Meet The Lab

2013-11-01 10.31.11Dr. Laura E. Wilson 

Associate Professor, Department of Geosciences
Curator of Paleontology, Sternberg Museum of Natural History
Fort Hays State University
Phone: (785) 628-4963


Ph.D. University of Colorado, Boulder. 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. 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. 2003
Thesis: Taphonomy and depositional setting of a Tyrannosaurus rex quarry from the Hell Creek Formation (Late Maastrichtian), eastern Montana


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: New mosasaur from the Bearpaw Shale, Montana

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

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

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


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

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


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

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