Dr. Alyssa Bell received her Ph.D. on September 9, 2013 from the University of Southern California, Earth Sciences Department. Her research interests are primarily in avian evolution and the use of phylogenetics to study Cretaceous bird diversity. In particular, she is interested in resolving the systematics of a group of Late Cretaceous marine birds called hesperornithiforms. As an undergraduate, she did research on the molecular systematics of modern birds at William Jewell College and Brigham Young University. As a master's student at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Bell also worked on developing molecular techniques to use anaerobic enteric bacteria as indicators of surface water contamination. Her Ph.D. thesis is the most complete compilation of research on the hesperornithiforms to date.
Justin Hall is a graduate student in the Integrative and Evolutionary Biology Ph.D. program at the University of Southern California. He is interested in morphological variation, both within and between species, as well as functional morphology and adaptations for feeding and locomotion in theropod dinosaurs and squamate reptiles. Recent advances in computing and software technology are opening new lines in inquiry in functional morphology. His research combines relatively new techniques such as three-dimensional CT reconstructions, Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Geometric Morphometrics with more traditional morphometric and kinematic techniques. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Texas-Austin in Geological Sciences and Anthropology and received a master's degree in Environmental Science from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in Anatomical Sciences from Stony Brook University.
He has conducted field work in the Morrison, Cloverly and Sundance formations in Wyoming as well as the Cloverly, Two Medicine, Judith River and Hell Creek formations of Montana. In addition to Hall’s graduate studies, he teaches gross anatomy at the USC, Keck School of Medicine.
Nathan Carroll's first experience with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County was in Ekalaka, Montana. As a high school student, he had the privilege of assisting the NHM crews as they excavated dinosaurs just 20 minutes away from the ranch he grew up on. He pursued a B.S. and was recently awarded (December 2014) a M.S. in Earth Sciences at Montana State University, where he studied the diversity of Late Cretaceous pterosaurs. He is excited to start his Ph.D. program at USC in conjuction with NHM, where he works around the actual dinosaur specimens that started his career as a teenager in Montana.