My research focuses on the relationship between mammals, their traits, and their environments and how we can use that relationship for paleoecological application in the fossil record. I am currently in the process of submitting my first manuscript, which focuses on the change in distribution of mammals and their functional traits in North America over the past century. My second chapter of my dissertation is focused on building and comparing predictive models using mammalian trait distributions of North American and African communities, and discussing the differences. My third chapter focuses on applying both models to the fossil record and comparing the results to previously established interpretations. Presenting my research has taken me across the United States, to Canada, and all the way to Australia. Previous research has also taken me to China for a month, where I was part of an international research grant to study dinosaur eggs with the Hangzhou Natural History Museum in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.
I am also keenly interested in informal science education and communication, particularly how they can be used by museums. In 2019, I was invited to be part of an international research group interested in the nature of science in natural history museums. The group, funded by the Danish government on an exploratory grant, met in Israel (home to two of there researchers) where I joined them to meet with professionals from museums and science centers in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and draft a preliminary essay on the use of Nature of Science in natural history museums. This work later was turned into an essay by two of the leads of the project and myself, focusing on diversity in museum exhibits and ways to create more inclusionary spaces. This essay will be published in 2023.
Papers & Essays
- Hock, D., and Secord, R.. Loss of mammalian biodiversity in North American biomes over a century of continental landscape changes In Progress.
- Diamond, J., Achiam, M., and Hock, D. Designing for Diversity. in Amplifying Informal Science Learning, eds. Sherman Rosenfeld and Judy Diamond. Routledge, 2023. Submitted.
- Hock, D. 2018. A taxon-free, multi-proxy model for making paleontological interpretations of Neogene North American mammalian faunas. M.S. Thesis, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.
- Hock, D., D. Levering, and B. Gomez. 2022. Using a virtual construct of the Permian Karoo Supergroup to teach high schoolers field survey skills, biostratigraphy, and evidence-based problem solving. Journal of Paleontology, Program and Abstracts 2022. Submitted.
- Hock, D. and R. Secord. 2019. Comparison of ‘Big Data’ uses in paleoecological multi-proxy models for North American mammalian paleoecological interpretations. Journal of Paleontology, Program and Abstracts 2019.
- Hock, D. and R. Secord. 2018. A taxon-free, multi-proxy model for Miocene North American paleoecological interpretations. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts 2018, p.146.
- Hock, D. and R. Secord. 2017. Vertebrate species richness change from the late Miocene to early Pliocene of Lothagam, Turkana Basin, Kenya. Geological Society of American Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 49, no. 6.
- Hock, D. 2017. Vertebrate species richness change from the late Miocene to early Pliocene of Lothagam, Turkana Basin, Kenya. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts 2017, p. 129.
- Hock, D. 2015. A comprehensive study of key paleoenvironmental changes using major faunal turnovers focusing in the Turkana Basin, Kenya. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts 2015, p. 144.
- Hock D. 2015. A comprehensive study of key paleoenvironmental changes using major faunal turnovers focusing in the Turkana Basin, Kenya. Geological Society of American Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 47, no. 7, p. 286.