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Akiko Shinya

Chief Preparator, Fossil Vertebrates

Integrative Research Center
Paleontology

My primary role at the Field Museum is to prepare vertebrate fossils using mechanical, manual, and chemical methods, although I do spend a few weeks or months every year doing fieldwork where I help locate and unearth fossils.  Fossil preparation exposes a fossil by removing it from the surrounding matrix so that  researchers can see the fossil's detail morphology.  There are many curators and associated researchers that work with the preparators, therefore I work on a wide variety of specimens including dinosaurs, fish, birds, amphibians, mammals, synapsids, and marine reptiles.  A specimen's size can vary from a tiny amphibian jaw that is smaller than my finger tip to a large marine reptile skull that is larger than myself (I'm 5'1).  As a preparator I have the unique opportunity to see a specimen removed from its matrix first hand and my lab is always full of brand new ancient creatures from all over the world. 

 

 

Additional Information

Education

University of Toronto, BSc in Geology.

Interests

Fossil preparation. 

Work experience

2001 - current  Field Museum

2000 - 2001 Dr. Reisz Vertebrate Fossil Lab, University of Toronto

1999 - 2000 Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada

Accomplishments

Hand crafted potato shooter.

Professional affiliations

Society of Vertebrate Paleontology