I am a PhD student studying the relationships and biology of the Caenagnathidae, a family of North American oviraptorosaurs. The oviraptorosaurs are an odd group of dinosaurs. Although they have evolved from carnivorous ancestors, they have lost their teeth, and developed beaks instead. My undergrad work showed, through osteology, comparative anatomy, and functional morphology, that caenagnathids are omnivorous. The group shows remarkable convergence with modern birds, and I believe studying them can help us understand why birds became so successful. My current research aims to reconstruct the relationships of the group using new, more complete specimens. In the future, I’d like to refocus on the origin of birds, and see what oviraptorosaurs can reveal about the ecological role of early birds.
Originally from Yellowknife, NWT, I completed my BSc in Honours in Palaeontology at the University of Alberta in 2013. My undergraduate thesis focused on determining the diet of a toothless caenagnathid dinosaur. I’ve been involved in a number of other projects, including work on Brachiopods, and an ongoing project on troodontid tooth morphology.
Greg Funston, PhD student
Office: Z-413, Biological Sciences Building