Skip to Main Navigation. Each navigation link will open a list of sub navigation links.

Skip to Main Content

Apply to the University of Wyoming apply now

Global Resource Navigation

Visit Campus
Download UW Viewbook
Give to UW
Menu

The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of the University of Wyoming


About UWyo

Advertise

Subscribe

UWyo Archives

Contact Us

UWyo Magazine
University of Wyoming
Dept. 3226
1000 East University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
Phone: 307-766-2379
TTY: 307-766-6729
Email: uwyomag@uwyo.edu

UWyo Magazine

May 2016 | Vol. 17, No. 3

As a paleontologist, geology and geophysics Associate Professor Mark Clementz collaborates with researchers around the world.

As a paleontologist, geology and geophysics Associate Professor Mark Clementz collaborates with researchers around the world.

International Collaborations

UW professors make a global impact and expand student opportunities through international research.

By Micaela Myers

Our day-to-day lives are increasingly global and increasingly connected, as are the issues of the day. By working together with experts from around the globe, we can find new perspectives and better solutions to the problems we face.

“If you aren’t careful, it’s easy to live within a research bubble and think just about how your own research program ties to the local environment,” says geology and geophysics Associate Professor Mark Clementz. “But the more work you do, the more you realize that the connections you make with research outside this country gives you new ideas, angles and perspectives. In the end, we’re not alone. It’s a big world out there, and we should try to make sure Wyoming is a part of that.”

University of Wyoming professors and students conduct research in many fields around the world. Here, we spotlight a few of those researchers and how international collaborations help advance both education and research.

Studying the Past

As a paleontologist, Clementz’s research focuses on the ecology of the past, specifically the evolution of coastal ecosystems and the role of vertebrates within those ecosystems. Many of his projects incorporate international collaboration.

Last year he was on sabbatical working with researchers at Museum für Naturkunde, the natural history museum in Berlin, studying the development of the middle ear in cetaceans. “The middle ear is very dense and preserves really well,” Clementz says. This is key for groups that lack teeth to study, such as blue whales. “The ears also grow over the animal’s life, so from an isotopic standpoint, we could potentially use that as an archive of diet and ecological information for both living and extinct species.”

The research was supported by an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation fellowship, a prestigious German-based foundation that sponsors research at the highest level. Working in Berlin provided access to specialized equipment. “They have a micro-CT facility, so we could take specimens that were roughly the size of a softball and put them into the chamber and scan both the internal and the external structures,” he says.

The Humboldt Foundation also provides a venue for ongoing collaboration, Clementz says. “They have an online network, where they encourage you to make connections with researchers in other fields. It’s great to have more of a global perspective.”

Clementz is continuing his work on the inner ear with UW colleague Ken Sims, as well as his students.

Berlin was only Clementz’s latest in a string of international research collaborations. Two years ago he worked with a professor at the University of Arizona on a field program in Tajikistan, where they spent four weeks collecting sediment samples. “We just had a paper come out in Earth and Planetary Science Letters on some of the work that came out of that,” Clementz says. “We were looking at the timing of the collision of Asia and India and the uplift of the Pamir Mountains in the region. Based on that work, we were able to better constrain the timing of when that event happened.

“I think the international aspects to the research I’ve been doing have been incredibly rewarding,” Clementz says. “I’m very happy with the connections I’ve made with folks in Argentina, Egypt, Tajikistan, New Zealand and Australia. It’s opened the doors to more possibilities and directions.”

He says that those opportunities extend to his students: “Think in the future of helping your students find employment in academic careers—having those international connections opens doors.”


View article as single page

Start | Next >

1/5

Center for Global Studies


Share This Page:

The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of the University of Wyoming


About UWyo

Advertise

Subscribe

UWyo Archives

Contact Us

UWyo Magazine
University of Wyoming
Dept. 3226
1000 East University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
Phone: 307-766-2379
TTY: 307-766-6729
Email: uwyomag@uwyo.edu

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Twitter Icon Youtube Icon Instagram Icon Facebook Icon

Accreditation | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Gainful Employment | Privacy Policy | Accessibility Accessibility information icon