Research and Collections
The Museum is a state and federal collections repository for paleontological and archaeological materials collected on both public lands and from the private sector. The Museum’s repository is home to hundreds of thousands of artifacts and fossils from southern Nevada. These important materials are preserved, stored, researched and often exhibited at the Museum. For more information about the Collections Repository please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet the LVNHM Research Associate Team
Dr. Steve Rowland
Dr. Stephen Rowland is a professor in the Department of Geology. He received his Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1978. Professor Rowland's primary studies are in the areas of paleontology, paleoecology, stratigraphy, and the history of geology. My students and I study the history of life on Earth as recorded in the fossil record, especially the paleontology of Southern Nevada and adjacent regions. Our research ranges from the earliest (late pre-Cambrian) animal fossils, to Jurassic dinosaur tracks (and those of co-existing animals) in Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire State Park, to Ice-Age fossils of the Tule Springs area. My history of geology research focuses primarily on the 18th century, especially in Russia.
Dr. Brett Riddle
Brett R. Riddle is a Professor in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His research focuses primarily on the history of biodiversity in western North America, with ongoing projects including: historical assembly of the warm desert biotas; phylogeography of Great Basin montane island biotas; and molecular systematics and biogeography of diverse North American rodent groups. He is cofounder and past President of the International Biogeography Society, an editor of the Journal of Biogeography, and and associate editor of Systematic Biology. He is a coauthor of "Biogeography: third edition", Sinauer Associates - the most comprehensive available textbook and reference book on Biogeography.
Frankie Jackson, Ph.D.
Frankie Jackson is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Montana State University. Her research interests include the study of fossil eggs, paleoecology, and the evolution of reproductive traits within the dinosaur-to-bird transition. The arrangement of fossil eggs and the microscopic characteristics of their eggshells provide important information about dinosaur physiology and reproductive biology. In addition, studying the sedimentary deposits that preserve the eggs permits more accurate interpretations of the nesting behavior extinct animals. Currently, her research focuses on modern nesting sites (crocodilians, tortoises, and birds) and fossil egg localities in the western United States and southeast China.
Aubrey Bonde, Ph.D.
Aubrey Bonde is from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, she zigzagged across the States pursuing opportunities to study paleontology. Aubrey began my academic career working on dinosaurs from the Hell Creek formation as well as within Badlands National Park on Oligocene mammals. She later switched her focus to invertebrates (crustaceans), for a short time, which allowed her to travel and study in Eastern Europe, particularly Romania. Exposure to both invertebrate and vertebrate paleontology afforded Aubrey the opportunity to understand and appreciate the two fields, but also guided her to the realization that she most enjoyed studying mammals. All these experiences led her to Las Vegas where she culminated her academics researching late Pleistocene megafauna. Aubrey is interested in identifying the changing fauna, environments, and climate of the Southwest during the last glacial period, specifically 40,000-11,500 years ago. This period of time had profound impacts on global ecosystems, in particular, large mammalian faunas which are no longer in existence today. One of the research techniques she use is stable isotope analysis which uncovers specific information unique to an individual animal, such as the type of vegetation they consumed, water they ingested, and tendency to move seasonally. This technique also contributes information at the community and regional level, including reconstruction of climate and environment, and the interactions between organisms within an assemblage – partitioning and competition. Combined, all of these parameters yield a large-scale reconstruction of the paleoecology and paleoenvironments of past landscapes. The particular group that she focuses her research on is megaherbivores from the late Pleistocene – ground sloths, mammoth, horse, bison, deer, and shrub ox.
James Schmitt, Ph.D.
James Schmitt is Professor of Geology in the Department of Earth Sciences at Montana State University with research interests in sedimentary geology that include understanding: 1) relations between tectonics and sedimentation in foreland and extensional basins, 2) tectonic controls on the dispersal of sediment from orogenic belts to alluvial basins, and 3) the sedimentology and facies analysis of modern alluvial fans and ancient alluvial fan deposits. His research in vertebrate paleontology includes investigating the taphonomy of bone beds and dinosaur nesting grounds, deciphering processes of exceptional fossil preservation, and paleoenvironmental reconstruction of fossil-bearing strata. Schmitt has a Bachelor of Science degree In Geology and Mineralogy from the University of Michigan (1977) and both Master’s (1979) and Doctoral degrees (1982) in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Wyoming.
Even Wolf Ph.D., DVM
Ewan Wolff Ph.D., DVM is a small animal medicine resident at Purdue University college of Veterinary Medicine in West Lafayette, Indiana. He received his Ph. D. at Montana State University and his DVM from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to being a veterinarian he is an expert in how dinosaurs got sick. He studies a type of paleontology called paleopathology, the study of ancient disease. His studies have determined the round holes found on Tyrannosaur jaws, once thought to be natural or holes made from being bit, were actually caused from oral diseases.