Caitlin Syme

Caitlin Syme
Queensland Museum · Biodiversity and Geosciences

PhD in Vertebrate Palaeontology and Taphonomy

About

13
Publications
1,921
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Citations
Introduction
My areas of research specialisation include vertebrate taphonomy and sedimentary geology. I have analysed the taphonomic history of the sauropod Austrosaurus mckillopi type series (Poropat et al., in press), and that of Lower Cretaceous ornithopod, thyreophoran, crocodylomorph and osteichthyan fish fossils from the basal Winton Formation in Queensland, Australia. I also have a working knowledge of bone histology, XRD, SEM, and stable isotope geochemical techniques (Syme et al., 2016).
Additional affiliations
July 2011 - September 2011
The University of Queensland
Position
  • Tutor – EVOLUTION 2201 Practical Sessions
Description
  • I led a group of students (approx. 16) through each session, using course notes and skills developed at tutor training sessions. I then assessed student’s academic performance and participation in practical sessions, and reported this to the head tutor.
July 2009 - July 2009
Flinders University, and Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Position
  • Volunteer field palaeontologist
Description
  • Our team excavated the fossil remains of marsupial, avian, and reptilian megafauna at an open-air site.
April 2009 - April 2009
Western Australian Museum
Position
  • Volunteer field palaeontologist
Description
  • Our team excavated ancient marsupial and avian megafaunal remains from Nullarbor cave systems, in south-eastern Western Australia.
Education
June 2011 - April 2017
The University of Queensland
Field of study
  • Vertebrate Palaeontology - Taphonomy
January 2004 - October 2006
University of Western Australia
Field of study
  • Zoology
January 2004 - October 2007
University of Western Australia
Field of study
  • Geology

Publications

Publications (13)
Article
Full-text available
Numerous vertebrate and plant fossils have been found in ex-situ sandstone concretions near Isisford in central-west Queensland since the mid-1990s. These concretions are found in the Lower Cretaceous portion (upper Albian, 100.5-102.2 Ma) of the Winton Formation. The lower most Winton Formation is thought to have formed in a fluvial channel or flo...
Article
Full-text available
High levels of skeletal articulation and completeness in fossil crocodyliforms are commonly attributed to rapid burial, with less complete and disarticulated fossils considered to result from ‘bloat and float:’ a phenomenon where the build-up of putrefactive gases cause carcasses to bloat and subsequently disarticulate while floating in water. Thes...
Conference Paper
Articulated and near complete vertebrate fossils have been found in sandstone concretions from the Upper Cretaceous (upper Albian) portion of the Winton Formation near Isisford, central-western Queensland. Fossils recovered so far include osteichthyans (Cladocyclus geddesi and an indet. halecomorph), crocodylomorphs (Isisfordia duncani), and non-av...
Conference Paper
Articulated and near complete vertebrate fossils have been found in calcite-cemented sandstone concretions from the Upper Cretaceous (upper Albian) portion of the Winton Formation near Isisford in central-western Queensland. Fossils recovered so far include osteichthyans (Cladocyclus geddesi and an indet. halecomorph), crocodylomorphs (Isisfordia d...
Poster
When an articulated skeleton is discovered in a high-energy channel deposit, it may indicate that it was buried soon after death, before scavengers could dismember the carcass or other taphonomic processes could lead to disarticulation. Left unburied, fluvial currents could disperse any disarticulated skeletal elements. In the Winton Formation at I...
Article
Full-text available
Taphonomic analysis of fossil material can benefit from including the results of actualistic decay experiments. This is crucial in determining the autochthony or allochthony of fossils of juvenile and adult Isisfordia duncani, a basal eusuchian from the Lower Cretaceous (upper Albian) distal-fluvial-deltaic lower Winton Formation near Isisford. The...
Preprint
High levels of skeletal articulation and completeness in fossil crocodyliforms are commonly attributed to rapid burial, with decreasing articulation and completeness thought to result from prolonged decay of soft tissue and the loss of skeletal connectivity during ‘bloat and float’. These interpretations are based largely on patterns of decay in mo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Numerous vertebrate and plant fossils have been found in ex-situ sandstone concretions near Isisford in central-west Queensland since the mid-1990s. These concretions are found in the Lower Cretaceous portion (upper Albian, 100.5–102.2 Ma) of the Winton Formation. The lower most Winton Formation is thought to have formed in a fluvial channel or flo...
Article
Poropat, S.F., Nair, J.P., Syme, C.E., Mannion, P.D., Upchurch, P., Hocknull, S.A., Cook, A.G., Tischler, T.R. & Holland, T. XX.XXXX. 2017. Reappraisal of Austrosaurus mckillopi Longman, 1933 Longman, H.A., 1933. A new dinosaur from the Queensland Cretaceous. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 10, 131–144. [Google Scholar] from the Allaru Mudstone of...
Conference Paper
There has been much discussion around the need for digital taxonomic reference collections, composed of photographs of specimens freely accessible by researchers worldwide. But there is also a need for a digital fossil taphonomic reference collection, whether for zooarchaeologists to differentiate between human versus non-human bone surface modific...
Conference Paper
There has been much discussion around the need for digital taxonomic reference collections, composed of photographs of specimens freely accessible by researchers worldwide. But there is also a need for a digital fossil taphonomic reference collection, whether for zooarchaeologists to differentiate between human versus non-human bone surface modific...
Conference Paper
High levels of skeletal articulation and completeness in fossil crocodyliforms are commonly attributed to rapid burial, with less complete and disarticulated fossils considered to result from ‘bloat and float’: a phenomenon where the build-up of putrefactive gases cause carcasses to bloat and subsequently disarticulate while floating in water. Thes...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
High levels of skeletal articulation and completeness in fossil crocodyliforms are commonly attributed to rapid burial, with less complete and disarticulated fossils considered to have resulted from disarticulation during ‘bloat and float’, where putrefaction gases cause carcasses to bloat and float in water. These interpretations are based on patt...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Archived project
Dinosaurs, crocs, fishes, plants, wood, even wood-boring mites. We love the Winton Formation!