Prehistoric Museum Announces Hiring of New Curator of Paleontology

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USU Eastern Prehistoric Museum Press Release

The Utah State University Eastern Prehistoric Museum is pleased to introduce our new Curator of Paleontology, Dr. Joshua Lively. Josh grew up outside of Birmingham, Alabama and earned his bachelor’s degree in geology from Auburn University. He then completed his M.S. at the University of Utah and his Ph.D. at The University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated in 2019. He comes to the Prehistoric Museum after serving as an assistant professor at the University of Illinois Springfield for the last year.

He first started exploring the rich prehistory of Utah during his master’s program, working with the Natural History Museum of Utah in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Dinosaur National Monument and other localities across the Colorado Plateau. During his Ph.D., he continued to collaborate with the Natural History Museum of Utah, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, established his own field research projects in western Colorado, and worked with other collaborators in Texas, Alabama, Wyoming, Alberta and Peru.

The majority of Dr. Lively’s research has centered around the Late Cretaceous, or the last 34 million years of the Age of Dinosaurs. He is interested in this interval of Earth history because it was a period of globally warm “greenhouse” climate. Josh’s research has involved work in over 20 museums around the world, including work on freshwater turtles and giant marine lizards called mosasaurs.

Josh is excited to advance the mission of the Prehistoric Museum by exploring and promoting the paleontological resources of eastern Utah, educating the public through new museum exhibitions and outreach programs, and making new discoveries about the state’s ancient past. Be on the lookout for upcoming outreach events, volunteer opportunities in the field and lab, and a revival of the Castle Valley Chapter of Utah Friends of Paleontology in Price.

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