URS Conference Stories: Orion Kornfeld

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This Fall semester, Orion Kornfeld (2025) utilized a URS Conference Grant to attend and present at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology conference.

At the conference, Orion presented work that measured wear in the teeth of Eocene (30 million year old) fossil hyraxes. Through analyzing changes in tooth wear patters, diet could be inferred, and dietary changes over time could reveal climactic changes

When asked how the conference experience shaped his research goals, Orion commented on the new field approaches he learned about: "This conference helped me learn about approaches which are tackling the same questions as me in more sophisticated ways. I am excited to use these new approaches going forward."

This conference experience inspired Orion to take more interest in locomotion and morphology in extinct animals, a different subfield that he has not studied before. "This experience has further increased my desire to go to graduate school," Orion noted to URS.

Curious about presenting your research work at a conference? Check out our URS Conference Grants to see if you are eligible to apply for funding.