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2010 Estes Memorial Grant Recipient

Juan Liu

Juan Liu

After receiving my BS in biology from Anhui University in 2005, I decided to pursue research studying fossil fishes at the Institute of Vertebrate of Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IVPP, Beijing). I received my MS from the IVPP under the supervision of Dr. Mee-mann Chang in 2008 with a thesis on "A survey of East Asian and North American catostomids (Teleostei: Cypriniformes) with special reference to Plesiomyxocyprinus arratiae gen. et sp. nov. from Eocene, China." After that, I worked with Dr. Chang for seven months in early 2009, and then began my PhD study at the University of Alberta in September, 2009.

My PhD program, extended from earlier study, focuses on "diversity and evolution of early catostomid fishes in North America and East Asia" supervised by Drs. Mark V. H. Wilson and Alison Murray, with Dr. Meemann Chang as a committee member. In order to comprehensively understand the diversity of early catostomid fishes, this project aims to study systematics, morphology and paleobiogeography of Eocene catostomid fishes along with their growth characteristics surrounding the Eocene climatic optimum. The Estes Memorial Grant will support part of my PhD research in visiting collections of Eocene catostomid materials in the Paleontological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

I am grateful to receive the Estes Memorial Grant which sheds light on my professional way to become a vertebrate paleontologist. All my supervisors Drs. Mee-mann Chang, Mark Wilson and Alison Murray are gratefully acknowledged here with my respects. I also extend my thanks to Dr. Xiaoming Wang from Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and many other field mentors for training me in field techniques on the Tibetan Plateau from 2005 to 2007. In addition, I would like thank my husband Zhijie Jack Tseng for always standing by me.

Photo courtesy of Juan Liu.