Dinosaur Expert to Present Carroll Lecture

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The 11th annual Robert L. Carroll Lecture will be presented at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, in the Turley Center Ballroom.

The FSU College of Science and Technology has announced that John"Jack' R. Horner will present a talk titled "Are Birds Living Dinosaurs?" A reception to honor Horner will begin at noon outside the ballroom.

Horner will present a second talk, titled "Cool New Stuff about Old Dead Dinosaurs," at 7 p.m. in the Turley Center Ballroom. Public school teachers, students and the Fairmont community are encouraged to attend.

Admission to both events is free and open to the public.

Born in Shelby, Mont., Horner attended the University of Montana where he majored in geology and zoology. In 1975, he was hired as a research assistant in the Museum of Natural History at Princeton University, where he worked until 1982. From 1982 to the present, he has worked at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Mont., where he is Curator of Paleontology. He is also a Regent's Professor of Paleontology at Montana State University and a senior scholar of vertebrate paleobiology at the Smithsonian Institution.

Horner's research teams discovered the first dinosaur egg clutches in the Western Hemisphere, the first evidence of dinosaur colonial nesting, the first evidence of parental care among dinosaurs and the first dinosaur embryos. He and his teams have discovered six new species of dinosaurs. Horner's research covers a wide range of topics about dinosaurs, including their behavior, physiology, growth, ecology and evolution. Jack does not hold a formal college degree, but he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Montana in 1986. Also in 1986 he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. He has written more than 120 professional papers, 50 popular articles, authored or co-authored six popular books and co-edited one technical book. His work has been featured in numerous magazines and television specials. He was the technical advisor to Steven Spielberg for the three "Jurassic Park" movies. His research on Tyrannosaurus rex is the topic of the Discovery Channel's program titled "Valley of the T-rex."

Paleontologists and evolutionary biologists have, for many years, sought to unravel the true origin of birds. Horner's presentation will explore the dinosaur/bird debate, examining both sides of the issue. It will reveal how historical science is utilized with regard to testing hypotheses and evaluating the physical evidence for bird/dinosaur relationships. Horner will present many images showing various derived characteristics that birds possess. He will also discuss and compare dinosaur/bird growth dynamics and behavior.

During his evening lecture, Horner will present much new information about dinosaurs including Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus, Stegosaurus and many others that have emerged from his latest research endeavors.

The annual lecture, sponsored by the Fairmont State Foundation Inc., is in honor of Dr. Robert L. Carroll, a former member of the physics faculty. The lecture is an annual celebration of research at the cutting edge of a scientific discipline.

Dr. Robert L. Carroll died on April 13, 1997, in Charleston, S.C., at the age of 87. He received an A.B. degree in education from FSC in 1933, a Master of Science degree in Mathematics from West Virginia University in 1940 and a doctorate degree in mathematical physics from WVU in 1944.

Carroll served as professor of physics and head of the physics department at FSC from 1946 to 1956. His other positions included Associate Project Leader of Proximity Fuze Research with the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C.; Chief Engineer and Dean of Academics at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Md.; and senior scientist and analyst with various government research and testing operations. From 1965 to 1977, he was head of the Department of Physics at Baptist College in Charleston, S.C. Carroll was honored with numerous awards including American Men of Science, Who's Who in American Education, Two Thousand Men of Achievement (1972) and the Ordnance Development Award for Naval Research.