Dinosaurs’ unique bone structure helped them support their large weight

CNN Originally Posted: August 19, 2020 Some dinosaurs were so big the ground would have shaken while they walked. But how did they carry such massive loads? Dinosaurs likely had a different bone structure to mammals and birds that was uniquely capable of supporting huge weights, a new study has found. A team of paleontologists, mechanical and biomedical engineers examined the upper and lower leg bones of duck-billed hadrosaurs and sauropods, long-necked and big-bodied plant eaters, whose fossils have been found on every continent. "The structure of the trabecular, or spongy bone that forms in the interior of (the)bones we studied is unique within dinosaurs," said AnthonyFiorillo, a Southern Methodist University paleontologist and one of the authors of the study that published Wednesday in the [...]

By | 2020-09-02T10:35:23-07:00 September 2nd, 2020|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on Dinosaurs’ unique bone structure helped them support their large weight

After battling impostor syndrome, a young Dallas scientist encourages more women to enter science Perot Museum paleontologist Myria Perez says failure is a part of the scientific process.

Dallas News Originally Posted: July 16, 2020 Myria Perez had no trouble finding her passions, however, she needed an extra hand along the way. When a mentor at SMU connected her with “Sea Monsters Unearthed: Life in Angola’s Ancient Seas,” those passions were connected with purpose. READ MORE

By | 2020-07-27T10:01:54-07:00 July 27th, 2020|Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on After battling impostor syndrome, a young Dallas scientist encourages more women to enter science Perot Museum paleontologist Myria Perez says failure is a part of the scientific process.

‘Bored’ seismologists find a new hobby: Tracking silence

Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: May 21, 2020 If you’ve been noticing more birds chirping and more frogs singing, it’s probably not your imagination. Noise created by humans, such as car and truck traffic, quieted by about 30 percent between late March, when Gov. Greg Abbott closed schools and restaurants across Texas, and early May, according to a new analysis by researchers at Southern Methodist University. “There was quite a big change in some areas,” said Stephen Arrowsmith, a seismologist at SMU, who took on the project with a class of undergraduate and graduate students this spring. READ MORE

By | 2020-05-22T08:55:44-07:00 May 22nd, 2020|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on ‘Bored’ seismologists find a new hobby: Tracking silence

Paleontologist Myria Perez Wants More Women in Science and for Everyone to Be Safe

Dallas Observer Originally Posted: May 15, 2020 Myria Perez is much smaller than her coworkers, and the only one who's non-extinct. The Houston-born paleontologist is a fossil preparator at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. “My duty is to take care of, prepare, prep, clean up fossils that are brought into our lab for our research and collection,” she says of her job at the museum. Perez's love affair with paleontology began when she was little. "Like most kids, I kind of caught that fossil fever," she says, looking back at her childhood. "Kids become very obsessed with paleontology and with dinosaurs. ... I never grew out of it." That fever grew deeper when Perez became a volunteer at the Houston Museum of Natural Science [...]

By | 2020-05-18T07:40:33-07:00 May 18th, 2020|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences|Comments Off on Paleontologist Myria Perez Wants More Women in Science and for Everyone to Be Safe

Do women scientists need to wear fake beards to be taken seriously?

Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: Feb. 24, 2020 At first glance, the black-and-white photos look like classic images of 19th century scientists. One wears a dark beard and carries a pickax. Another, with a fluffy white handlebar mustache, poses in front of a museum diorama. A third, with a long brown beard, sits at a desk surrounded by an overstuffed bookcase, a safari hat and a giant pine cone. But wait. Something in that last image looks amiss. The cheekbones are smooth, pale. And is that an elegant pashmina scarf wrapped around the scientist’s narrow shoulders? Hmmmm ... The 38 large-format photographs that hang in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., are part of “The Bearded Lady Project,” a tongue-in-cheek traveling [...]

By | 2020-03-03T08:27:58-08:00 March 1st, 2020|Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on Do women scientists need to wear fake beards to be taken seriously?

