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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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Graduate Students

Danny Tovar is 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 in December 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 is expanding 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 is currently 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 August 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.

Scott Yuen is documenting the geographic distribution of Mammut americanum in California during the Pleistocene as well as further evaluating whether there are any size differences between California populations of mastodonts and those found elsewhere in the United States.

Kelsey Haack is currently looking at paleopathology of horse specimens from the Fairmead Landfill fossil site. Kelsey intends to enter veterinary school once she completes her undergraduate work.

Victor Valdivia is documenting 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