Most of the work undertaken in the Vertebrate Palaeontology Laboratory involves the mechanical preparation of fossil material from the middle-Cretaceous Winton Formation of western Queensland. The majority of fossils that we work on come from localities at either Isisford or Winton. In 2004 we also commenced the preparation of possible dinosaur material from the Late Cretaceous of James Ross Island on The Antarctic Peninsula, as part of a collaborative project with Prof Judd Case (St. Mary's College, California) and Dr James Martin (South Dakota School of Mines and Technology).
Fossil remains are carefully exposed from the rocks in which they are encased using a variety of hand-held pneumatic chisels, dental probes and tungsten needles. Fossiliferous sediment from various vertebrate-bearing sites is also screen-washed and sorted for microfossils. From time to time, the replication of important fossils for display purposes is also undertaken.
Vertebrate Palaeontology Lab staff
Current student volunteers
If you would like to help with fossil preparation in our lab, please contact Dr Steve Salisbury.
To see and learn more about the work undertaken in the lab, click here.
Feature story: Bringing Elliot and Mary to life
See what's involved in bringing the sauropod bones collected during the course of the Winton Dinosaur Project from the pit to public display.