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Tidbits, May 2013

Calendar of
upcoming events

First Wednesday of each month
East Bay Science Cafe: On June 5, ESPM grad student Houston Wilson will be discussing Making red wine green: Using biodiversity to reduce pesticide use in vineyards. See the Science Cafe web page.

Mon-Fri, July 29-August 2, 2013
Think evolution V: A summer institute for science educators — Five fun-filled days of evolutionary explorations with biologists and educators at the University of California.

Mon-Thu, August 26-29, 2013
Evolution of continental food webs in the North American Western Interior across the K-Pg boundary — This workshop will bring together 15-20 experts in paleo-food web analysis and experts on Cretaceous-Paleogene terrestrial ecosystems.

To Lucy Chang who received recognition for her student poster at the 2013 International Biogeography Society meeting. Her poster was one of two winners in the Conservation and Global Change category.

To Jennifer Hofmeister who was recently awarded a Philomathia Scholars Graduate Fellowship of $20,000 for tuition, fees and/or stipend for the 2013-2014 academic year. This is a one-year award with the possibility of a second year of funding based on research progress.

To Emily Lindsey and her husband Martin on the birth of their new son, Christopher Darwin Lindsey Tomasz.

To Kevin Padian and Ellen-Thérèse Lamm of the Museum of the Rockies on the recently published Bone Histology of Fossil Tetrapods: Advancing Methods, Analysis, and Interpretation, the first comprehensive summary of the field of fossil bone histology; and to alum Andrew Lee and grad student Sarah Werning, two of the many contributors to the volume.

To Judy Scotchmoor on receipt of the 2013 Stephen Jay Gould Prize from the Society for the Study of Evolution and the Chancellor's Award for Public Service.

To Sarah Werning as the 2013 winner of the American Microscopical Society best student oral presentation competition at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. Her talk was entitled Osteohistological differences between marsupials and placental mammals reflect both growth rates and life history strategies; and to Jenna Judge, one of two students to receive an Honorable Mention. Her talk was entitled A 3D investigation of the morphology of the lepetellid limpets (Lepetella sierral): Hypotheses on feeding ecology and symbiosis.

Our student award winners
UCMP is fortunate to have received donations in the form of endowments from individuals dedicated to the support of graduate training and research, especially field work. Each year we use the earnings from these endowments to make research awards to our graduate students, and we are proud to announce this year's recipients and offer them congratulations: Tripti Bhattacharya, Lucy Chang, Dori Contreras, Elizabeth Ferrer, Jenny Hofmeister, Winnie Hsiung, Jenna Judge, Renske Kirchholtes, Rosemary Romero, and Susan Tremblay.

Our soon to be Ph.D.s!
Three UCMP grad students presented their finishing talks in April and will soon be starting the next phase of their professional careers. Congratulations to:

Theresa Grieco (Hlusko Lab) spoke on Adding anurans to our understanding of vertebrate dental development.

Joey Pakes (Caldwell/Lindberg Labs) spoke on Life in lightless underwater caves: A story of blind crustaceans and associated microbial communities.

Sarah Werning (Padian Lab) spoke on The evolution of growth and metabolic rates in archosaurs and mammals.

Welcome Minda Berbeco
Minda Berbeco, the Program and Policy Director at the National Center for Science Education, is our newest Museum Associate. An expert on the carbon cycle and the effect of climate change on agriculture, Minda joins the Understanding Global Change project as a research and writing contributor to the planned website.

Other news
• This August, Carole Hickman will be carrying the flag of the Society of Woman Geographers to the Tjörnes Seacliff Shellbeds of Northern Iceland. These beds are famous for documenting the Pliocene opening of the Bering Strait, the trans-Arctic invasion of Pacific marine species into the Atlantic, and a major global climate change event. The expedition will highlight the important UCMP collection of Tjörnes fossils collected in 1964 by David M. Hopkins of the U.S. Geological Survey. These fossils figured prominently in his book The Bering Land Bridge, a classic edited volume of papers on the history of Beringian landscapes and faunal and floral migrations. Sally Walker (UCMP Ph.D. 1988) and Doris Sloan (UCMP Curatorial Associate) will also be participants in the expedition. Previous women who have carried the SWG flag include Amelia Earhart, Margaret Mead, Eugenie Clark, Tanya Atwater, and Silvia Earle.

• Around 10,000 years ago, glyptodons (ancient, Volkswagon-sized armadillos) went extinct, along with many other large, South American mammals. But why? UCMP scientist Tony Barnosky just kicked off a scientific collaboration to find out. The group, which includes more than 20 researchers from all over the Americas and scientists of many stripes, from archaeologists to radiocarbon dating experts, just held their first meeting in March 2013 at the Center for Latin American Studies at Stanford University. The team will put together data from many different sources to narrow down the possible causes of the extinctions. Were they caused by climate change as the Earth exited the last ice age? Can we blame them on humans, who were arriving in South America at about the same time? Was there a destructive synergy between these two factors? Stay tuned to fine out! The group's work will continue for the next three years.