Speaker Bio: Dr. Jingmai O’Connor is currently the Associate Curator of Fossil Reptiles at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Previously, she was a professor at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing where she worked for over ten years. O’Connor was introduced to paleontology by Dr. Donald Prothero while at Occidental College (Class of ’04). O’Connor did her PhD studying Mesozoic birds at the University of Southern California (2009) with Drs. David Bottjer and Luis Chiappe (Los Angeles Natural History Museum). Her research explores the evolution of flight in the Dinosauria, the dinosaur-bird transition, and the biology of stem-avians, not through any one aspect but exploring Paraves through feather origin and function, aerodynamics, reproduction, respiration, trophics, anatomy, systematics, ontogeny, taxonomy, histology, and other topics as exceptional specimens arise. She has published over 120 papers some of which have appeared in top journals including Nature, Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), and Current Biology. In 2019 O’Connor was awarded the Schuchert Award by the Paleontogical Society which honors a paleontologist under the age of 40 who demonstrates excellence and promise. O’Connor has conducted field work in the US, China, Mongolia, Romania, Canada, and South Africa. She serves as an editorial board member for Scientific Reports and is a Research Associate of both the American Museum of Natural History and the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. O’Connor has been invited to give several keynote lectures, helped to organize several symposia, has trained numerous Master’s and PhD students, and lectured at the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.