Friday, January 11, 2013
After organizing the first (hopefully annual) workshop for the Media Liaison Committee of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology this past fall at the 2012 SVP meeting in Raleigh, NC, I have realized the importance of new'er' types of social media to reaching broader audiences in science. So, I am re-energizing my efforts to start blogging and using twitter more to raise more awareness of my research, evolutionary biology, conservation biology, herpetology, ichthyology, and science in general. Before I begin delving into the world of fossil sharks, turtles, and other extinct and extant organisms, let me update any readers on who I am, and why anyone should be reading along! My name is Dana Ehret, I earned my doctorate from the University of Florida in 2010 where I worked on fossil shark (Carcharodon and Carcharocles mostly), turtles (including a new species of Graptemys and a review of fossil Malaclemys), and tortoises (including Gopherus and Stylemys). Most of my fossil work has focused on taxonomy and skeletochronology. What is skeletochronology you may ask? It is the study of incremental growth marks (commonly called Marks of Skeletal Growth, MSG) as a way to age individual organisms. I have used this method to investigate growth in fossil tortoises, as well as, fossil sharks where I used these MSG's to investigate the macroevolution of body size in the mega-toothed sharks (but more on that to come). Upon graduating from UF, I took a position as Instructor of Biology at Monmouth University in New Jersey where I taught Introduction to Biodiversity and Evolution, Zoology, and Conservation Biology for a year and a half. While at Monmouth, I started a project looking at diamond-backed terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin terrapin) in Monmouth County, NJ and worked on a project concerning fossil box turtles (Terrapene) from the Pliocene of Florida. Starting this month, I will be starting as the new Curator of Paleontology of the Alabama Museum of Natural History at the University of Alabama. I will be using this blog to discuss my own research, as well as, discuss other work at the Alabama Museum and other scientific topics that pique my interest. So, Welcome!