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Professor and paleontologist Nancy Stevens, who will be the 2018 Fall Commencement speaker at Ohio University. (Provided via University Communications and Marketing)

Professor and paleontologist Nancy Stevens to speak at 2018 Fall Commencement

Ohio University announced Nancy Stevens as the 2018 Fall Commencement speaker on Thursday. 

Stevens, a professor at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and a paleontologist, has made several discoveries of species and conducted field research in over a dozen countries in Africa and the Middle East. 

“We are honored that Dr. Stevens has agreed to serve as (OU’s) Fall Commencement speaker,” Executive Vice President and Provost Chaden Djalali said in a news release. “She exudes a great passion and excitement for her work, and her words will serve as inspiration for our newest class of graduates.”

Stevens’ discoveries include a 25-million-year-old bobcat-sized carnivore from the East African Rift, the first dinosaur tracks from the Arabian Peninsula and the oldest fossil evidence of the split between Old World monkeys and apes. 

She also recently co-authored a study linking fossils from mainland Africa with the origins of the lemurs of Madagascar. That study fills in the evolutionary history of lemurs, according to a previous Post report. 

“Dr. Stevens has made exceptional contributions to the Ohio University community and to the world through her research and discoveries,” President Duane Nellis said in a news release. “We are pleased that she has agreed to share her wisdom and encouragement with (OU) graduates at Fall Commencement this December.”

Stevens’ work explores extinction dynamics and in her lab, students are are able to pursue projects in biodiversity hotspots such as Madagascar, Uganda and Vietnam.  

She holds degrees from Michigan State University, the University of Cambridge and Stony Brook University. 

OU’s 2018 Fall Commencement ceremony is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15, in The Convo on Ohio University’s Athens Campus.


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