Argentinian paleontologist conducting research with Fredonia professor, students

Roger Coda
paleontologists working in a lab on campus

The duo of Dr. Mateo Monferan (left) and Dr. Thomas Hegna, along with Fredonia students, are engaging in research into fossil arthropods in Dr. Hegna’s lab in Houghton Hall.

Dr. Mateo Monferran, an Argentinian paleontologist, is conducting research into Mesozoic fossil arthropods – creepy crawlers such as spiders, scorpions, crustaceans, insects and millipedes – with Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences Assistant Professor Thomas Hegna and students in his lab during the fall semester.

“One of the groups we are interested in are a group of distant relatives to millipedes and centipedes called the euthycarcinoids,” Dr. Hegna explained. “Our research is showing that they survived much later into the Mesozoic (the time period from 65-250 million years ago) than previously thought.”

Another project involves a group of fairy shrimp fossils, which are relatives of sea monkeys, and the evolutionary relationship of fossils of clam shrimp. These are all arthropods that live in continental freshwater settings, Hegna explained, and may help advance understanding of how these ecosystems changed through time.

Dr. Monferran, who is at SUNY Fredonia through an Argentinian fellowship, is a professor at University National of the Nordeste Corrientes and a scientific researcher at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council.

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