24 Min Released Jan 19, 2018

Bad Days in the Field: Stories about fieldwork frustrations

This week, we bring you two stories about frustrations in the field, whether it's a failure to find dinosaur fossils or a struggle with a painful medical condition.

Part 1: Paleontologist David Evans and his team start to feel defeated after three days of searching fruitlessly for fossils. 

Part 2: When cave geologist Gabriela Marks Serrato develops fibromyalgia, exploring caves becomes a challenge.

David C. Evans holds the Temerty Chair in Vertebrate Palaeontology and oversees dinosaur research at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. David is an Ontario-born researcher who is recognized as an authority on the rich dinosaur fossil record of Canada. As a curator, David helped develop the ROM's dinosaur galleries, and was Lead Curator of the major travelling exhibition Ultimate Dinosaurs. He has been featured on numerous television shows, and most recently, David was co-creator of the HISTORY series Dino Hunt Canada. David’s research focuses on the evolution, ecology and diversity of dinosaurs, and their relationship to environmental changes leading up to the end Cretaceous extinction event. Active in the field, he has participated in expeditions all over the world, including the Africa, Mongolia, and Canada, and has helped discover 10 new dinosaur species in the last five years- including the remarkable horned dinosaur Wendiceratops from southern Alberta, and the wickedly armoured Zuul named after the Ghostbusters movie monster.

Gabriela Serrato Marks is a PhD student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography, where she works with stalagmites from Mexico. She fell in love with rocks and the ocean while getting her B.A. in Earth and Oceanographic Science from Bowdoin College. Her current research focuses on archives of past rainfall and climate change. Outside of research, she is interested in issues of diversity and inclusion in STEM, hanging out with her cat, and growing tiny squash in her parents’ garden. 

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Whether we wear a lab coat or haven't seen a test tube since grade school, science is shaping all of our lives.

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