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DinoFest 2020 Speaker: Dr. Tyler Lyson

A man carries a large bag of plaster on his shoulders.

Title of Lecture: Earth’s Last Dinosaur Ecosystems

Lecture Description: The last one million years of the reign of dinosaurs was marked by changes in sea level, the eruption of giant volcanic igneous provinces in India, and abruptly ended 66 million years ago when a 6-mile wide asteroid slammed into Earth. The tempo (gradual vs. catastrophic) and cause(s) of Earth’s last mass extinction event has been fiercely debated. Dr. Lyson will integrate microvertebrates, dinosaur skeletons, plants, and pollen data from the last one million years of the Age of Reptiles into a high-resolution geologic framework to look at biotic patterns leading up to Earth’s darkest hour.

Bio: Dr. Tyler Lyson is curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, where he is responsible for the fossil reptile collection. His research focuses on the early origin and evolution of reptiles, particularly turtles, as well as the driver(s) and tempo of the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction and subsequent ecosystem recovery. He is working on projects in the Denver Basin in Colorado, Williston Basin in North Dakota and Montana, and Karoo Basin in South Africa. Lyson received his Ph.D. and M.A. in geology and paleontology from Yale University, and his B.A. from Swarthmore College. Lyson was a postdoctoral researcher at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History before joining the Denver Museum in 2014. 

Back to DinoFest 2020 overview.