Rhys Watson

They/Them, He/Him

I am queer and non-binary and I am a paleontologist.//


I earned my BSc in geology from the University of Wyoming and I am now a masters student in paleontology in South Dakota. My past research involved using plant microfossils (cuticle) to learn what vegetation structure looked like across the Paleocene-Eocene boundary (the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum). My current research interests include plant-fungal interactions in the geologic record, paleomycology, insect pathogenic fungi, and fungal systematics. I also have a love of public science education and outreach. My future goals involve earning a Ph.D. and becoming involved in museum work somewhere in the world. I firmly believe in making science and museums accessible to all people, especially traditionally underrepresented groups. My time in the paleontological community has not only fostered my love of science and learning but also my understanding of myself. My queer colleagues have allowed me to transition into being my whole self and I would hope to do the same for those after me.

In my free time around academics, I enjoy spending time with my cat, getting my horse out for rides, hiking and rockhounding! There are always more cool rocks and fossils waiting to be found!