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Monthly Meetings

The Delaware Valley Paleontological Society
September's Monthly Program
The Academy of Natural Sciences, Thursday, September 28th, 7:30 PM

  September’s Program

    Our speaker for September’s DVPS Meeting, Thursday evening, September 28th is Aja Carter.  Aja was awarded the 2017 Paul Bond Scholarship by DVPS.

            Aja is a 4th year PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania.  Her work is primarily focused on how shape informs movement and through those relationships how we can infer movement of ancient animals.  She’s interested in how the ability to cross over obstacles in our path evolved, especially for animals who were first coming on to land.  Her first project quantified shape diversity in a group of ancient amphibians, the Temnospondyls.  Her second project looked at how a basal fish, the Senegalese bichir, crossed over obstacles.  Her last project that she’ll be talking about the most is using biomimetic models to investigate in 3D space vertebral columns of different early tetrapods  from the Carboniferous.

            Vertebral size, shape, and total vertebral numbers correlate with ecology, feeding mechanics, and locomotor type in modern vertebrates.  However, we aren’t sure if these relationships hold up in the fossil record.  The types of vertebrae that exist today are minimal (mainly 2 types).  In the ancient world, there were about 10 vertebral types.  Changes in the vertebral column appear to have been critical for tetrapods invading new habitats.  This talk is going to be about her attempts in establishing patterns for vertebral form-function using some geometric morphometrics and biomimetic robotics.

Aja’s talk is titled, “Ancient amphibians, robots and the evolution of not falling”.

Meetings are generally held on the fourth Thursday of each month from September through June in the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (except for November and December when the meetings are held on the third Thursday of those months). There are no meetings during the months of July and August. All meetings begin at 7:30 pm. The 19th Street entrance must be used to access the museum. Meetings are free and open to the general public. Attendees are encouraged to bring recent finds, fossils of interest, and new acquisitions for "show and tell".  
In case of inclement weather or for directions, check the website at: www.ansp.org or call 215-299-1000 Academy of Natural Science Main Desk (during normal business hours) or 215-299-1019 (19th Street Entrance Desk after hours) or use your best judgement.

Address for Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University:  1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103

1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy

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DVPS meeting dates for the 2017-2018 year:
September 28th

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