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Student Awards, Honors & Updates

Jeffrey Benca has won this year's Louderback Award in paleontology. The Louderback Award is given annually to one or two students in paleontology and in Earth science. Recipients exemplify the values of scholarship, teaching and leadership set by the venerated Professor George D. Louderback. Jeff is implementing studies of living plants to test hypothesized drivers of mass extinctions and environmental changes in the deep past.

Lucy Chang completed her dissertation this summer and is now a Peter Buck Deep Time Postdoctoral Fellow, a two-year research fellowship with dedicated time for advancing science education at the Smithsonian. Her time will be split 75% research, 25% education with funds provided by the Smithsonian Deep Time Initiative. She will continue research tying morphology to patterns in origination and extinction using their incredible collection of Cretaceous ammonites.

Sara ElShafie was awarded the Charles A. and June R.P. Ross Graduate Student Research Award from the GSA, for research on the "effects of climate changes on the earth's inhabitants through geologic time." She received a Graduate Student Research Grant from the Evolving Earth Foundation and was selected to attend the National Communicating Science Conference, the "ComSciCon," in June.

Incoming graduate student, Sara Kahanamoku-Snelling was awarded a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. A 5-year award, Sara comes to the UCMP from Yale and will begin in fall 2017.

Lucy Chang at Fun with Fossils Tesla is PhinisheD

Adiel Klompmaker crab carapice Gypsum crystals Adiel Klompmaker and Rene Fraaije in Cyprus

Graduate student Lucy Chang at Cal Day. Photo by Jun Lim. Tesla is PhinisheD! Photo courtesy Tesla Monson. Next row: On the hunt for fossil decapod crustaceans: here an early Miocene fossil crab carapace (scale bar on top in mm) from SE Cyprus, late Miocene giant gypsum crystals from the so-called Messinian salinity crisis during which the Mediterranean dried up, Adiël Klompmaker and collaborator René Fraaije at a new Miocene outcrop in the central part yielding hundreds of fossil crabs.

Peter Kloess has a new paper in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimaology, Palaeoecology: Kloess, P. A., & Parham, J. F. (2017). "A specimen based approach to reconstructing the late Neogene seabird communities of California." Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 468, 473-484.

Jun Lim was awarded a graduate fellowship to do research at the Smithsonian NMNH this summer, and he spent part of the summer in the Hawaiian Islands looking at Pacific Piperaceae. Jun and Charles recently published a paper on the Hawaiian archipelago: Lim, Jun Y., and Marshall, Charles R., "The true tempo of evolutionary radiation and decline revealed on the Hawaiian archipelago." Nature 543 (7647) 2017: 710-7.

Tesla Monson is happy to report that she finished her PhD (on The Sequence of Postcanine Tooth Eruption in Mammals) in May and she will remain at UCB during the 2017-18 academic year as a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer.

Camilla Souto was invited to participate in the 2017 Bodega Applied Phylogenetics Workshop, offered by UC Davis and held at the Bodega Marine Lab. The workshop discussed topics in statistical Phylogenetics, and had 10 instructors and 33 students from all over the world. During the workshop she used her Cancer crabs' dataset but will also apply what she's learned to her echinoid dataset.

UCMP alum and Virginia Tech Assistant Professor Sterling Nesbitt has been awarded the Donath Medal (Young Scientist Award) from the Geological Society of America. He will receive the award at the GSA Annual Meeting in Seattle in October 2017.

Postdoctoral scholar Adiel Klompmaker recently received a Paleontological Society Arthur James Boucot research grant for early career (postdocs and assistant professors) for field work in Cyprus and collection-based research in the Netherlands, Austria, and Florida.