In the Summer of 2015 I was sponsored by the NSF East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes Fellowship program (EAPSI) to visit the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) (中国科学院古脊椎动物与古人类研究所) in Beijing, China. I spent the summer looking through screen-washed sediment from southern Chinese caves (in Guangxi, 广西). I'm interested in the fossil reptiles and amphibians from these caves because the deposits are from the Pleistocene, also known as the Ice Ages, and can tell us a lot about previous climate changes.
This project is a continuation of the growing ties between East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and IVPP. I was the third ETSU student to visit IVPP through this NSF program, and the paleontology professors at ETSU have ongoing projects with their Chinese counterparts.
In addition to fostering international collaboration, this partnership is invaluable in the study of the fossils from the Gray Fossil Site, as many of the fossil plants and animals found there are only found in Asia today.
Numerous herpetological remains from Pleistocene caves of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, were recovered and are under investigation.
Mead, J. I., Moscato, D., Wang, Y., Jin, C., & Yan, Y. (2014). Pleistocene lizards (Squamata, Reptilia) from the karst caves in Chongzuo, Guangxi, southern China. Quaternary International, 354, 94-99.
Dr. Jim Mead - ETSU
Dr. Yuan Wang - IVPP
Dr. Changzhu Jin - IVPP
Yaling Yan - IVPP
Get an inside glimpse of the IVPP in David Attenborough's documentary Rise of Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates, where many Chinese fossils are highlighted. The documentary airs on the Smithsonian Channel.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1515243.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.