Using CT Scans of Fossil Reptiles to Study their Evolutionary Anatomy – [Research Assistantship]

Professor: James Clark

Department: Biological Sciences

Title: Using CT Scans of Fossil Reptiles to Study their Evolutionary Anatomy

Description: CT scans of fossil reptile skulls are important tools because
they access internal anatomy that is otherwise difficult to study.  However,
they must be processed manually to highlight these internal anatomical
features, such as bone sutures and the openings of nerve foramina, resulting
in 3D images of individual bones.  This project involves CT scans of the
skulls of ancient fossil crocodylian relatives to determine their detailed
anatomy and use it in evolutionary analyses of these extinct species.

Duties: The student will be taught to use the program MIMICS to process the
CT scans. They will use MIMICS to manually recognize boundaries between bones
and other anatomical features and remove the parts of the image created by
the rock encasing the fossil. Their work will be used in a phylogenetic study
of the evolutionary relationships of these extinct species.

Time commitment: 4-6 hours per week (average)

Credit hour option*: 2

Submit Cover Letter/Resume to: jclark@gwu.edu

*If credit is sought, all registration deadlines and requirements must be
met.  Students selected to be research assistants should contact Brianna
Crayton (bcrayton@gwu.edu) whether they intend to pursue credit or not.

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