Vertebrate Paleontology

Analysis of fossil sheds light on reptile evolution

Analysis of fossil sheds light on reptile evolution

September 2, 2021

Tiago Simões, a researcher in the Stephanie Pierce lab and former Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Postdoctoral Fellow, knew he found something special when he examined a fossil specimen collected decades ago. The fossil belongs to a previously unknown species of lizard-like reptile, representing the earliest evolving member of a lineage that today includes all lizards, snakes, and their closest relatives. The research was published in...

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illustration showing Two Late Devonian early tetrapods coming out of the water to move on land

MCZ researchers reconstruct the evolution of terrestrial movement in early tetrapods

December 1, 2020
Stephanie Pierce, MCZ Faculty-Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, and Blake Dickson, Ph.D. ’20 analyzed 40 3D fossil humeri to better understand the transition from fin-to-limb and reconstruct the evolution of terrestrial movement in early tetrapods. The work is published in Nature and featured in the... Read more about MCZ researchers reconstruct the evolution of terrestrial movement in early tetrapods
Lab 3D screenshot

Vertebrate Paleontology rallies to create virtual labs for OEB course

May 4, 2020
Phil Fahn-Lai, Stephanie Pierce Lab grad student and OEB Teaching Fellow, rose to the challenge when all Harvard courses went online earlier this spring. A significant component to OEB 126 Vertebrate Paleontology, is handling MCZ fossils during in-person labs. When Phil learned students would no longer be on campus for these labs, he spent his last few days on campus scanning as many fossil specimens as possible. He then designed an interactive website... Read more about Vertebrate Paleontology rallies to create virtual labs for OEB course
fossil in jacket

Now accepting applications for Vertebrate Paleontology Technician and Preparator

February 3, 2020

The MCZ is now accepting applications for a Vertebrate Paleontology Technician and Preparator. 

The Vertebrate Paleontology Technician and Preparator operates and manages the Paleontology Preparation Laboratory and cares for fossils in the vertebrate paleontology collection. Research priorities of the department are established by the Faculty-Curator, Stephanie Pierce.

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Stephanie Pierce

Stephanie Pierce awarded prize for Excellence in Science Teaching

December 18, 2019
Congratulations to Stephanie Pierce, MCZ Faculty-Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, recipient of the 2019 Fannie Cox Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching for her exceptional teaching in introductory science courses. Courses Stephanie teaches include How to Build an Animal, Vertebrate Evolution, and The Fishy Aspects of the Human BodyRead more about Stephanie Pierce awarded prize for Excellence in Science Teaching