Meet The Lab

Dr. Laura E. Wilson

Associate Professor, Department of Geosciences
Curator of Paleontology, Sternberg Museum of Natural History
Fort Hays State University
Phone: (785) 628-4963
Email: lewilson6@fhsu.edu
Twitter: @LEW999

Ph.D. University of Colorado, Boulder. Geological Sciences, 2012
Thesis: Paleobiology of hesperornithiforms (Aves) from the Campanian Western Interior Seaway of North America, with analysis of extant penguin bone histology

M.S. Montana State University. Earth Sciences, 2006
Thesis: Comparative taphonomy and paleoecological reconstruction of two microvertebrate accumulations from the lower Hell Creek Formation (late Maastrichtian), Garfield County, Montana

B.S. Washington and Lee University. Geology, 2003
Thesis: Taphonomy and depositional setting of a Tyrannosaurus rex quarry from the Hell Creek Formation (Late Maastrichtian), eastern Montana


Current Graduate Students

AMMP 2019
Current and alumni lab members at the 2019 Association for Materials and Methods in Paleontology annual meeting hosted at Fort Hays State University, Sternberg Museum of Natural History.

Richard Carr
M.S. Student, Department of Geosciences
Thesis: The Anatomy and Phylogeny of a New Large Plioplatecarpine Mosasaur from the Campanian Bearpaw Shale of Montana (USA)

Shyla Davison
M.S. Student, Department of Geosciences
Project: Collection Management

Matthew Eads
M.S. Student, Department of Geosciences
Project: Photogrammetry and prep lab management

Pike Holman
M.S. Student, Department of Geosciences
Thesis: Plesiosaur ontogeny

Amber Michels
M.S. Student, Department of Geosciences
Thesis: Trophic ecology of actinopterygians from the Western Interior Seaway

Alec Zaborniak
M.S. Student, Department of Geosciences
Thesis: Mosasauridae distribution throughout the Western Interior Seaway


Lab Alumni

Blake Chapman
M.S. Student, Department of Geosciences, 2021
Thesis: Determining the habitat and community controls on Hesperornis (Aves: Hesperornithiformes) distribution in the Western Interior Seaway through occupancy modeling

Tom Buskuskie
M.S. Student, Department of Geosciences, 2021
Project: Osteohistology of Niobrarasaurus colei

Tia Ruppert
M.S. Student, Department of Geosciences, 2021
Project: Fossil Prep Lab Manager

Hillary Cypress-McLean, M.S. Geosciences, 2020
M.S. Student, Department of Geosciences
Project: Prep lab management

Melissa Macias, M.S. Geosciences, 2020
Project: Timing and patterns of sloth diversification in North America

Chase Shelburne, M.S. Geosciences 2020
Thesis: Analyzing convergent evolution in the feeding structure of Xiphactinus audax and Megalops atlanticus using landmark-based geometric morphometrics

Katharine Rivers, M.S. Geosciences, 2019
Project: Adult museum education

Trevor Williams, M.S. Geosciences, 2019
Project: Museum education

Cyrus Green, M.S. Geosciences, 2018
Thesis: Long bone histology and skeletochronology of an ontogenetic series of Clidastes (Squamata: Mosasauridae)

Kent Isaacson, M.S. Geosciences, 2018
Project: Museum exhibit design

Jessica Barnett, M.S. Geosciences, 2017
Project: Development of fossil preparation protocol for the Sternberg Museum of Natural History

Darrah Jorgensen, M.S. Geosciences, 2017
Thesis: The Relationship Among Suture Complexity, Shell Form, and Stratigraphic Formation in Ammonites of the Western Interior Seaway

Kelsie Abrams, M.S. Geosciences, 2016
Thesis: Intra-cusp Microwear Variation in Teleoceras fossiger (Osborn, 1898), with Consideration of Masticatory Processes

Mackenzie Kirchner-Smith, M.S. Geosciences, 2015
Thesis: 3D Geometric Morphometrics in Modern and Extinct Foot-Propelled Diving Birds: An Evaluation of the Tarsometatarsus for Species Identification

Josh Fry, M.S. Geosciences, 2015
Thesis: Redescription of a Specimen of Pentaceratops (Ornithischia: Ceratopsidae) and Phylogenetic Evaluation of Five Referred Specimens from the Upper Cretaceous of New Mexico

Jason Hughes, B.S. Geosciences, 2014
Project: Taphonomic Process of the Minium and Jack Swayze Quarries Assessed on Teleoceras Limb Elements

Tessa Brewer, B.S. Geosciences, 2014
Thesis: Taphonomy of a Pleistocene fossil deposit from Pratt, Kansas

Elizabeth Deering, M.S. Geosciences, 2013
Thesis: Identification and Paleoecology of Mammoth Teeth from the Paleontology Collections at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Hays, Kansas