I studied for my M.Geol Geology at the University of Leicester and graduated with a 1st in 2004. The course involved a wide range of compulsory geological modules but allowed me to focus on palaeobiology and evolution via the optional modules. My 3rd year dissertation investigated the affinities of Yunnanozoon and the evolution of vertebrates. The 4th year gave freedom for independent research and my 4th year project involved a detailed study of the ostracod colonisation of Rutland water (a 27 year old man made lake near Leicester).
I am currently making post viva minor corrections to my PhD thesis.
My thesis involves the analysis of tooth microwear in ornithischian dinosaurs, paralleled with a study of diet induced microware changes in extant reptiles. It is anticipated that microwear patterns will show how tooth moved against tooth within an animals jaw, upon what that animal fed and how the food was processed. Further lines of investigation include linking changes in diet to the evolution of jaw mechanics and linking the angiosperm radiation to the adaptation to herbivory in dinosaurs. Changes in tooth microwear over time may also allow a more accurate mapping of ornithopod phylogeny along with the identification of any niche partitioning.
Demonstrating 2005 to 2009
Williams, V.S. and Doyle, A. 2010 Cleaning fossil tooth surfaces for microwear analysis: use of solvent gels to remove resistant consolidant. Palaeontologia Electronica. Vol 13,Issue 3,2T:12p Palaeo-electronica
Williams, V.S., Barrett, P.M. and Purnell, M.A. 2009 Quantitative analysis of dental microwear in hadrosaurid dinosaurs (Ornithischia: Ornithopoda), and its implications for hypotheses of jaw mechanics and diet. PNAS. 106:27:p11196-11199 PNAS
Williams, V. and Purnell, M. 2008 Duck-billed dentistry: evidence for hadrosaur diet from tooth microwear. Transactions of The Leicester Literary & Philosophical Society. 102:p58-59 Leicester Lit & Phil Society
Williams, V., Purnell, M., Gabbott, S. 2006 Dental microwear in dinosaurs: a comparative analysis of polysiloxane replication. Dental Practice. 44:3:p22-23 [Download]
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