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Girls Dig DEEP for Dinosaurs

To celebrate International Womens Day 2019, and their current exhibition ‘Dinosaur rEvolution: Secrets of Survival’ the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart ran an event called ‘Girls Dig Dinosaurs’ on Saturday the 9th of March to showcase the role of women in palaeoentology and the earth sciences. DEEP Group Research Assistant Tessa Smith spoke at the event and MC’d a discussion panel where the speakers answered questions on their work, how to get involved in palaeontology and what their favourite dinosaur was.

Over 100 people attended the event, especially a large number of girls and young women, some of which brought along their own fossils that they had collected from around Tasmania.

TMAG Girls Dig Dinosaurs speakers Jodi Fox (UTas), Dr Caitlin Syme (University of Queensland) and Tessa Smith, MC (DEEP Group, UTas).

The talks included:

  • Dr Caitlin Syme (University of Queensland) on the importance of understanding taphonomy and its uses in investigating fossil crocodiles, dinosaurs and fish from mesozoic deposits in Queensland.

  • Tessa Smith (DEEP Group, UTas) on the life and discoveries of English fossil collector Mary Anning and her contribution to the field of palaeontology. Interestingly the day of ‘Girls Dig Dinosaurs’ was the 172nd anniversary of Mary Annings death in 1847.

  • Jodi Fox (UTas) on her PhD work as a volcanologist and a recent trip to Heard Island in the Southern Ocean on the RV Investigator.

As part of her work with DEEP, Tessa has participated in four excavations of Pleistocene Holocene owl roost fossil caves over the last year, as well as the sorting and identification of that bone-rich material in the laboratory. She is enthusiastic about investigating the past and enjoys sharing this with other people.

Tessa Smith and Dr Matthew McDowell outside of a Pleistocene Holocene fossil deposit cave, Florentine Valley, Tasmania (Photo R. Eberhard).

Tessa would like to thank TMAG staff John Ratallick and Andrée Hurburgh for organising and promoting the event as well as the Friends of TMAG for organising Dr Syme’s visit from Queensland.

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