PC: Jack Kang
A life-long lover of dinosaurs, I began learning fossil preparation in Dr. Paul Sereno’s lab during the summer of my second year of undergraduate study. I continued working for Dr. Sereno as a teaching assistant for both of his classes and conducting research on pneumaticity in pterosaurs and birds for my honors thesis. I received a Bachelors in Science with honors and a specialization in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Chicago.
Since then, I have continued research on the evolution of vertebrate flight. In 2021, I completed a Ph.D. in Integrative Biology at the University of Chicago, focusing on the morphology and evolution of the avian flight apparatus in relation to ecology and function. Ultimately, I want to compare morphological adaptations for vertebrate flight to address how pterosaurs might have evolved to body sizes so much larger than those of birds and bats today.
In addition to research, I am very passionate about teaching and outreach. I travelled with the Dinosaur Science class for their field trip to help teach the students excavation techniques. I have been a teaching assistant for multiple classes, ranging from human anatomy at the Pritzker School of Medicine to paleontology classes to an interdisciplinary class on the origin and evolution of intelligent life. I have also visited Chicago-area schools to talk to students about paleontology and have given many tours of the Sereno Fossil Lab to local student groups. I work for the Dozin’ with the Dinos program at the Field Museum to teach elementary-aged students and their families about prehistoric animals and modern birds. I am also one of the founders of the University of Chicago Paleontology Club, a club to bring together those interested in learning about paleontology, either as a career or a hobby.