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About the Society Awards Past Award Winners 2018 Awardees 2018 (Estes Memorial Grant) Evan Whiting


I have been interested in paleontology and herpetology for virtually my entire life. I grew up in Florida, with alligators, squamates, and other herpetofauna in my backyard. I spent countless hours devouring books and documentaries about fossils and wildlife, which led me to pursue my B.S. in Zoology at the University of Florida, where I also minored in Geology and graduated summa cum laude in 2014. As an undergraduate student, I prepared fossils, conducted research on modern and fossil crocodylians, and participated in outreach events at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Following a summer internship in Panama collecting fossils for the PCP-PIRE program, I attended the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where I studied fossil alligators from the Great Plains and earned my M.S. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in 2016. I began my Ph.D. in Earth Sciences later that year at my current institution, the University of Minnesota. For my dissertation research project, I am studying the biogeography and ecomorphology of lizards with respect to climate change, using the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum as a deep time analog for the Anthropocene. Funding from the Richard Estes Memorial Grant will allow me to CT-scan a multitude of modern and fossil lizard specimens for my dissertation research project. I joined the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and attended my first meeting in 2012. This society, along with the guidance, mentorship, and friendship of my advisors and colleagues, has been integral in my professional development and personal growth, for which I am very grateful. I am honored to be recognized by the society and awarded a Richard Estes Memorial Grant.