Advait Jukar - There's bones in them thar hills!
That’s me gleefully dusting off a dinosaur’s rib. Growing up in India, I first saw fossils on television. We don’t have a lot of natural history museums that showcase fossils where I come from, so I got my dino fix from watching documentaries on National Geographic or the Discovery Channel. Since a lot of these documentaries were based in North America, they would talk about dinosaur discoveries in the badlands of Montana or the Dakotas. I was enthralled by the rolling hills where new discoveries were just waiting to be made. Every time my family would make a trip to the United States, I’d ask if we could go to the badlands, not because I was expecting to go out on a dig, but because I would be in the presence of countless buried fossils. Yes, this makes me a deeply weird kid. I mean, which kid would rather go to Montana than Disney World!? Alas, we never made any trips out there. Years went by, but finally in the summer of 2016 I got the opportunity to go out to the badlands of Montana on a dinosaur dig! You have no idea how excited I was. As soon as we got out of the truck, and I got a glimpse of the outcrops, I felt the same wonder and excitement I felt as a child when I would watch shows about paleontologists out in the field, but this time I was doing it! Twenty five years or so after I watched my first dinosaur documentary, my childhood dream came true. Read more about my research on how mammal communities respond to climate change on my website.