2004 Student Poster Prize Recipient
Marc E.H. Jones
Winning the Student Poster Prize was a great way to mark my first SVP, and the financial award will allow me to attend the 2nd Latin American Congress of Vertebrate Palaeontology in Rio de Janeiro next August. I would like to take this opportunity to thank colleagues, friends and particularly Professor Susan E. Evans for helpful suggestions regarding the poster whilst in its editing stages.
Born and raised in Cardiff (Wales, UK) I attended a Welsh language school, Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf, where I studied Art, Biology and Chemistry. I decided to follow my long-term interest in palaeontology and zoology, reading MSci Palaeobiology at University College London (UCL). This four-year undergraduate degree, based in Earth Sciences, comprised a wide range of courses including palaeontology, vertebrate evolution, cladistics, sedimentology, geological field techniques, molecular biology, Quaternary environments, behavioural ecology, conservation and palaeoanthropology. Coping with this diversity could at times be challenging, but the high concentration of evolutionary biologists in London, and proximity of the Natural History Museum, generated an inspiring sense of perspective and highlighted the importance of both context and synthesis. Perhaps most importantly my degree illustrated that there are still many gaps in our knowledge left to investigate.
During my third year, I completed a literature-based project about the origin of birds and evolution of flight, tutored by Dr Marcello Ruta and Professor Mike Coates. For my fourth year project, I described some Cretaceous frog material under the supervision of Professor Susan E. Evans in the department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology. This led to a joint author publication and gave me the opportunity to further develop my skills in art through using camera lucida.
After completing my degree, I worked for the National Museum of Wales and did some travelling across Australia, dropping in on the First International Congress of Palaeontology in Sydney. I am currently in the third year of my PhD at UCL, studying skull evolution and functional morphology in Rhynchocephalia (Diapsida: Lepidosauria). I am interested in all manner of skeletal variation, in fact if anyone has access to a Sphenodon skull (which isn't camera shy) please get in touch with me. During my PhD I have enjoyed participating in field work at the Early Cretaceous lagerstätten of Las Hoyas (Spain) and the Middle Jurassic of Skye (Scotland, UK).
I also helped establish the London Evolutionary Research Network (LERN), a student society that aims to enhance communication between research students in London through regular events and an annual conference. In my spare time I enjoy life drawing, visiting art galleries, live music, travelling, SCUBA, and playing and watching football (soccer).
Photo courtesy of Marc E.H. Jones.