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Congratulations to Myria Perez, Recipient of the Frank Crane Memorial Scholarship Award 

The Dallas Paleontological Society (DPS) scholarship committee recently awarded The Frank Crane Memorial Scholarship to Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences graduate student Myria Perez.

“I have had the incredible opportunity to be involved in a research project that will be seen by millions of people from around the globe,” says Myria Perez. “During my four years at Southern Methodist University, I have unjacketed, cleaned, and used 3D technology to reveal 72 million year old marine reptile fossils from the country of Angola in the paleontology laboratories. The research from SMU will be shared through an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.”

“As a core member on the exhibit planning team, I have been able to work with the highly skilled and dedicated members from the Smithsonian NMNH, Karen Carr Studio, and paleontologists at SMU. This has truly been a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Perez continues.

DPS has invested over $26,000 in the future of aspiring paleontologists through the Scholarship. The award is presented to graduate students nominated by their respective professors. Students return to the DPS and make a presentation on their work.

“Myria is a participant in research about our Earth and the life in its oceans going back over 70 million years. That work will be presented to the world in a Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History exhibit that she is helping to produce. The subject is gigantic marine reptiles from a young South Atlantic, an ocean formed from the split of Africa and South America. Very similar marine reptile fossils are found in the Dallas area and not far from SMU,” said Louis Jacobs, Professor of Paleontology, President of the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man, and Perez’s faculty mentor.

“DPS is the citizen science wing of this effort,” continues Jacobs. “Its members pitch in, in every way they can, and their support for Myria shows their dedication to the future of the science in Dallas. Myria proves that our SMU World Changers bring the world to our backyard while taking SMU to the world.”

For more information on the Dallas Paleontological Society click here.

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Investing in a data-empowered future

SMU Magazine

Originally Posted: December 5, 2017

SMU is eager to serve and partner with Dallas, just as Northwestern University serves Chicago and Columbia University serves New York. We are ready to leverage SMU’s academic vitality and strong relationships with the Dallas region for expanded community service and impact.

Dallas is a city in a hurry, taking its place as a global business and knowledge center. Major corporations like Toyota and (perhaps) Amazon recognize that Dallas has a stake in the tech-driven future. What you need to know is that SMU has skin in that game.

We are a 21st century university, data empowered and actively seeking solutions to societal problems through interdisciplinary collaborations between the humanities, the sciences, the arts and the world of bytes and bits.

The red brick campus with a tradition of liberal arts and professional education now offers 13 graduate programs in data science, including an online master’s degree, and is powered by ManeFrame II – in the top 20 among the most powerful supercomputers in North American higher education. SMU’s high-speed supercomputer is completely accessible with no waiting to our students, faculty and our research partners outside SMU, providing us with more per capita shared computing resources (both in terms of faculty and students) than any university in Texas.

Simply put, a University that offers the ability to complete research in any discipline faster, without long wait times for processing data, has a distinct advantage. It’s like the difference between sitting in a traffic jam and whipping over into the HOV lane.

Read more at SMU: Data Empowered.

READ MORE

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Top 10 Dedman College Faculty Research Articles

 

Sapiens: Can Medical Anthropology Solve the Diabetes Dilemma?

As the number of sufferers continues to rise, some researchers are moving in new directions to figure out how culture and lifestyle shape disease outcomes.

LiveScience: Newfound dino looks like creepy love child of a turkey and ostrich

A new giant bird-like dinosaur discovered in China has been named for SMU paleontologist Louis L. Jacobs, Corythoraptor jacobsi, by the scientists who identified the new oviraptorid.

Cosmos: Painting with light in three dimensions

A new technique uses photoswitch molecules to create three-dimensional images from pure light.

SMU Guildhall and cancer researchers level up to tap human intuition of video gamers in quest to beat cancer

Massive computational power of online “Minecraft” gaming community bests supercomputers. 

Nation’s electric grid — a complex mathematical system — is dramatically changing

Deregulation of the U.S. electric markets, the emergence of renewable sources of energy and new technologies means there are large risks to the grid.

Male versus female college students react differently to helicopter parenting, study finds

Helicopter parenting reduces the well-being of young women, while the failure to foster independence harms the well-being of young men but not young women. 

