(702) 384–DINO (3466)
900 Las Vegas Blvd North
Las Vegas, NV 89101

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 collections@lvnhm.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 of 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.  

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.

Ewan 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.

Christopher Adcock

Christopher Adcock is an Assistant Research Professor in the UNLV Department of Geoscience.  Christopher studies planetary surface processes including the surface geochemistry, geomorphology, and impact processes on other planets and moons in our solar system. He also studies meteorites, astrobiology, and the origins of life on Earth and possibly elsewhere. Christopher's recent work has focused on nutrient availability and the history of water on Mars.

Kate Yoshida, Ph.D.

Kate Yoshida’s research interests lie in how and why social animals behave as they do. For her Ph.D. work at Michigan State University, Kate studied the social behavior of wild spotted hyenas in Kenya’s Masai Mara. Her research focused on how various behavioral traits vary among individuals and what implications these traits have on survival and reproduction. While her passion is for carnivores, Kate has worked with animals as diverse as hummingbirds, frogs, and bats. These days, she spends much of her time doing science communication to help the general public understand the importance of science and the scientific process. She has worked as a scientific consultant on various TV documentaries, is a writer and director at MinuteEarth, and works with the conservation organization Lion Guardians US in a communications capacity.

Levent Atici, Ph.D.

Levent Atici is an anthropologically trained archaeologist in the Department of Anthropology at UNLV. His technical expertise is zooarchaeology, the study of hard animal tissues such as bones, teeth, antlers, horn cores, and shells excavated from archaeological sites.  After receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2007, Atici joined UNLV as an assistant professor in the same year. He founded the UNLV Zooarchaeology Laboratory in 2009 and established large collections of modern and archaeological animal bones for research and teaching purposes.  Atici’s research focuses on two greatest progressive revolutions that humankind has ever experienced: the Neolithic Revolution, transitioning from hunting and gathering to farming, and the Urban Revolution, the process by which small-scale, agricultural societies developed into socio-politically and economically complex urban centers. 

Dr. Eugene Smith

Dr. Eugene Smith is an emeritus professor in the Department of Geoscience at UNLV. He received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 1970. His areas of primary expertise are in the areas of volcanology, geochemistry and igneous petrology. Professor Smith’s research ranges from the geology of the Lake Mead area to determining the hazard and risk of volcanism to the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.  He has also established the Cryptotephra Laboratory for Archaeological and Geological Research at UNLV. This lab studies small volcanic glass fragments (shards) in archaeological sites to precisely date the age of human artifacts. This work carried out in South Africa and Italy has important implications for the origin of modern humans.