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The Dundas lab specializes in Quaternary vertebrate paleontology.

The lab is structured so that students can obtain a well-rounded education in vertebrate paleontology.  This includes training in field techniques (fossil excavation, bulk sediment sample processing), laboratory work (fossil preparation, conservation, molding/casting), curation and collections management, paleontological resource assessment and impact mitigation, writing grant/contract proposals, project management, and professional writing.  Student research opportunities include both field and collections based projects. 

lab members

Dr. Robert G. Dundas

Bob Dundas is a vertebrate paleontologist specializing in the study of Quaternary mammals of North America.

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Current and Former Graduate Students

Danny Tovar completed his master's thesis during summer 2014, describing the felids from the mid Pleistocene sites of Irvington and Fairmead Landfill in California. Felids from Irvington include Smilodon, Homotherium, Panthera cf. P. onca, while the Fairmead Landfill biota contains Smilodon, Homotherium, Panthera cf. P. onca, Miracinonyx inexpectatus, and Lynx rufus.

Robin Trayler completed his master's thesis research during fall 2012 on stable isotope analysis of herbivores and large carnivores from the late Pleistocene McKittrick tar seeps in Kern County, California and the mid Irvingtonian age Fairmead Landfill site in Madera Coounty, California. The results permitted paleoecological comparisons between the mid and late Pleistocene of interior California and the late Pleistocene interior (McKittrick) and coastal (Rancho La Brea) faunas. Robin expanded the project to include the mid Pleistocene type locality of Irvington in the San Francisco Bay Area. Robin began his Ph.D. work at Boise State University in Fall 2013, where he will work with Matt Kohn.

Yesenia (Ibarra) Espino has been working on a master's thesis project studying rare earth elements of late Cretaceous marine reptiles and dinosaurs of the Moreno Formation in California.

My My Ngo continues her master's thesis research identifying the birds from the mid Pleistocene sites of Irvington and Fairmead Landfill in California.

Bob Koons completed his interdisciplinary studies masters thesis project in summer 2013, examining soil compaction and recovery associated with early to mid 20th century Sierran railroad logging.

Undergraduate Students

Susie Hertfelder is studying the taphonomy of the Fairmead Landfill fossil site. Upon completion of her B.S. in Geology, Susie intends to pursue her Ph.D. in vertebrate paleontology. While an undergraduate, Susie is also working on a couple of other research projects. She is describing gastroliths from late Cretaceous Moreno Formation plesiosaurs in California and is co-authoring a description of the Pleistocene El Tajo Quarry fossil site in Mexico.

Scott Yuen graduated with his B.S. in Geology in fall 2014. Scott, along with Susie Hertfelder, is documenting the Pleistocene El Tajo Quarry fauna from Mexico.

Kelsey Haack graduated in spring 2014. In addition to her fossil preparation work in the lab, Kelsey examined the paleopathology of horse specimens from the Fairmead Landfill fossil site.

Victor Valdivia graduated in spring 2014. During his time in the paleo lab, Victor documented the turtles from the Fairmead Landfill fossil site.

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California state university, fresno

Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences

Students interested in pursuing undergraduate research or a Master of Science degree should contact Dr. Dundas. Also, view the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences website at the following link for an overview of the department and program structure.

Dept Website