About the Society Awards Past Award Winners 2014 Taylor & Francis Award for Best Student Article in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
2nd Place - Hillary Maddin
Like most members of the Society, my passion for Paleontology started at an early age with an interest in dinosaurs, especially the "dinosaur" Dimetrodon
. This passion was nurtured by my undergraduate mentor Robert Reisz at the University of Toronto Mississauga, who then advised me through a Masters project exploring early synapsid evolution, with a focus on Caseidae. This experience further developed my interest in Permian faunas and major morphological transitions taking place at this important time in vertebrate history. I went on to do my PhD at the University of Calgary under the supervision of Drs. Anthony Russell and Jason Anderson, where I pursued questions of amphibian origins and evolution, specifically that of caecilian amphibians. I held a brief NSERC postdoctoral appointment at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, where I was fortunate to work first hand with the iconic caecilian fossil, Eocaecilia,
in collaboration with Dr. Farish Jenkins jr., while being hosted in the lab of Dr. James Hanken to learn new developmental techniques for application to questions of tetrapod morphological evolution. I am currently a Banting Postdoctoral fellow at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, studying extinct and extant amphibians as models for understanding the mechanistic basis of morphological evolution, with an emphasis on developmental evolution.