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Dinosaur research alive and well in Bristol

Steve Brusatte

Steve Brusatte Ray Vodden

7 May 2008

Steve Brusatte, an MSc student in the Department of Earth Sciences, has been awarded first place in the 2008 Mid-America Paleontological Society (MAPS) Outstanding Student Research Award.

Mr Brusatte’s proposal was ranked first among 114 proposals submitted to the MAPS award programme this year. The letter of award, from Michal Kowalewski, Professor of Geobiology at Virginia Tech, notes that ‘given the very high quality of proposals submitted to our program, this is a truly outstanding achievement’.

Mr Brusatte will use the award of $850 to finance research relating to his study of ‘disparity and evolutionary rates and the origin of dinosaurs’. Commenting on the award, he said ‘I’m thrilled to get it. The grant reviewers were really intrigued by the proposal to use evolutionary rates data to look at the origin of dinosaurs.’

Mike Benton, Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology in the Department of Earth Sciences, said: ‘This is a significant and unusual level of recognition from overseas for a University of Bristol Masters student.’

Mr Brusatte achieved international recognition earlier this year for his part in the discovery of two new 110-million-year-old carnivorous dinosaurs from fossils dug up in the Sahara Desert.

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