Fossil characterization through destructive morphological modelling
Speaker: Dr. Christopher Boyd | Geoscientist at Shell
Time: 7:30 pm
Date: February 24, 2017
Location: Mount Royal University, Room B108
Destructive analysis of fossils is not for the faint of heart. However, in some circumstances, destructive analysis is the best or potentially the only way to collect the necessary data. A methodology has been developed which uses precision serial grinding and high-resolution digital photography to produce high-resolution full colour morphological models of both fossils and surrounding sediment. This technique is a highly accurate and reliable method for modelling and describing specimen when traditional non-destructive methods fall short.
Traditional non-destructive methods of in-situ fossil modelling involve the use of X-radiographs or CT scanning, both of which rely on sufficient density contrast between the fossil and the surrounding sediment. Often these techniques are not successful due to low density contrasts, or cannot produce sufficiently high resolution models of large fossils. Fossil description using serial grinding and photography does not depend on a density contrast and does not have the same size limitations. This method has been used on a growing database of fossil specimen, including for taxonomic purposes and the introduction of new species.
Chris Boyd has had a passion for geology, palaeontology, and the deep past ever since his childhood searching for trilobites on the riverbanks of Newfoundland. Chris completed his Studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland. During his time at MUN he worked in both the palynology lab and the neo-ichnology research lab. Chris also ran a photography business on the side during his studies. His experience with photography combined with his passion for palaeontology led him to take on a Ph.D in morphologic modelling of fossils, where he was involved in the development of a novel high-resolution modelling technic for in-situ, low-density contrast specimen. He has subsequently had several papers published on the topic and has introduced a new species using these methods. He currently works as a Geoscientist at Shell and spends his evenings and weekends working on proto-conodonts from the lower Cambrian of Newfoundland.