Natural History Museum of Utah hosts 4th annual 'Dinofest'

Natural History Museum hosts its fourth annual Dinofest (Photo courtesy Natural History Museum of Utah)

Dinosaurs are the word this weekend at the Natural History Museum of Utah.

There will be lots of words spoken about the prehistoric beats by nine of the world’s leading paleontologists, museum curators and scientists at the fourth Annual Dinofest.

Paulmichael Maxfield, adult and gallery program manager at the museum, said in a prepared statement:

This year’s DinoFest will help celebrate the Museum’s 50th anniversary in Utah, with a special emphasis on our state’s allosaurus, along with a spectacular line up of research scientists, dinosaur experts and community enthusiasts, who will share interesting information, discoveries and evidence surrounding the topic of extinction.

Visitors of all ages will have rare access to the museum’s Paleo Prep Lab and Paleontology Collections areas and the opportunity to learn from scientists and a variety of regional organizations.

Dino-themed activities and a special appearance from Utahceratops is planned.

Additional researchers speaking during this year’s event are as follows:

  • Keynote speaker Julia A. Clarke, Wilson Professor in Vertebrate Paleontology at the University of Texas at Austin and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor will address, “Survivorship at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary,” Saturday, January 25 at- 12 p.m.
  • Ian Miller, Curator of Paleobotany & Director of Earth & Space Sciences at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science will address, “Correlated plant diversity and climate in North America across the Paleogene mass extinction,” Saturday, January 25 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Cornelia Rasmussen, postdoctoral fellow, University of Texas at Austin will address, “The need for catastrophe – did the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs create a new habitat?”
  • Antoine D. Bercovici, is a palynologist (studies pollen & spores) and a postdoctoral scientist, University of Nottingham, research associate, National Museum of Natural History, (Smithsonian), and Denver Museum of Nature & Science will address, “The collapse of a green world,” Saturday, January 25 at 2:30 p.m.
  • Tyler Faith, Curator of Archaeology, Natural History Museum of Utah, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Utah will address, “The extinction of Africa’s megaherbivores: ancient homin impacts or climate change?” Saturday, January, 25 at 3 p.m.
  • Keynote speaker Tyler Lyson, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology, Denver Museum of Nature & Science will address, “Earth’s Last Dinosaur Ecosystems,” Sunday, January 26 at 12 p.m.
  • Paige Wilson, PhD candidate studying paleobotony, University of Washington will address, “Ferns, sycamores, and palm trees: which plants survived the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction?” Sunday, January 26 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Thomas Williamson, Curator of Paleontology, New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science will address, “The Cretaceous-Paleogene transition of the San Juan Basin, New Mexico,” Sunday, January 26 at 2 p.m.
  • Keegan Melstrom, postdoctoral researcher, Dinosaur Institute, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles will address, “For a while, crocodile: crocodilian endurance through mass extinctions,” Sunday, January 26 at 2:30 p.m.

For additional information, discount tickets or to sneak a peek of what DinoFest is all about, visit