Degrees Held:Willie Freimuth

B.A. Geology, Carleton College, 2017

Degree Sought:

M.S. Earth Sciences – Paleontology

Email:

[email protected]

Advisor:

Dr. David Varricchio

Title of Research Project:

Analysis of feeding traces and their paleoecological implications at a dinosaur nesting site from the Cretaceous (Campanian) Two Medicine Formation of Montana

Project Summary:

Broadly, I’m interested in behavior in the fossil record (as told primarily by trace fossils and taphonomy) and what information it can yield about past environments, ecologies, and the evolution of organisms. My current research focuses on feeding traces at Egg Mountain, a renowned Montana dinosaur nesting site. These include coprolites, fecal pellets, and accumulations of small mammals that likely represent regurgitated gastric pellets (like those of modern raptors). Producers of coprolites and regurgitates may be small theropods, while fecal pellets may represent mammals, invertebrates, or small ornithischians. Geochemical and thin section analyses, µCT scanning, and comparisons to isotopic signals of eggshell and skeletal remains at the locality may link producers to their respective traces, providing insight into the environment and trophic interactions at the locality and evolution of dietary processes in extinct groups.

 

Research/Related Experience:

  • Makoshika State Park paleontology lab, collections, and field intern, Summer 2018
  • Fieldwork
    • Frontier Formation, Two Medicine Formation, MT – 2019
    • Hell Creek Formation, MT – 2018
    • North and South Islands, New Zealand – 2016
    • Egg Mountain, Two Medicine Formation, MT – 2015, 2016

Affiliations and Awards:

  • Woodside Endowed Fund for Career Exploration, Carleton College Career Center, 2016
  • Geology Department Summer Funding, Carleton College Geology Department, 2016
  • Geological Society of America Travel and Housing, Carleton College Geology Department, 2015
  • Shackel Internship Fund, Carleton College Career Center, 2015
  • Member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, 2017-present
  • Member of Dead Lizard Society, 2017-present
  • Member of National Audubon Society, 2019-present

Publications:

Freimuth, W. J. and Varricchio, D. J. (2019) Insect trace fossils elucidate depositional environments and sedimentation at a dinosaur nesting site from the Cretaceous (Campanian) Two Medicine Formation of Montana. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 534, p. 109262.

 

Freimuth, W.J. (2017) Using invertebrate traces to assess sedimentation at a rich terrestrial vertebrate locality from the Cretaceous of Montana: Senior Integrative Exercise, Carleton College, Northfield, MN, 46 p.

 

Abstracts and Presentations:

*oral, poster

Freimuth, W. J., and Varricchio, D. J. (2019) Dissecting Dinosaur Pellets? Taphonomy of modern raptor and carnivore gastric pellets guides the identification of fossil feeding traces at Egg Mountain, a dinosaur nesting site: Cretaceous & Beyond Symposium, Dickinson State University, ND, Abstracts, miscellaneous series no. 94, North Dakota Geological Survey, p. 22. *

 

Freimuth, W. J., Varricchio, D. J., Panascí, G. (2019) Trace fossils offer insight into the ecology and environment at a dinosaur nesting site: VII International Symposium on Dinosaur Eggs & Babies, Shiyan City, Hubei, China, August 17-22.

 

Freimuth, W. J., Varricchio, D. J., Panascí, G. (2019) Craigslist, ESA 2019: entomologists wanted to identify fossil cocoons, pupae, and other traces from a Cretaceous dinosaur nesting locality (Montana, USA): Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, St. Louis, MO, November 17-20, 2019.

 

Freimuth, W.J., Varricchio, D.J., (2018) An alvarezsaurid from the Late Maastrichtian of eastern Montana with implications for systematics and biogeography: Earth Sciences Student Colloquium, Montana State University, April 20. *

 

Freimuth, W.J., Varricchio, D.J., Martin, A.J., (2015) Using invertebrate traces to assess sedimentation at a rich terrestrial vertebrate locality from the Cretaceous of Montana: Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland, Abstracts, v. 47, no. 7, p. 342.

 

Varricchio, D. J., Freimuth, W. J., Panascí, G. (2019) The rich ichnologic record of Egg Mountain from the Two Medicine Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of Montana, USA, provides insight into the environment, sedimentology and ecology of a dinosaur nesting site: Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting, Brisbane, Australia, October 9-12.

 

Weaver, L. N., Wilson, G. P., Sargis, E. J., Freimuth, W. J., Varricchio, D. J. (2019) Exceptionally preserved skeletons from the Late Campanian of Montana provide a unique glimpse into the paleobiology of multituberculates: Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting, Brisbane, Australia, October 9-12. *

Willie Freimuth

Willie Freimuth