Nathan Van Vranken has always had a fascination with the past and lifelong obsession with studying it. Paleontology is one of Nathan’s passions in life, sometimes he refers to it as the “driver in his life”.
a result of his studies Nathan has published papers on various
paleontological subjects and preformed lectures at multiple
professional conferences such as the Geological Society of America
(GSA) and Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) and continues to
professionally articulate his ideas on a global stage though social
media and volunteered at various museums as a field worker and fossil
preparator. He has worked on fossils from just about every section of geologic time.
Notable avenues of research Nathan has worked on was assisting in reconstructing the coastal paleoecology of the Woodbine Formation in North Central Texas on behalf of the Arlington Archosaur Site. While attending graduate school, Nathan's research specialization was on the Western Interior Seaway and more importantly the mosasaurs that inhabited it. He worked on the identification and phylogenetic relationships of a subadult Tylosaurus kansasensis specimen which later became the topic of his Master's thesis. Other topics he has been working on are Cretaceous ichthyosaurs, fossil fish from the Austin Chalk formation in Texas, and various phylogenetic studies dealing with theropod dinosaurs such as members of Dromaeosauridae.
Nathan’s academic training was specifically designed to be rigorous and customized to allow him to research as a professional. The result, he holds degrees from the University of Texas such as a Bachelor's of Science in Interdisciplinary studies with emphasis on geology and biology and a Master's of Science in Geology with emphasis in vertebrate paleontology. As of late 2015, Nathan has been teaching historical geology classes at the local university in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and continues to do research and public outreach as a freelance paleontologist.