Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dr. Ellen Currano joins as faculty in UW Botany Department

Ellen with a ~50 million year old fossil tree
stump in the Wind River Basin, Wyoming
Ellen Currano is our newest faculty member, with a joint appointment in Botany and Geology and Geophysics. She received a BS in geology and BA in biology from the University of Chicago and PhD in geosciences from Penn State.

The last two years of her graduate career were spent as a predoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Wyoming, she was an NSF postdoctoral fellow at Southern Methodist University and an assistant professor of geology at Miami University (OH).

Ellen is a paleobotanist who studies the response of ancient plants and insect herbivores to environmental perturbations. Her research focuses on the Early Paleogene (65-45 million years ago) of Wyoming and the Paleogene-Neogene transition (30-20 million years ago) in Ethiopia.

22 million year old leaf fossil from the Mush Valley of Ethiopia. Insects fed on this leaf
when it was alive, and the feeding damage is preserved in the fossil record.


Prospective graduate students interested in pursuing field-based paleobotanical research in Wyoming are encouraged to email her.

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