Café Scientifique – Deciphering Dinosaur Lives: From Microscopes to Madagascar

Presented and Hosted by Leah Peterson Sisler
Featuring Kristina Curry Rogers, PhD

Tuesday, October 15, 2019
7:00 pm / Doors open at 6:00pm

Tickets: $6-$15 sliding scale

Sauropods are iconic long-necked dinosaurs. They are aliens. They are celebrities. They’ve been called “Nature’s Greatest Extravagances....” and over the past 25 years, nearly everything that we thought we knew about these remarkable dinosaurs has changed. They are no longer dimwitted icons of extinction. Instead, they are an extraordinarily successful group that evolved their specialized body plan early in their evolutionary history, challenged the limits of terrestrial body size, and were among the last surviving dinosaurs in the Cretaceous Period. How did they do it? From exciting discoveries in the field in Madagascar, to new information gleaned from microscopic investigations of sauropod bones, Dr. Kristi Curry Rogers will fill us in on the new and improved sauropod.

Kristina Curry Rogers is a vertebrate paleontologist most interested in studying dinosaur evolution and paleobiology. Her current research focuses on the evolutionary history of Titanosauria – the latest surviving and perhaps most diverse lineage of long-necked sauropod dinosaurs, including the largest land-living animals of all time, as well as species thought to be dwarfs. With regard to paleobiology, Prof. Rogers is most interested in understanding dinosaur life history - utilizing bone histology to explore and reconstruct growth patterns in extinct dinosaurs, living birds, and other vertebrates. She conducts field research in Montana, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe to these ends. Prof. Rogers is jointly appointed in the Biology and Geology Departments at Macalester, and teaches a selection of courses, including: (1) Dinosaurs, (2) Biodiversity and Evolution, (3) Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, and (4) Vertebrate Paleobiology.

Prof. Rogers holds a Bachelor of Science from Montana State University, and a Master of Science and PhD from Stony Brook University in New York. She was Curator of Paleontology at the Science Museum of Minnesota from 1999-2007 and is a research associate with both the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University as well as at the University of Minnesota's Bell Museum.

Cafe Scientifique combines cutting-edge science and conversation in a fun, casual cabaret setting, often over dinner and a beer (or two). Throughout Café Scientifique's eight-year residency at the Bryant-Lake Bowl, theatergoers have regularly packed the room to hear talks on topics ranging from dinosaurs to exoplanets to the inner workings of the human brain. Every month, Café Scientifique offers an opportunity for anyone to engage with incredible scientists and researchers in an informal, accessible way.


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