Sustut Basin, British Columbia
As an undergrad at Dalhousie University way back in 2005-2006, I described what turned out to be the first dinosaur remains that had ever been collected from British Columbia. In August 2017, I got to fulfill a longstanding goal of mine to go look for more! With generous support from National Geographic, I led a team of palaeontologists to the remote Sustut Basin in the Intermontane Terrane. Now, as curator of palaeontology at the Royal BC Museum, I’m exploring the northern part of the Sustut Basin in the high alpine plateaus of Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial Park – stay tuned for updates on this exciting new project and BC’s dinosaurs!
My postdoctoral work at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences has taken me to the middle Cretaceous of the western United States, where our team (led by Dr. Lindsay Zanno) has been discovering new dinosaur species! You can read more about our fieldwork at the Expedition Live! blog. 2015 and 2016 fieldwork included:
- prospecting and excavation in the Early and middle Cretaceous Yellow Cat and Mussentuchit Members of the Cedar Mountain Formation in Utah
- excavating a sauropod in the Jurassic Morrison Formation of Utah
- jackhammering a hadrosaur out of a mountain in the Upper Cretaceous Mesaverde Formation of Colorado
- prospecting for Turonian and Coniacian dinosaurs in the Moreno Hill and Crevasse Canyon formations in New Mexico
Alberta is the dinosaur capital of Canada and I am very fortunate to have done my graduate schooling at the University of Alberta. From 2007-2013, as part of Phil Currie’s crew, I helped find and excavate Late Cretaceous dinosaurs all over the province. Highlights include:
- many summers prospecting in the Dinosaur Park Formation of Dinosaur Provincial Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site)
- excavation at the Albertosaurus Bonebed (Horseshoe Canyon Formation) in Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park
- excavation at the Wapiti River and Pipestone Creek Pachyrhinosaurus bonebeds, and prospecting along Red Willow River (all Wapiti Formation), near Grande Prairie (northwest Alberta)
- excavation at the Danek Edmontosaurus Bonebed (Horseshoe Canyon Formation) in Edmonton (I also organized a special journal issue dedicated to research on this bonebed)
- a December helicopter lift in Dinosaur Provincial Park!
My first palaeontological field experience was in 2004 at Wasson’s Bluff, near Parrsboro Nova Scotia. Led by Tim Fedak (Dalhousie University), we excavated prosauropod skeletons from the Late Triassic/Early Jurassic McCoy Brook Formation. The intertidal zone is a unique place to dig for dinosaurs!
I’ve had the pleasure of working in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia during the Dinosaurs of the Gobi Expedition in 2007, and the Korea-Mongolia International Dinosaur Project in 2010. I’ve prospected for Late Cretaceous dinosaur fossils, and have even found some ankylosaur fossils there! (I also named a new Mongolian dinosaur, Zaraapelta, in 2014).
In 2011 I joined Rodolfo Coria’s crew from the Museo Carmen Funes to help excavate an ornithopod from some very hard rocks in the Mulichinco Formation in Neuquén Province, Argentina.