Students attend paleontology conference in Arizona

Students of Fort Hays State University's Geosciences Department attended the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology's 65th annual meeting recently in Mesa, AZ.

Students who attended the conference are Adam Behlke, Hays graduate student; Kenichi Chikushi, Munakatagun, Japan, graduate student; Reira Konuki, Hokkaido, Japan, graduate student; John Rebar Jr., Franklinville, NJ, graduate student; Lydia Rinke, Grand Island, NE, junior; Kyle Valerio, Butler, PA, graduate student; and Willaim Wahl, Thermopolis, WY, graduate student.

Each student presented research projects with the authorization or co-authorization of the following professors, curators and alumni: Dr. Richard J. Zakrzewski, professor of geosciences and chief curator of the Sternberg Museum of Natural History; Mike Everhart, Greg Liggett, Bruce Schumacher and Kenshu Shimada, adjunct curators of vertebrate paleontology at the Sternberg Museum; and Gabe Bever, Takehito Ikejiri and Steven Wallace, FHSU alumni.

Rinke presented a poster, co-authored by Wahl, titled "Uses of Heating Elements to Gently and Cheaply Warm DMSO (dimethosulfoxide): Inexpensive Hotplates as Laboratory Tools." The presentation detailed an improvement in effectiveness of heating sediment to remove vertebrate specimens using low-cost candle hotplates.

Rebar presented a thesis poster, co-authored by Wahl, titled "Additional Postcranial Material of Heliscomys Vetus from the Early Oligocene of Wyoming." His presentation summarized recent research conducted on a fossil species of rodent, about which little was previously known.

Wahl co-authored two other presentations, "Phylogenetic Assessment of a Maniraptoran from the Morrison Formation" and "Revised Osteology of Supersaurus Viviane." Both relate to research and identification of specimens discovered in the Morrison Formation of east-central Wyoming.

Zakrzewski presentated his own paper, co-authored by Bever, titled "Microtids from the Fiene Local Fauna (Irvingtonian) of Smith County, Kansas," which combined research on specimens found at a Smith County site.

The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology has more than 2,000 members representing professionals, students, artists and others who are interested in vertebrate paleontology. The society's aim is to serve the common interests of all persons concerned with the study of vertebrate animals while paying close attention to the conservation and preservation of fossil sites.

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