Quartz: When diverse groups interact, everybody ends up smarter and healthier

“…although individuals may feel antagonism towards other groups in society, that prejudice is less strong if they interact with these groups in their daily lives.” — Desmet, Gomes and Ortuño-Ortín

Self-persuasion iPad app spurs low-income parents to protect teens against cancer-causing hpv

In the first study of its kind, self-persuasion software on an iPad motivated low-income parents to want to protect their teens against the cancer-causing human papillomavirus.

New delta Scuti: Rare pulsating star 7,000 light years away is 1 of only 7 in Milky Way

A star — as big as or bigger than our sun — in the Pegasus constellation is expanding and contracting in three different directions simultaneously on a scale of once every 2.5 hours, the result of heating and cooling of hydrogen fuel burning 28 million degrees Fahrenheit at its core.

Corporal punishment viewed as more acceptable and effective when referred to as spanking, study finds

Parents and nonparents alike buffer their views of physical discipline and rate it more common, acceptable and effective when it’s labeled with a more neutral, less violent word.

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SMU Homecoming 2017- Come Boulevard with Dedman College

SMU Homecoming: November 4, 2017

Reconnect with friends and classmates on the Boulevard before the Homecoming football game on Saturday, November 4, 2017. Kickoff is at 6:15 p.m. and the parade on the Boulevard is at 3:15 p.m. Join us at the Dedman College tent immediately following the parade on the corner of Bishop & Binkley.

You can find the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and Alumni Relations tent located on the old Natatorium site.

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Inside Dedman College Newsletter, Fall 2017

Mustangs on the Move

A Message from Thomas DiPiero, Dean of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences 

In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, the Red Queen tells Alice that “here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!” The fast-paced lives of the students and faculty in Dedman College, who travel abroad for study and research, build out startup companies, protect the world from rogue aggression, and engage in taxing endurance sports would exhaust the Red Queen. But it’s all in a day’s work for these students, teachers, and scholars who somehow continually run twice as fast and continually produce ever more surprising and impressive results.

In this issue of Inside Dedman College you’ll encounter seismologist Brian Stump, the Albritton Professor of Earth Sciences in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences. Professor Stump monitors shock waves from North Korea to help determine that country’s nuclear capabilities. You’ll also discover the fast-paced lives of SMU students who set up a successful startup company even before graduating with their bachelor’s degrees. BioLum Sciences is the brainchild of Dedman College and Cox School of Business students who put their minds together with Chemistry Professor Alexander Lippert and developed an asthma management system that makes diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of the condition simpler. Also here to dazzle are students studying and researching abroad; the work of Professor Louis Jacobs, a vertebrate paleontologist after whom a newly discovered dinosaur was named in honor of his contributions to research and teaching in the field; and the experiences of rising—risen!—attorney Jonathan Childers, who was recently named a “Lawyer on the Rise” by Texas Lawyer.

Graduate students from Religious Studies and Medical Anthropology will show what it takes to be an Albert Schweitzer Fellow. These full-time graduate students add a service and compassion component to their already full schedules by participating in a program named for the humanitarian-physician Albert Schweitzer. Fellows in this program design and execute projects that improve the lives of the most vulnerable among us and bring much-needed relief to underserved populations in the DFW area.

And if you’re not exhausted from reading about the fast-paced lives of the people in Dedman College, we’ll invite you to catch up with us at the Dedman College homecoming tent on November 4, as well as at other events peppered throughout the year.

C’mon: try to keep up with us. READ MORE

Vol. 3 Features:

Dean’s Message

Student Features

Faculty Features

Alumni Features

Recent Events

Upcoming Events

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SMU alumnus and paleontologist Thomas Adams discovers new prehistoric crocodile

Rivard Report

Originally Posted: September 7, 2017

As a paleontologist and the Witte Museum‘s curator of paleontology and geology, Thomas Adams sees his job as being something of an interpreter.

“We want to tell the Texas narrative because there’s a story to be told,” Adams said. “It’s already written in rocks. We just need to translate it.”

For Adams, some of that translation is informed by his own discoveries. He has unearthed a new species of prehistoric crocodile, one he named Deltasuchus motherali and outlined in a recent scholarly article. The species was about 20 feet in length and a top predator in the food chain when it roamed Texas millions of years ago.

