University of Alberta

Michael E. Burns

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Research Interests

I am a PhD student working on growth and allometry in ankylosaurs, the armoured dinosaurs. I want to address allometric growth within individual populations of ankylosaurs and assess the effects of ontogeny on our understanding of their phylogeny. I also plan to investigate life history and growth curves for ankylosaurs using histological techniques. This knowledge will further my research towards better understanding of the paleobiology, paleoecology, and evolutionary history of the group.

I also have an interest in the application of histological techniques to problems in vertebrate palaeontology. I completed my masterís degree here at the U of A in 2010. My work had focused on the dermal armour of ankylosaurs (composed of individual bones embedded in the skin called osteoderms). When compared to other modern and fossil groups (turtles, crocodiles, armadillos, etc), it is evident that these osteoderms yield morphological and histological characters useful for phylogenetic reconstructions.

My BSc was completed in 2007 at Dickinson College with a major in geology and minor in biology. Preliminary work on ankylosaur osteoderms at the State Museum of Pennsylvania allowed me to confirm the validity of the species Glyptodontopelta mimus, then considered a nomen dubium.


Michael Burns, PhD Student
Offfice: Z 413, Biological Sciences
Phone: 1 (780) 492-1252

Academic Training

BSc, Dickinson College, 2007
MSc, University of Alberta, 2010

Last Modified:2011-03-09