Research Facilities & Resources
Several participants of the PRC regularly rely on computed tomography (CT) and 3D laser scanning to study morphology in a virtual environment. The Department of Integrative Anatomical Sciences in the Keck School of Medicine has three Next Engine desktop laser scanners and one Artec Spider handheld laser scanner to capture external morphology. Commercial software is also available for visualizing and analyzing large image datasets (AMIRA, AVIZO, VG Studio, Geomagic), and 3D printing capabilities are possible with a MakerBot Replicator 2 desktop 3D printer. For more details on laser scanning, please contact Kristi Lewton (firstname.lastname@example.org). For more details on imaging software and 3D printing, please contact Biren Patel (email@example.com).
The Molecular Imaging Center (MIC) in the Keck School of Medicine houses multiple µCT scanners for imaging the internal and external structure of large and small specimens. For more details, please contact Tea Jashashvili (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the MIC’s associate director Grant Dagliyan (email@example.com).
Elemental & Isotopes Facilities
The Department of Earth Sciences in USC’s Dornsife College hosts biogeochemistry facilities that specialize in elemental and isotopic analyses to study a variety of paleoecological questions. The Feakins lab uses biomarker analysis, specializing in analysis of carbon and hydrogen isotopes from soils, lakes, and ocean sediments, to establish modern calibrations that can be applied to paleoenvironmental reconstructions in deep time. The lab maintains a GC/MS-FID system for biomarker characterization and quantification and a GC-IRMS system for compound specific isotopic analyses (C and H). For more details, please contact Sarah Feakins (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Elemental & Isotopes Facilities
The Department of Integrative Anatomical Sciences in USC’s Keck School of Medicine maintains equipment for histological research on modern and fossil hard tissues (e.g., bones, teeth). This includes thin-sectioning equipment for preparation of histologic slides, such as saw microtome and grinder-polishers, staining arrays, and a Leica DM 2700 polarized microscope and digital image capture system with motorized stage. Some of this equipment may also be appropriate for thin-sectioning and imaging sedimentary rock samples for microfossils or paleoenvironmental analysis. For more details, please contact Adam Huttenlocker (email@example.com).
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is the largest natural history museum in the western United States. Its collections include nearly 35 million specimens and artifacts, and cover 4.5 billion years of history. This large collection consists not only of specimens for exhibition at historic Exposition Park, but also of vast research collections housed on and offsite, including the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum. The Museum’s facilities include a newly renovated fossil preparation lab, molding and casting facilities, a variety of imaging equipment (e.g., laser scanner, scanning electron microscope) and 3D printing capabilities. Paleontology at the NHMLA includes four units: the Dinosaur Institute, Department of Invertebrate Paleontology, Department of Vertebrate Paleontology, and the Tar Pits.