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About the Society Awards Past Award Winners 2017 Awardees 2017 (Hix Preparator's Grant) Tetsuya Sato


Tetsuya “Ted” Sato is the lab technician for the Department of Geology and Geological Museum at the Peking University (PKU) in Beijing, China. He started his career as a fossil preparator while he was a student in the Department of Geology at the University of California, Davis. After he received a Bachelor of Science in 2009, he prepared Miocene whale Mixocetus as a volunteer in the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and was hired for its new fossil exhibit, the Age of Mammals. As his practical training period expired in 2010, he returned to Japan and prepared Triceratops for the Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Natural History.

In 2012, Tetsuya joined the research team led by the PKU, comprising paleontologists from the University of Milan, the Field Museum, the National Museum of Scotland, and UC Davis. His main employer has been PKU but his work locations have mostly been outside of Beijing. He was initially stationed at the Anhui Geological Museum in Hefei City, the capital of Anhui Province, where he established a fossil preparation laboratory in a new building and trained local preparators. He also contributed to the making of their new exhibits by repairing and consolidating dozens of specimens. After a year, he moved to Xingyi City in southwest Guizhou Province, where he again built a fossil preparation laboratory, maintained a museum collection, supervised preparators, and helped the making of exhibits, this time for the Xingyi National Geopark Museum (XNGM). Meanwhile he managed Chinese fossils for the special exhibit “Marco Polo 240 Milioni di anni fa” in Italy.

He has been involved with preparation and fieldwork in China since he was appointed by the PKU. He has been preparing Triassic fishes and marine reptiles, including the basal ichthyosauromorph Cartorhynchus which was published in Nature, 6-meter-long Guizhouichthyosaurus which is now displayed in the XNGM’s entrance hall, and several type specimens. Moreover he was recently engaged in preparing marine mammals such as Pleistocene Steller’s sea cow from Tokyo and Miocene baleen whale, Incakujira, from Peru at the National Museum of Nature and Science located in his home country Japan.