Dallas Morning News: Paleontologist puts passion for fossils to use as curator at Perot Museum

Anthony Fiorillo excavates a Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum at a quarry in Alaska. (Credit: Dallas Morning News)


Dallas Morning News reporter Katharina Marino covered the research of Anthony Fiorillo, who is Perot Museum Curator of Earth Sciences at the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Victory Park.

Fiorillo is an adjunct research professor of paleoecology in SMU’s Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences in Dedman College. The article, “Paleontologist puts passion for fossils to use as curator at Perot Museum,” was published in the Dec. 31 issue of the Dallas Morning News.

Michael Polcyn, director of SMU’s Digital Earth Sciences Laboratory, is also quoted in the article. Polcyn put his expertise to work providing technical assistance for the museum’s Ocean Dallas marine reptile exhibit.

An expert in mosasaurs, Polcyn created digital reconstructions of Dallasaurus, named for the city of Dallas, and physically reconstructed the skeletons of Dallasaurus and another mosasaur, Tethysaurus, for the exhibit.

Anthony Fiorillo and Michael Polcyn with the Perot Museum’s mosasaur exhibit. (Credit: Hillsman Jackson, SMU)

Read the full story.

EXCERPT:

By Katharina Marino
Staff Writer

Dallas paleontologist Anthony Fiorillo’s line of work has taken him from Bolivia to Big Bend to northern Alaska.

“I’ve tended to work in places where people hadn’t been,” he said.

But Fiorillo didn’t have to venture far for his latest project: chief curator of earth sciences at the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Victory Park.

Fiorillo became chief paleontologist for the museum’s forerunner in Fair Park in 1995. Launching the museum’s T. Boone Pickens “Life Then and Now” exhibition hall gave him the opportunity to build an exhibit reflecting some of the locations where he’s conducted field work.

“You can see Tony’s influence throughout the Perot Museum,” said Mike Polcyn, director of SMU’s Digital Earth Sciences Laboratory. “He should be very proud of
what he and his team have accomplished.”

As curator of the new exhibit, Fiorillo said he wanted to spark the same enthusiasm and curiosity he has for dinosaurs and science in museum visitors.

“There had to be a reason for people to come here,” he said.

Read the full story.

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SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools. For more information, www.smu.edu.

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