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Prof. Mauricio Barbi

University of Regina
Date of Live Presentation: Thu, 07-Mar-2019
Location: UBC


First observation of dinosaur skin layers using synchrotron radiation


Dinosaurs roamed the Earth for over 160 million years until their abrupt extinction about 65 million years ago. However, not all dinosaurs went extinct: nowadays birds are recognized as a branch of the dinosaur family known as avian dinosaurs. They are the legacy left by those incredible animals that came in all shapes and sizes. In this lecture, I will discuss the discovery and studies of a spectacularly well preserved skin of a hadrosaur from the Grand Prairie region. A series of complementary data collected using tools such as synchrotron radiation and electron microscopy have been combined to yield the first ever observation of preserved epidermal cell layers in the skin of a large dinosaur. I will also show a direct comparison between this skin structure and that of an extant avian specimen, giving the first substantial evidence of the similarities between the organic layout of the skins of extinct non-avian and extant avian dinosaurs.

Short bio

I obtained my PhD in 1998 working in the experiment DELPHI of the Large Electron-Positron (LEP) Collider at the CERN laboratory in Switzerland. Following my PhD, I joined the McGill University as a postdoc based at the DESY laboratory in Hamburg, Germany, where I worked in the ZEUS experiment of the HERA (proton-electron) collider assuming roles such as the ZEUs Uranium Calorimeter Coordinator and ZEUS Run Coordinator, and developing several physics analysis spanning from hadronic jets to meson spectroscopy. In 2004, I joined the University of Regina as a tenure-track assistant professor, and I am currently a full professor. I have developed studies in several areas going from exploring possibilities to search for dark matter with the proposed International Linear Collider (ILC) to detector R&D for the ILC and the long-baseline neutrino experiment, T2K, in Japan. My current projects are concentrated in detector R&D for the next generation of neutrino experiments, including Hyper-K and E61. Besides these two activities, I pioneered the use of synchrotron radiation applied to studies in paleontology in Canada. This project was initiated in 2012 as a hobby activity, but it has recently become one of my main lines of research as it has evolved into

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