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National Fossil Day: RJ Knecht & Mark Renczkowski
RJ and Mark, paleontologists working at Harvard University, will discuss trace fossils—those that preserve the evidence of behavior—such as fossil tracks, nests, and teeth marks. Trace fossils are the most direct evidence for the behavior of extinct animals and are the key to understanding major transitions in evolution. They will discuss how they are preserved and discovered, and the different means of studying and interpreting them. In addition, Mark, a preparator who has worked in both the Vertebrate and Invertebrate Paleontology departments in Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology, will discuss how fossils are transported from the field to the lab and what techniques and tools are used to “prep” a fossil in order to discover the treasures hidden within.

Oct 22, 2020 09:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

RJ Knecht
RJ (Richard) Knecht is a PhD candidate in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and a member of the Ortega-Hernández Lab for Invertebrate Paleobiology. Primarily working on trace fossils, he has conducted fieldwork from the Australian Outback to the Alaskan tundra and many places in-between. He also works across timescales from modern specimens to specimens ~560 million years old.
Mark Renczkowski
Mark Renczkowski is Curatorial Assistant at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology. For over twelve years he has supported the MCZ as a specialized geologist with a central focus on the care and conservation of paleontological collections. He has prepared thousands of specimens for the MCZ and loves field work.