After a whole bunch of blather from me, Mike, and Matt, we figured it would be good to shut up for a little while and introduce some of our other project project participants. First on the list is Christian Foth, one of our most prolific database contributors. We sent some questions to Christian, and this is what he had to say [we’ve made very minor edits for style]:
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What do you do (professionally)? Any other interesting facts?
My name is Christian Foth and I come from Rostock. This is a little city in the north of Germany (maybe 200,000 inhabitants). I am 24 years old and study biology at the University of Rostock. My main subjects are zoology and animal physiology and I have nearly finished my diploma, yet. The topic of my thesis is about the morphology of neoptile feathers (first feather generation of chicks) in several bird species. I am mainly interested in the evolution of birds and theropods (sorry), but ornithischians are cool, too. Last year I visit China for an excavation in the Provence Xinjiang. For more information visit http://www.dinosaurhunter.org
Why did you decide to participate in the ODP?
I like open source, and when I read about your project, I was fascinated by the idea to create a public database for dinosaurs.
So far, what has been the best part of the ODP for you, and why?
I collected a lot of publications about paleontology (especially dinosaurs) since I was a 16. And finally, I have now a reason to use this stuff in a non-profit way.
What have you learned from your participation in the ODP?
First, internet and open science are cool. And second, I learned more about the anatomy of ornithischians, and I hope to learn more about locomotor system evolution in ornithischians.
What advice would you give those who might be interested in helping out with the ODP?
If you have a little time, literature or ornithischian dino bones which need measuring, join the club of ODP.