Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Introducing your new bartender, Xavier Jenkins!

Hi, all!
I'm new to prehistoric pub, and blogging in general. I figured that I'd introduce myself so you all can get to know me!

I'm Xavier Jenkins and I am a Freshman in Biological Sciences at Arizona State University. Throughout my entire life I've aspired to become a paleontologist, and in summer of 2015 I went on my first dig with paleontologist (and fellow blogger) Robert J. Gay.
                                     The Triassic Dream Team. Rob Gay, Tara Lepore, and I (Bottom right)
My research  has been focused on the paleoecology of the Chinle Formation of Utah, and I'll dig up anything I can there. Particularly, I want to get a better grasp on how these prehistoric monsters interacted with each-other, and I want to fully comprehend what this ancient environment looked like by employing methods such as screen washing to ensure that no fossil is left behind.

I am working on five or so projects relating to this research, including the description of new taxon and a mass mortality bone bed. I never thought I'd say this, but I've learned to love microfossils and I hope to be studying them for my professional career. Last summer, I worked as a Field Assistant at Comb Ridge and Fry Canyon with Robert Gay. Overall, I'm super excited to see what our research reveals! Every trip has revealed more and more, and now we got our self a bone-bed!

                              New taxon in the works. Look at those serrations! Scale=1 mm. Image is from Gay et al. 2016
In addition to doing research in the Chinle of Utah, I am working in an Ecology lab at Arizona State University, where I am studying the trophic levels of desert streams and the fish and invertebrates within. When I'm not procrastinating to study for my latest test I am either hanging out with my fiance, Madison, or I am playing Town of Salem with my friends and colleagues, Rob Gay and Nathan Van Vranken. I look forward to updating you all on our research, and I'll do my best to keep you entertained! Here's a link to our crew's latest preprint!

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