Monday, February 20, 2012

Fun in Georgia

I recently returned from Athens, Georgia, where I gave a talk for Darwin Days at the University of Georgia.  John Gittleman is the Dean of the School of Ecology there, and he was my Masters advisor back in the day (I also worked for him as an undergraduate).  It was great to see John's new haunts (his lab group has some awesome work on biogeography, extinction risk, and mammalian disease ecology rolling).

My talk was basically about new perspectives regarding the origin of flight in dinosaurs/birds, with an emphasis on biomechanics.  What was neat was the crowd - the audience was large, but included only a handful of paleontologists.  Most of the individuals in attendance were ecologists or ornithologists in the neontological sense.  It was interesting to gauge their reactions, and the overwhelming result was that they all find fossil taxa fascinating.  So here's a little commentary: fellow paleontologists, we need to hang out with more folks that work on the living stuff.  Vertebrate biology folks, we need to hang out with invertebrate biologists (I have made it a point to spend time with entomologists over the years - it really helps, trust me).

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy Darwin Day!!!

Sometimes there's a man... I won't say a hero, 'cause, what's a hero? But sometimes, there's a man. And I'm talkin' about Darwin here. Sometimes, there's a man, well, he's the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that's Charles Darwin, in 1850's England.

Thanks Chuck.