News 2013

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October 2013
Susan Evans presented a talk at the 73rd annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (Los Angeles, USA) on new material of the Late Cretaceous hyper ossified frog Beelzebufo. Marc Jones and Ryoko Matsumoto presented posters on tooth implantation and choristodere neck flexability respectively.

September 2013
Susan Evans contributes to a paper on the Eocene frog Thaumastosaurus led by Fabien Laloy (Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France) and in collaboration with Michel Laurin, Jean-Claude Rage (both MNHN), Renaud Boistel (Institut International de Paléoprimatologie et de Paléontologie Humaine, Poitiers, France), and Nicolas Lenoir (Laboratoire Navier, Marne-la-Vallée, France). This research was supported by Région Ile-de-France and a CNRS grant to J-CR and ML.

Media interest
National Geographic: "Fossil frog still looks gooey after over 34 million years".

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September 2013
Marc Jones and Susan Evans publish a paper in collaboration with Cajsa Lisa Anderson (University of Gothenburg, Sweden), Christy Hipsley (Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin), Johannes Müller (Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin) and Rainer Schoch (Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde, Stuttgart) in BMC Evolutionary Biology on the first Middle Triassic lepidosaur fossil material and the lizard-tuatara molecular clock. When used in a molecular divergence analysis including the new fossil suggests that Lepidosauria first appeared after end-Permian mass-extinction and that crown group Squamata first appeared in the earliest Jurassic.

The paper achieved an Altmetrics score of 120.25 which puts it's in the top 5% of all articles ever tracked by Altmetric (n = 1,832,694).

Media interest
Phys.org: "Paleontologists discover earliest fossil record of lepidosaurs"
ScienceDaily: "Oldest lizard-like fossil yet to be found hints at scaly origins"
The Australian: "German tuatara 240m years old discovered"
Fosjkning & Framsteg: "Reptilerna efter katastrofen"
Spiegel:  "Fund in Süddeutschland: Kieferknochen verrät Uralt-Echse"
UCL news webpage: "Oldest existing lizard like fossil hints at scaly origins"
University of Adelaide news webpage: "Oldest existing lizard like fossil hints at scaly origins"

The story is also covered by SciNews, the Herald Sun, the Telegraph, eNCA, and RedOrbit.

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July 2013
Marc Jones contributed to a paper led by Liping Dong (Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, IVPP, Beijing, China) about fossil frogs from the Lower Cretaceous Jehol Group of Western Liaoning, China. Zbyněk Roček (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic) and Yuan Wang (IVPP) were also involved in the research. Results suggest that the Jehol frogs are less diverse than previously supposed with the genera 'Yizhoubatrachus', 'Callobatrachus', 'Mesophryne', and 'Dalianbatrachus' all being sunk within Liaobatrachus.

July 2013
Marianne Pearson and Marc Jones publish a report on the 7th World Congress of Herpetology in the PalAss Newsletter.

July 2013
Susan Evans attends the 10th International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology in Barcelona (Spain) and presents work carried out with Elizabeth Ward and Claudio Stern. Work by Marc Jones and Susan Evans on lizard skull biomechanics also features in the presentation by Flora Gröning (University of Hull).

July 2013
Marc Jones starts a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award at University of Adelaide.

June 2013
Marc Jones and Susan Evans contribute to a paper led by Neil Curtis  (University of Hull) on how cranial sutures work collectively to distribute strain throughout the reptile skull. Michael Fagan (University of Hull) and Paul O'Higgins (Hull York Medical School) also contributed to the paper. Results highlight the importance of sutures for facilitating normal levels of strain and bone growth. This work is published in Journal of the Royal Society Interface and was funded by the BBSRC.

May 2013
Susan Evans visits David Krause in Stony Brook (USA) on a research trip.

April 2013
Marc Jones and Susan Evans contribute to a paper led by Flora Gröning (University of Hull) on muscle modelling in the tegu lizard Tupinambis merianae. Neil Curtis, Michael Fagan (both University of Hull), Paul O'Higgins (Hull York Medical School), and Anthony Herrel  (Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle) also contributed to the paper. Results highlight the importance of using subject specific data to validate biomechanical computer models. This work is published in Journal of the Royal Society Interface and was funded by the BBSRC.
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April 2013
Ryoko Matsumoto joined the research staff of the Zoology Department at Kanagawa Prefecture Museum of Natural History, Japan.
 
March 2013
Susan Evans gives a key note talk on the origins of modern squamate diversity for the British Herpetological Symposium and Amphibian Conservation Research Symposium 2013. Marianne Pearson also provides a talk on salamander biogeographic history.
>photo comming soon<
 
March 2013
Arnau Bolet and Susan Evans publish a paper about Eocene lizard material from Spain in Palaeontologia Electronica. Spanish press release: La diversidad de los lagartos del Eoceno del yacimiento de Sossís.
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March 2013
Marianne Pearson visited collections at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle Paris, France.
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March 2013
Marianne Pearson was selected to participate in 'Post-genomics Phylogenetics', a seven day workshop on current and new phylogenetic methods and software. It was held in Erice, Sicily, and sponsored by European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO). Marianne gave a talk on salamander phylogeny and biogeography. The photo shows (from left to right) course organiser Davide Pisani (Bristol University), Karen Siu-Ting (National University of Maynooth), Mark Wilkinson and Marianne Pearson, all sporting their specially designed course t-shirts
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March 2013
Marc Jones provides a talk for Nature Live at the Natural History Museum hosted by Charlotte Coales. Photo taken by Glenys Jones.
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March 2013
Elizabeth Ward visits the lab of Koji Tamura at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan.
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February 2013
Susan Evans contributes to the International Course of Paleontology held in Lyon, France.

February 2013
Marc Jones and his talk for Science Showoff on the New Zealand tuatara that took place in December 2012 are featured in a blog post by Mallywini Films.

February 2013
The lab is visited by Koji Tamura and his lab members (Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan) before they attended and presented at 'the 4th UCL-Tohoku University joint Symposium'. Photo taken by their official host Yoshiyuki Yamamoto.
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January 2013
Paul Barrett provides an article for the BBC on fossil smuggling.