Saturday lineup includes snappy, fun ‘lectures’
“The Cookiecutter Shark, Isistius: The Real Cookie Monster”
Saturday, 10 am – Learning Center of Aurora Fossil Museum
Victor Perez, Jr. started collecting fossil shark teeth when he was six years old. The curiosity and intrigue that came from collecting fossils led him to pursue a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences with a minor in Science Education.
Victor is currently three years into his degree program and his dissertation research focuses on fossil sharks of Panama. His research interests are broad and allow him to practice many different fields of study, such as biology, chemistry, and statistics. Beyond that, he is very passionate about public-professional collaborations and often works closely with both amateur paleontology clubs and K-12 classrooms.
“Dinosaur Hunters: The Search for Ancient Giants”
Saturday, 12:15 pm – Learning Center of Aurora Fossil Museum
Dr. Alexander K. Hastings received his Bachelor’s degree in Geology at Penn State University, then his Ph.D. in Geology at the University of Florida. While working in Florida, he wrote his dissertation on fossil crocodiles from a site in Colombia, South America that preserved fossils from 60 million years ago — shortly after the mass extinction that ended the age of the dinosaurs. It was during this time he played a part in the discovery of the giant snake Titanoboa, the largest snake that ever lived.
Since graduating, Dr. Hastings has been a visiting instructor at Georgia Southern University, and a fellow at Martin Luther University in Halle, Germany. Since July of 2015, he has been the Asst. Curator of Paleontology at the Virginia Museum of Natural History.
“The Enigmatic Snaggletooth”
Saturday, 1:45 pm – Learning Center of Aurora Fossil Museum
Donald Morgan is the Assistant Curator of Paleontology at the Calvert Marine Museum in Maryland. He did his undergrad studies at Towson University, where he majored in Biology, and then attended Marshall University, where he received an M.S. Degree in Biology/Paleontology.
As a child, Donald always dreamed of becoming a paleontologist. He started collecting fossils around the age of five and spent most of his spare time reading dinosaur books and at the Smithsonian’s paleontology hall. As an intern at the Marine Museum, Donald worked on ancient dolphins and the isotopic analysis of crocodile teeth. He is currently working on another crocodile project; as well as, publishing his Master’s Thesis, which focused on plesiosaurs.
Donald hopes to conduct and publish a lot of research at the Calvert Marine Museum, in addition to helping with science outreach in the community.