Julia Sankey

Dr. Julia Sankey
Associate Professor



Undergraduate Research

Sankey Research


Curriculum Vita


Geology Club

CSUS Paleo Club

I am a vertebrate paleontologist, with a background in both biology and geology. My current research is on Late Cretaceous theropod dinosaurs and the Cretaceous-Tertiary mass extinction 65 million years Big Bend National Parkago. Every January my students I and do field work in Big Bend National Park, Texa(students, email me if you are interested in participating)

I started at CSU Stanislaus in August, 2003. Previously, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Geology at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York (2002-2003) and the Haslem Postdoctoral Fellow/Assistant Professor at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (1999-2002). I had a Fulbright postdoctoral fellowship in Alberta, Canada (1999). I have honorary research positions at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, Alberta, the University of California Berkeley's Museum of Paleontology, and the Louisiana State University’s Museum of Natural Science.

I earned my Ph.D. in 1998 from the Department of Geology and Geophysics at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where I taught as an instructor in the department and was collections manager of vertebrate paleontology in the Museum of Natural Science. My dissertation was on Late Cretaceous vertebrates and magnetostratigraphy of Big Bend National Park, Texas. (View map)

Big Bend boneI worked as a paleontological consultant for environmental companies from 1991-1994. Before that, I received my M.S. in Quaternary Studies from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff in 1991, with a thesis on Pliocene- Pleistocene vertebrate fossils and magnetostratigraphy of southwestern Idaho.  During this time I worked for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Paleomagnetics Lab in Flagstaff.  From 1987-1988, I took geology courses and field camp at the University of Arizona in Tucson, and in 1987 I graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Albertson College of Idaho in Caldwell. I am from Santa Barbara,California.

Honorary Positions

Research Associate – 2005 to present. Univ. California Museum of Paleontology, Berkeley
Research Associate – 2000 to present. Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, Alberta
Research Associate – 1998 to present. Louisiana State Univ. Museum of Natural Science

Recent Invited Presentations

“Feathered Dinosaurs”. CSU Stanislaus Paleo Club. March 12, 2010.

“Past Climate Change & Current Global Warming: What’s Normal?” CSU Stanislaus Sustainability Conference, October 17, 2009

“Dome-heads, raptors, and sharks: my sabbatical year at Baylor". Baylor University, Geology Department, April 22, 2009

“Dinosaurs and other Cretaceous wildlife from Big Bend National Park, Texas" Blinn College, Bryan, Texas, April 17, 2009

“High abundance of sharks in uppermost Hell Creek Formation, North Dakota: Sea level rise due to the late Maastrichtian Greenhouse Event?” Louisiana State University, Department of Geology and Geophysics, March 23, 2009

External Grants

Earthwatch Institute, Center for Field Research (2002), "North Dakota Dinosaurs" ($10,400).

National Geographic Society Research Grant (2001). "Late Cretaceous diversity of theropod dinosaurs and mammals, Hell Creek Formation, North Dakota ($11,000).

Courses Taught

California State University, Stanislaus, Department of Physics and Geology, 2003 to present

Vassar College, Department of Geology and Geography, 2002 to 2003 (Visiting Assistant Professor)

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, Museum of Geology & Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, 1999 to 2002 (Haslem Fellow/Assistant Professor, non-tenure track).

Louisiana State University, Department of Geology and Geophysics, 1997 to 1998 (Instructor).

Other Interests

I love to travel, and have had fantastic trips to Paris and southern France, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, Australia, Venezuela, Mexico, Canada, Bulgaria, Greece, etc. However, there’s still a lot of the world I want to see such as New Guinea, Africa, Argentina, Italy, Great Brittan, etc. CSU Stanislaus Geology students: “Let’s Go!”

Glindie and Lizzie (below left) and Mali (below right).