Projects

Late Cretaceous of Western Desert, Egypt

The Late Cretaceous is a time of critical importance for our understanding of vertebrate evolution because it marked the final phase of non-avian dinosaur evolution, and was likely the interval during which the last common ancestor of all living placental mammals appeared. This was also a time period during which continental drift and rising sea levels isolated most of the major landmasses, and the unique patterns of faunal cosmopolitanism or endemism created by these forces provide data that may help to inform the pattern and timing of continental breakup and collision. Vertebrate paleontological reconnaissance in the Western Desert of Egypt was initiated in 2008 by Mansoura University in collaboration with Stony Brook University and Ohio University. This project aims to recover vertebrate fossils from the Late Cretaceous exposures around the Dakhla, Kharga and Bahariya Oases. Recovery of archosaurs and mammals from this area would help to fill in a major gap in Africa's record of vertebrate evolution, which is very poorly documented from the Turonian to the late Paleocene. A substantial collection of dinosaurs, crocodyliforms, turtles, lungfish, and teleosts was recovered on this expedition, and these fossils have been deposited at Mansoura University.Late Cretaceous (Campanian-Maastrichitaian) vertebrates in southern Western Desert (of Egypt (in collaboration with Assiut University, University of Southern California, Ohio University and Denver Museum USA). Dinosaurs from the Bahariya Oasis, Western Desert of Egypt (in collaboration with Assiut University, the Egyptian Geological Museum, Carnegie Museum, Ohio University and Denver Museum USA)

Fayum Project

The fossiliferous sedimentary deposits exposed north of Birket Qarun in the Fayum Depression, northeast Egypt, have produced a remarkable collection of fossil mammals from localities that range in age from earliest late Eocene (~37 Ma, early Priabonian) to latest early Oligocene (~29 Ma, late Rupelian). This project aims at reconnaissance of fossiliferous sediments exposed to the north of Birket Qarun that have produced micromammal-bearing quarries, which have been found at several different stratigraphic levels. The most productive localities in the area north of Birket Qarun are Quarries I, M, G, V, E, A-B (Oligocene in age) and L-41 and BQ-2 (Eocene in age). The Fayum project is in collaboration with Stony Brook University, Duke University, the Egyptian Geological Museum, the Egyptian Environment Affair Agency (EEAA))

Wadi El-Hitan Project

The Valley of Whales or Wadi El-Hitan has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005. The valley is located northwest of the Fayum Depression, north of the Western Desert of Egypt, and preserves the richest marine mammal-bearing Paleogene exposures in Egypt, if not the entire Afro-Arabian landmass, with a remarkable collection of Eocene fossil whales from which it derives its name. The fossil whales from Wadi El-Hitan have been famous for their completeness and exquisite preservation, with the majority of them being assigned to the late Eocene taxa Basilosaurus isis and Dorudon atrox. In addition to the whale fossils, Wadi El-Hitan has produced a wide variety of other vertebrate fauna such as crocodiles, sirenians and fishes. This project in collaboration with the Egyptian Environment Affair Agency (EEAA)

PETM Project

Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) from southern Eastern Desert, Egypt (in collaboration with University of Oxford, UK)