Hello! My name is Anna Whitaker, and I’m a master’s student at the University of Kansas. I am pursuing an M.A. in Museum Studies in the collections and curation track, as I plan on continuing my education and career in paleontology and museum work.
I am supplementing my coursework with museum experience by working in the KU Biodiversity Institute & Natural History Museum as a collections assistant. Working in the historic Vertebrate Paleontology collections is such a thrill, and everyday there are new learning opportunities.
My current research (and thesis topic) is on the preservation pathways of Cambrian Burgess Shale-type (BST) deposits.
Previously, I worked in the Ordovician Reedsville formation of central Pennsylvania, which has spectacular preservation of unique fauna such as ophiuroids and cephalopods. During my time at Penn State, I worked in the Stratigraphic Paleoecology Lab under the guidance of Dr. Mark Patzkowsky and Dr. Max Christie. I participated in diverse research projects, from studying Pliocene biogeographic boundaries to reconstructing Eocene ecosystems in South America.