Northland Pioneer College
I began with a degree in geology from the University of Arizona. After that, I started to emphasize biology, and started studying dinosaurs, earning a Masters degree at the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The thesis topic was a description of the Chinese theropod Archaeornithomimus. At this time, I studied the Mongolian theropod Oviraptor and erected a new hypothesis that it represented an herbivorous theropod. This argument was one of the first that supported a functional model for herbivory in a theropod. Later, I completed a PhD at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. My dissertation was a statistical analysis of the North American theropod Allosaurus. While in Utah, I got interested in the unusual theropods therizinosaurs, as a result of the recent discovery of the North American taxa Falcarius and Nothronychus. With the collaboration of Jim Kirkland and other Utah paleontologists, I presented a series of descriptions of therizinosaur braincases. Since then, my attention has turned to other aspects of therizinosaur biology, including paleoneurology, basicranial and vertebral pneumaticity, osteology, muscle reconstructions, and functional morphology. Therizinosaurs are characterized by an opisthopubic pelvis. I am also interested in how its development impacts other aspects of the anatomy. My research agenda lately has focused on studying the North American species Nothronychus graffami and N. mckinleyi from multiple aspects. This year, I want to ct scan the pelvis to examine how extensive air sacs invade the vertebrae and what that means for lung development. I also plan to get SEM's of the teeth to model diet. These activities are in addition to my teaching human anatomy at a community college in Arizona. Recently, we started dinosaur class. It incorporates many of the topics currently under study in therizinosaurs.