- Ph.D. in Comparative Biology, Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History, anticipated 2018. (Primary Advisor: Dr. Mark Norell, Co-advisor: Dr. Meng Jin, Committee Member: Dr. Melanie Hopkins)
- M.S. Earth Sciences, Montana State University, 2014. (Primary Advisor: Dr. David Varricchio, Committee Members: Dr. Frankie Jackson, Dr. Matt Lavin) Thesis Title: A phylogenetic approach to understanding dinosaur egg diversity and the evolution of reproductive traits within Dinosauria.
- B. S. Earth Sciences-Paleontology, Montana State University, 2012.
Research InterestsResearch Interests
I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative Biology at the Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History. I grew up in Helena, Montana, and hold Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Earth Sciences from Montana State University.
Broadly, I am interested in vertebrate reproduction, growth, and development. My research integrates fieldwork with phylogenetic, histological, and taphonomic techniques to better understand the evolution of ontogenetic trajectories, eggs, and nesting strategies of extinct animals and their living relatives. Fieldwork in the western United States, China, and Mongolia shapes my interests in the faunal evolution and biostratigraphy of the Cretaceous of Asia and North America.
Currently I focus on the post-hatching growth and development of basal theropod and ornithischian dinosaurs. The exceptional sample sizes available at the American Museum of Natural History can provide important insight into dinosaur growth rates and anatomical transformations during development, thereby establishing an essential context for understanding both individual morphological variation and the evolution of the extreme growth and metabolic rates achieved by dinosaurs’ bird descendants.
I am passionate about sharing through outreach the thrill of the scientific process and our evolutionary history that it reveals.
- Norell, M. A., and Barta, D. E. 2016. A new specimen of the ornithischian dinosaur Haya griva, cross Gobi geologic correlation, and the age of the Zos Canyon beds. American Museum Novitates 3851: 1-19. http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/handle/2246/6636
- Varricchio, D. J., and Barta, D. E. 2015. Revisiting Sabath’s “Larger Avian Eggs” from the Gobi Cretaceous. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 60(1): 11–25. Editors’ choice paper. https://www.app.pan.pl/article/item/app000852014.html
- Barta, D. E., Brundridge, K. M., Croghan, J. A., Jackson, F. D., Varricchio, D. J., Jin, X., Poust, A. W. 2014. Eggs and clutches of the Spheroolithidae from the Cretaceous Tiantai basin, Zhejiang Province, China. Historical Biology 26(2):183–194. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08912963.2013.792811#.VRNJR7pgvdk
Teaching ExperienceTeaching Experience
- Co-instructor for AMNH Lang Science Program summer course for high school students, “Evolution: Dinosaurs to Birds,” 2016
- Teaching Assistant, Earth Systems Science Course, Montana State University, 2013-2014
- Tutor with MSU Office of Student Success for BIOO 310: Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, 2012-2013
- Teaching Assistant for MSU ERTH 201 Earth System Science, 2011
- Teaching Assistant for MSU GEO 312 Dinosaur Paleontology, 2011
- Student Fellow for MSU UH 201 Texts and Critics, 2011