Meet The Lab

Dr. Laura E. Wilson 
Assistant Professor, Department of Geosciences
Curator of Paleontology, Sternberg Museum of Natural History
Phone: (785) 639-6192

Ph.D. University of Colorado, Boulder. 2012
Thesis: Paleobiology of hesperornithiforms (Aves) from the Campanian Western Interior Seaway of North America, with analyses 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


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

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

Cyrus Green
M.S. Student, Department of Geosciences
Mosasaur ontogeny

Pike Holman
M.S. Student, Department of Geosciences
Plesiosaur paleobiology

Kent Issacson
M.S. Student, Department of Geosciences
Museum exhibit design

Darrah Jorgensen
M.S. Student, Department of Geosciences
Late Cretaceous Ammonite Suture Pattern Evolution

Darrah grew up in Ottawa, KS. She graduated from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology with a B.S. in Geology and a minor in Geospatial Technology. She is currently working on Late Cretaceous Ammonite biostratigraphy in Western Interior Seaway Shale. In her free time, she likes to read, write, and experience the outdoors. 

Melissa Macias
M.S. Student, Department of Geosciences
Sloth paleobiogeography

Amber Michels
M.S. Student, Department of Geosciences
Conservation paleobiology


Kelsie Abrams, M.S. Geosciences, 2016
M.S. Student, Department of Geosciences
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