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This Is What Science Looks Like at NC State: Alison Moyer

me paleo
Photo courtesy of Alison Moyer by Jeremy Diehl photography.

Editor’s note: This post comes from Alison Moyer, a Ph.D. student in paleontology at NC State. The post is part of an ongoing series that we hope will highlight the diversity of researchers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The series is inspired by the This Is What A Scientist Looks Like site.

me and emmanuel
Alison and dance partner Emmanuel Toro

I’m Alison Moyer, a Ph.D. student in paleontology. My research interest is the preservation of keratinous structures in the rock record, including feather, skin, beak and claw fossils.

I am reinvestigating the fossil melanosome hypothesis – the idea that the pigment-containing cells in fossil feathers can be preserved and tell us what color these feathers were – by testing the alternative hypothesis that the microstructures observed in fossil feathers are bacteria from the initial stages of degradation. I am also interested in trying to understand the role microbes play during the processes of fossilization.

For fun I love to salsa dance. After finishing college I wanted to invest in a new hobby and so a friend and I started salsa lessons. I have been in love with latin dancing ever since.

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