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Tom Kaye

Research Associate



Tom's main area of research uses various types of spectroscopy including Infrared, Laser, Energy Dispersive and Raman, to analyze the elemental and molecular makeup of fossil specimens.  This work extends to UV and Laser Fluorescence from which he recently developed the world’s first fully automated micro-fossil sorting machine.  His lab is currently using electron microscopy to investigate the “dinosaurian soft tissue” controversy where his findings are pointing to a bacterial biofilm origin for the reported tissues.  Tom has spent 15 years working in the White River, Lance and Hell Creek formations of Wyoming and Montana where he lead 8 expeditions for the Field Museum. In conjunction with Chris Sidor, he is now leading expeditions to Wyoming for the Burke Museum with the goal of collecting fossils for exhibit, student training, and public education.

Tom Kaye

Selected Publications

Kaye, T. G., Gaugler, G., Sawlowicz, Z., "Soft Tissues, Hard Bones-The Bacteria Connection", Geological Society 41st Annual Meeting Joint South-Central and North-Central Sections, Lawrence, Kansas. Abstract

Sawlowicz Z., Kaye T.G., "Replacement of iron sulphides by oxides in the dinosaur bone from the Lance Fm. (Wyoming, USA) -preliminary study". Mineralogia Polonica Spec. Pap. 29, 184-187. PDF

Maguire, K. C., Carrano, M. T. and Kaye, T. G., "Paleoecology of a Masstrichtian Vertebrate Community from Montana", Geological Society Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Abstract

Kaye, T. G., Sawlowicz, Z., Gaugler, G., Stipanovic, B., “Soft Tissue Surrogates from an SEM Survey of Fossil Material from the Lance and Hell Creek Formations” Poster presentation, Sixty-Sixth Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Ottawa, Canada. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 26 (Supplement to Number 3): 50B.Abstract | Poster (1.6 mb)

Kaye, T. G., Cavigelli, J. P., “Remote Detection of Fossils using Infrared Spectroscopy ” Poster presentation, Sixty-Fifth Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Mesa Southwest Museum, Mesa, Arizona. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 25 (Supplement to Number 3): 71B. Abstract | Poster

Croft, D.A., Kaye, T. G., & Panko, L, “ A New Method for Finding Small Vertebrate Fossils: Ultraviolet Light at Night”, Palaeontology, Vol. 47, Part 4, 2004, (795-800) Abstract

Kaye, T. G., “Evidence for GRB Induced Extinctions in the Fossil Record?”, Gamma Ray Bursts 30 Years of Discovery, American Institute of Physics Conference Proceedings, vol. 727 (562-565)

Kaye, T. G., Innis, J, “Laser Spectroscopy for Comparative Analysis of Fossil Material” 
Poster presentation, Sixty-Third Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Science Museum of Minnesota, St Paul, Minnesota. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 23(Supplement to Number 3): 67A. Kaye, T.Poster