After completing her Ph.D. in the Department of Geological Sciences at UT Austin, it seemed that no occupation could be quite as challenging or exciting as hunting for calcified demosponges (sclerosponges) in the Caribbean. She was mistaken. Fascinated by the wealth of fossil material in the collections, she was infected by a strong desire to develop some way to make the collections more accessible to everyone else. This involves making them accessible both for research, exhibit, and education. Her own current paleontological research interests involve relationships between organisms and what can be learned from their patterns of growth, especially within reef environments. She is particularly interested in sponges and rudist bivalves. This research involves fieldwork and study of specimens already in the collections.
Conservator and Research Assistant
RF’s provide an important resource for NPL. Their ongoing research may add to the collection, or may increase the use of the current holdings. They also help keep the taxonomic designations current within their areas of expertise.
They are listed below, alphabetically.
Dee Ann Cooper
Dr. Roger W. Cooper
Christopher Garvie (B.S.)
Christopher Garvie read mathematics at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and his professional career lies in the development of scientific and industrial real-time software and systems. He has had an extended interest in both vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology since 1971, with recent emphasis on Gulf Coast molluscan faunas of the late Cretaceous through early Eocene, particularly the Turridae (six papers to date). He is helping the NPL staff curate and identify their specimens, but still manages to find time for family, classical music and the visual arts! Chris is one of the research fellows of NPL and in 2006 he was awarded the prestigious Strimple Award from the Paleontological Society. He also received scholarship support from the Paleontological Society of Austin to present his research at the malacological meetings in Belgium 2007. In 2008 Chris was honored for his research contributions by the Paleontological Research Institute (PRI) with the Katherine Palmer Award.
Dr. Brenda L.Kirkland
Mississippi State University
Dr. Hannes Loeser
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Geologia, Mexico
“I work primary on Mesozoic Coral Taxonomy with a certain focus on Late Jurassic to Paleogene. Taxonomy is more tool to understand evolution and reaction to changing environmental conditions. I am working much with database and mathematical methods and I am writing most software I use by myself (with Delphi).”
North Carolina Fossil Club
Dr. Charles Newsom
University of Iowa-emeritus
Iowa City, IA
Dr. Chris L. Schneider
DevonianSolutions.com and University of Alberta, CA
Chris worked as a graduate research assistant at NPL for several semesters. She was involved in integrating the Mesozoic collection of Keith Young and inventorying part of the Paleozoic collection – her favorite time zone! She also worked with a group of high school students in the Heart project. This was a projectt to introduce paleontology to high school students, involving them both in the collections and in field work during their summer semester. Chris graduated with her Ph.D. on the paleoecology of the Winchell Formation in north-central Texas. She has been involved in various research positions since then and is currently at the University of Alberta, Canada.
Dr. Robert W. Scott
Precision Stratigraphy Associates & The University of Tulsa
Dr. James Sprinkle
University of Texas-emeritus
Dr. Louis Zachos
University of Mississippi
Louis Zachos, a geologist by training and a paleontologist by habit, is interested in the Tertiary echinoids of the Gulf coast. He worked his way slowly through NPL’s Tertiary collections, seeking the echinoids hidden there. He came across so many interesting fossils that he has decided to inventory the collections while he was at it. Louis Zachos is a prolific worker. As volunteer (noted above) and later research fellow he inventoried the entire Tertiary collection at NPL. His last task as a graduate student was to develop the protocols for imaging the type specimens in the NPL collection. A project funded by NSF. His primary interest is in Tertiary non-vertebrate faunas, particularly the echinoids (sea urchins, sand dollars, and similar spiny organisms). After gaining his doctorate at the Jackson School of Geosciences on the subject of theoretical morphology of echinoids he accepted a position at the University of Mississippi,’Ole Miss’. In his spare time he paddles one of his trusty kayaks up and down Texas rivers in an attempt to trace the routes taken by R.A.F. Penrose, E.T. Dumble, and R.T. Hill on their river explorations of the late 1800’s and develop mobile filed trip applications. Also see: “The Search for Devil’s Eye”
Dr. Sarah Zellers
University of Central Missouri
Sally Zellers is now a Research Fellow who is interested in understanding glaciomarine sediments by examining foraminiferal faunas associated with them. Currently she is working on characterizing Recent foraminifera in Yakutat and Disenchantment Bays in Alaska. She is relying heavily on picked and identified reference collections of Neogene and Recent Alaskan foraminifera in the NPL collections. Another upcoming project is to use foraminiferal assemblages to test seismic stratigraphic interpretations of glaciomarine sequences on the Alaskan continental shelf. In addition to this research, Sally enjoys teaching undergraduate classes in Geology, Stratigraphy, and Meteorology at Central Missouri State University where she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology and Earth Science.
Research Assistants, Interns & Volunteers
Click here for information about becoming a research assistant, intern or volunteer.