and maybe we’ll do more!
Comments, questions, likes, reviews, etc. are always appreciated!