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the newest dino doc: Brenda Chinnery, Ph.D.
I am happy to publically announce that we vertebrate paleo Ph.D.s have a new
member to our ranks. On Friday Brenda Chinnery successfully defended her
dissertation on the evolutionary and ontogenetic implicaitons of postcranial
morphometrics of ceratopsian dinosaurs. Congrats to Dr. Chinnery!
Among the dinosaur folks in attendance were Dave Weishampel (her primary
advisor), Peter Dodson, Ralph Chapman (who were on her committee), myself,
Tom Lipka, Linda Deck, and Weishampel's current students (about whom you
will here more in the future). Also, various non-dinosaurian
paleontologists were also present.
Brenda examined differences between taxa and within taxa having to due with
shape changes. Growth is a major factor in controlling these features, but
phylogeny plays a major role as well. Among the unusual discoveries was
that _Udanoceratops_ is weird: in some features it is postcranially more
like the bipedal _Psittacosaurus_ than like other basal neoceratopsians.
Best audience comment of the day was from Ralph Chapman, who stated that as
far as our reliablity in reconstructing osteology goes, "dinosaur ribs
suck". (In other words, they tend to get distorted so that it is difficult
to place them overall in a proper orientation).
Again, congratulations to Dr. Chinnery!
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Department of Geology Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland College Park Scholars
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: 301-405-4084 Email: email@example.com
Fax (Geol): 301-314-9661 Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796