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Lawrence Witmer in his lab
Ohio University's Science Cafe series presents Lawrence Witmer and his students—featured in the October issue of National Geographic—discussing “Random Acts of Anatomy – A Live Guided Tour of WitmerLab” at 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 5.
In their Science Café, originating directly from the lab, Witmer and several of his graduate and undergraduate students will give a tour of the lab and the various projects, discussing both their methods and discoveries. Oct. 5 also happens to T. rex’s birthday! Tyrannosaurus rex was named 115 years ago, and Witmer will showcase their research on the “tyrant king.”
For 25 years, Witmer and his team have been studying the evolutionary history of life, focusing on dinosaurs and their modern-day relatives, such as birds, crocodilians, and other reptiles. Today, their state-of-the-art lab, known widely as WitmerLab at Ohio University, is home to a vast collection of dinosaur skulls, modern-day skeletons, and freezers loaded with donated natural casualties awaiting anatomical dissection. Witmer is Professor of Anatomy and Chang Professor of Paleontology in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“In some fundamental sense,” Witmer said, “our mission is to flesh out the past—almost literally!” Combining paleontology, biology, and advanced imaging such as CT scanning, Witmer and his team have published extensively on dinosaur anatomy, physiology, function and behavior, exploring how smart dinosaurs were, how they could survive without overheating, how they fed, how sharp were their senses, among other questions.
WitmerLab has a major presence on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Sketchfab. They have hosted two video series, “Dissecting with Emily” (with a former HTC undergrad) and their current “Random Acts of Anatomy” series.
WitmerLab is an official partner of the U.S. National Park Service’s National Fossil Day, and this Science Café is a sanctioned National Fossil Day event.
The series is supported by the Ohio University Research Division and Ohio University Chapter of Sigma Xi. For more information visit the Science Cafe website.