Adams, along with co-authors Chris Noto at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Stephanie Drumheller-Horton at the University of Tennessee, published the description of the new crocodile species earlier this month in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. This is the third new species Adams has discovered and named. His most recent find, the species’ partial skull, was unearthed in North Texas in the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

Funded by a grant from the National Geographic Society, the excavation site in Arlington has a surprisingly complete ancient ecosystem ranging from about 95 million to 100 million years old, when all of Texas was underwater except for a peninsula that included what is now the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Adams called his work “a unique opportunity to document a site about a period we know little about, the Middle Cretaceous.”

The Cretaceous period occurred between 145.5 million and 65.5 million years ago. During the mid-Cretaceous, the planet’s land mass split into several smaller continents, creating large-scale geographic isolation and expansive new coastlines. READ MORE

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Myria Perez earns research internship at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History

Congratulations to geology major and Gaffney Family Scholar, Myria Perez. She recently began a ten week research internship at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. under the tutelage of Dr. Anna K. Behrensmeyer, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology. Myria will be studying the taphonomy (the branch of paleontology that deals with the processes of fossilization) of marine reptiles from the Jurassic Lyme Regis along the south coast of England near Dorchester. This is the location of Mary Anning’s great discoveries of ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. Mary Anning is also known as the “Mother of Paleontology.”

During her internship, Myria will accompany Dr. Behrensmeyer to England where she will visit collections housing Mary Anning’s original specimens, including the University of Cambridge Museum, where she will be hosted by SMU alumnus Dr. Jason Head, and at the Natural History Museum in London where another alumnus Dr. Norm MacLeod is Dean of Post-Graduate Education and Training. Myria will also visit the Lyme Regis Museum, which is currently constructing a new Mary Anning Wing.

Learn more about Myria Perez in the ISEM at SMU newsletter here: ISEMNewsletter2016

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Congratulations Dedman College Graduates!

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The Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences welcomed Dr. Fredrick Manthi, Head of Earth Sciences, National Museums of Kenya

The Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences welcomed Dr. Fredrick Manthi, Head of Earth Sciences, National Museums of Kenya. Dr. Manthi’s talk was titled, “The Role of The National Museums of Kenya in Modern Day Ecological Research and Environmental Issues.” He spoke in Bonnie Jacob‘s, Ecology class Friday, May 5 in Dedman Life Sciences.

 

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Japan’s largest fossilized dinosaur skeleton unearthed in Hokkaido

Japan Times

Originally Posted: May 1, 2017

Yoshi Kobayashi is a former PhD student of Dr. Louis Jacobs (Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences) and is now Associate Professor at Hokkaidō University Museum and a member of the fossil research team.

Japanese researchers said Thursday they have unearthed the remains of an 8-meter-long Hadrosaurid, dating from around 72 million years ago, in the mountains of Hokkaido, making it the largest fossilized dinosaur skeleton discovered in the country.

The team involving members of Hokkaido University and a museum in the town of Mukawa, Hokkaido, hailed the findings as “one of the greatest discoveries in Japanese dinosaur research history,” adding it is extremely rare for so many fossilized parts from a single dinosaur to be unearthed to enable the skeleton to be visualized.

The latest discovery related to the duck-billed dinosaurs is a boon to the southern Hokkaido town, which has an aging population and has been trying to revitalize through tourism and education linked to fossils finds in the area.

The fossilized remains were found in a geological layer dating from the Upper Cretaceous period when the area was covered by 80 to 200 meters of seawater.

The excavation began in 2013 after local fossil collector Yoshiyuki Horita found a fossilized tail bone in 2003. More than 1,000 fossil bones were eventually unearthed.

The media on Thursday were shown around 190 fossilized parts of the dinosaur skeleton that have been identified and laid out in a town building.

Hadrosaurids were grazers and the discovered dinosaur was likely to have lived near the coast, according to the researchers.

“The fossils are also valuable in global terms. We hope to discover what kind of dinosaur habitat existed along the coast,” said Yoshitsugu Kobayashi, an associate professor of the Hokkaido University Museum and a member of the research team.

Horita, 67, told reporters, “I will be happy if children and (dinosaur) lovers come and reinvigorate our town.”

An almost complete fossilized dinosaur skeleton of a small carnivorous theropod dinosaur was excavated in Fukui Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast in 2007. READ MORE