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March 8, 2019 at 2:08 pm

Alumni News | NYIT Profiles Bourke on Dinosaurs, Dream Career

Jason Bourke, portrait

Dr. Jason Bourke

The Box, New York Institute of Technology’s blog, features Ohio University alum Dr. Jason Bourke and his “dream career” in a faculty feature headlined “Dinosaur Anatomy Through the Nose.”

Bourke earned a Ph.D. in Biological Science from the College of Arts & Sciences at OHIO in 2015.

Assistant Professor Jason Bourke, Ph.D., has been fascinated by his field of study for as long as he can remember. ‘I was bitten by the “dino bug’ as a 4-year-old, when my mother read me a book about dinosaurs,” he says.

Bourke’s work studying the biology and behavior of dinosaurs is changing the world of modern medicine. He sat down with The Box to talk about his research, what he loves about teaching at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University, and how jokes never hurt in the classroom.

Besides having your dream career, what else excites you about studying dinosaurs?

The detective work. Dinosaurs are extinct…and all we have to work with are the skeletons of the animals. This gives us a very limited view of what the animals were like when they were alive. Yet, through clever analysis of how bone changes in response to the soft tissues surrounding it and the physiology powering those tissues, we have been able to understand how these giants stood, walked, and—to a limited extent—interacted with one another.

The use of computational biomechanics in paleontology is particularly exciting as it provides a way to test the effectiveness of those bones in different anatomical positions, and with different muscular forces, without the worry of damaging delicate, irreplaceable fossils. Digital models allow us to further test hypothesized soft-tissue arrangements, such as the complicated airways in various dinosaur species, to see how well they faired at handling things like heat.

Read more in The Box.

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