Dinner & Keynote Lecture

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Saturday Dinner & Keynote Lecture:

Sanaa El-Sayed, PhD Candidate,

Mansoura University, Egypt

Before the Pharaohs: Breaking new ground in the study of Egypt’s ancient prehistory.

Mansoura University Vertebrate Paleontology center (MUVP) is a research unit within the Department of Geology at Mansoura University. It was created in 2010 to be a pioneer center in the Egyptian universities and institutions. Since its foundation, MUVP has become a center for the study of fossil vertebrates where students and researchers can exchange ideas and collaborate on projects that build upon Egypt’s fascinating geological past. Before the establishment of the MUVP, vertebrate paleontological research took place in Egypt at scattered institutions, but there was not a broader community of Egyptian paleontologists working in collaboration with each other to explore Egypt’s vertebrate fossil record. MUVP has made extraordinary contributions to scientific understanding of the vertebrate paleontology of Egypt in a series of publications led by Egyptian students, and indeed, the entire Middle East region as a whole. These publications have been diverse in scope, ranging from Late Cretaceous dinosaurs to Oligocene mammals, with other groups (e.g. fishes) or questions (e.g. stratigraphy) sprinkled in between. Furthermore, MUVP has attracted a large group of enthusiastic postgraduate Egyptian students, both men and women, who are eager to make new paleontological discoveries and participate in the analysis and description of those discoveries.

MUVP center has had great success engaging young Egyptian students and volunteers in paleontological research related to the different projects outlined above as part of its international scientific collaborations. MUVP has been teaching classes in vertebrate paleontology to undergraduate and postgraduate students at four different Egyptian universities and also directly advising numerous projects for senior undergraduate students. Seven Egyptian postgraduate students (four masters and two Ph.D.) have engaged in MUVP projects primarily under supervision of Dr. Sallam; four of them are currently Assistant Lecturers at Mansoura University, Assiut University, Alexandria University, and Banha University. These MUVP-trained scientists will go on to deliver their specialized knowledge at several Egyptian universities.

Another critical aspect of MUVP work is its public outreach through social media. Previously, there were no highly trained vertebrate paleontologists who were able to explain new discoveries — in Arabic — to interested students in the Middle East and North Africa. MUVP has come to play a pivotal role in helping to raise awareness of paleontological stories that are circulating in the media, and explaining those advances in Arabic, free of the jargon that can serve as a major impediment to learning and comprehension. Moreover, MUVP has served as a consultant for the Jebel Qatrani open air museum and Wadi Hitan Fossil and Climate Change Museum in collaboration with the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Saturday, March 2nd, 2019

Location: Burpee Museum 

737 N. Main Street

Rockford IL, 61103

 

About Sanaa El-Sayed

Sanaa El-Sayed is a co-founder and vice director of the Mansoura University Vertebrate Paleontology center (MUVP), the first vertebrate paleontology program in Egypt and the Middle East. She is one of the first women to pursue a career in vertebrate paleontology in the region. Sanaa is a Ph.D. candidate in MUVP, and the first and only Egyptian vertebrate paleontologist who is working on the Egyptian ichthyofauna. She has been in a tenure track position at the Department of Geology at Mansoura University in Mansoura, Egypt, as a teaching assistant in vertebrate paleontology since 2012. After completing her PhD, she anticipates that she will be the first female who will teach vertebrate paleontology courses in an Egyptian university. Her research interests are broadly in the area of vertebrate paleontological research in Afro-Arabia, with a particular emphasis on Cretaceous and Paleogene fossils. She is working specifically on fish fossils collected from the Paleogene of the famous World Heritage sites of Wadi El-Hitan and Jebel Qatrani in Egypt.

Sanaa is actively involved as a PI and co-PI in several paleontological field projects that are currently running in Egypt, which aim to recover vertebrate fossils from the Late Cretaceous and Paleogene of Egypt; two time periods that are significant in Africa‘s fossil record of vertebrate evolution that will allow for tests of competing hypotheses about the evolution, ecology, and biogeography of several vertebrate lineages that were present in Egypt during this time. Since 2011, Sanaa has been involved in more than 30 vertebrate paleontological field projects in the Late Cretaceous and Paleogene of Egypt.

 

Egyptian paleontologist Sanaa El-Sayed, shown here in the field, is the first woman vertebrate paleontologist from the Middle East to be first author on a paper published internationally.  Burpee Museum is excited to announce her keynote talk during our dinner reception.
Egyptian paleontologist Sanaa El-Sayed, shown here in the field, is the first woman vertebrate paleontologist from the Middle East to be first author on a paper published internationally. Burpee Museum is excited to announce her keynote talk during our dinner reception.

Saturday, March 2nd, 2019

Dinner Seating: 6:30pm

Lecture: 7:30pm

Dinner Lecture Pricing:

Dinner Tickets:

$60 General Public     $50 Burpee Member & Student

 

Dinner will be served by a local fan favorite, Franchesco's Ristorante.
Dinner will be served by a local fan favorite, Franchesco’s Ristorante.
The desert expanse and wind-scoured rocks of Wadi Al-Hitan are home to the earliest whales — and to a fossil find by a rising star in paleontology, and our dinner keynote: Sanaa El-Sayed. (Credit: Hatem Moushir)
The desert expanse and wind-scoured rocks of Wadi Al-Hitan are home to the earliest whales — and to a fossil find by a rising star in paleontology, and our dinner keynote: Sanaa El-Sayed. (Credit: Hatem Moushir)
Egyptian paleontologist Sanaa El-Sayed.
Egyptian paleontologist Sanaa El-Sayed.

Pro PaleoFest Tip:

Don’t miss the PaleoPackage!

Enjoy it all with your 2 day Lecture Pass, Cocktail Reception, Dinner Ticket + Saturday Lecture:

$135 General     $110 Member & Student

Tickets available on-line, over the phone, or at Burpee’s Front Desk. (815)965-3433

Purchase Your Tickets Online:

* Online ticket service charge applies