Geologist James Quick named Dean of SMU Graduate School

Dallas Weekly Originally Posted: Feb. 18, 2020 Distinguished geoscientist James Quick will open the doors to a new era of research and interdisciplinary collaboration as Inaugural Dean of SMU’s newly created Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies. SMU announced the creation of the Moody School in November 2019, made possible by a landmark $100 million gift from the Moody Foundation. The investment in graduate-level education is fueling SMU’s move to join the finest universities in the country in its development of research with impact, delivered by top-notch faculty and graduate students. Quick, a volcanologist of international stature, joined SMU in 2007 as the University’s first Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies, with the responsibilities of supporting increases in research activity and the [...]

By | 2020-02-18T08:09:37-08:00 February 18th, 2020|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News, Graduate News|Comments Off on Geologist James Quick named Dean of SMU Graduate School

What happened to the fossil on display at DFW Airport? Curious Texas digs up the answer

Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: Nov. 27, 2019 When DFW International Airport was being built in the 1970s, construction crews found the bones of a 70 million-year-old sea monster. Well, it wasn’t a monster exactly, but a 25-foot long plesiosaur, a large dinosaur with a body similar to a lizard’s but with flippers like those on a porpoise. It was one of many that roamed North Texas when water covered the land millions of years ago. The nearly 10,000-pound fossil was put on display between Gates 10 and 11 at the Braniff International terminal at DFW Airport in 1975, and it remained there even after Braniff Airways ceased operations in May 1982. The artifact later was moved again, and in the mid-2010s, the plesiosaur was [...]

By | 2019-11-27T09:28:56-08:00 November 30th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on What happened to the fossil on display at DFW Airport? Curious Texas digs up the answer

Wastewater leak in West Texas revealed

EurekaAlert Originally Posted: November 25, 2019 DALLAS (SMU) - Geophysicists at SMU say that evidence of leak occurring in a West Texas wastewater disposal well between 2007 and 2011 should raise concerns about the current potential for contaminated groundwater and damage to surrounding infrastructure. SMU geophysicist Zhong Lu and the rest of his team believe the leak happened at a wastewater disposal well in the Ken Regan field in northern Reeves County, which could have leaked toxic chemicals into the Rustler Aquifer. The same team of geophysicists at SMU has revealed that sinkholes are expanding and forming in West Texas at a startling rate. Wastewater is a byproduct of oil and gas production. Using a process called horizontal drilling, or "fracking," companies pump vast quantities [...]

By | 2019-11-26T13:48:52-08:00 November 26th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on Wastewater leak in West Texas revealed

‘The Story Collider’ at Wild Detectives shows the intersection between humanity and science

Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: Nov. 21, 2019 From a journalism teacher donating her kidney to a total stranger to a middle school teacher traveling to Africa to study human fossils, people shared their stories in front of a live audience about how science has affected their lives. The Story Collider science and storytelling event made its way to Dallas’ Wild Detectives on Nov. 6 for the second time this year. The event featured five storytellers from different backgrounds. Since launching in 2010, Story Collider events have been held around the nation and even abroad. The Dallas Morning News’ science writer, Anna Kuchment, and Dallas-based television producer Aparna Kumar were the hosts, sharing anecdotes between speakers. A wide range of speakers made the packed bar [...]

By | 2019-11-26T13:58:04-08:00 November 25th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Graduate News|Comments Off on ‘The Story Collider’ at Wild Detectives shows the intersection between humanity and science

Historical data confirms recent increase in West Texas earthquakes

SMU Research Originally Posted: Nov. 4, 2019 A new analysis of historical seismic data conducted by The University of Texas at Austin, SMU and other academies has found that earthquake activity in West Texas around Pecos has increased dramatically since 2009. The study, published Nov. 4, 2019, in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, is important because it leverages old, unmined data to track seismic activity over nearly the past two decades – much further back than other studies— to show that activity has increased during the past decade in an area of the Permian Basin that is being heavily developed for oil and gas. Although researchers have generally thought that to be true, the statewide TexNet earthquake monitoring system has been gathering data [...]

By | 2019-11-05T09:21:00-08:00 November 4th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on Historical data confirms recent increase in West Texas earthquakes
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