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Alex Riter (Ph.D. The University of Texas at Austin)
Alex Riter, Ph.D., is a geologist
whose primary interests are the origin of igneous and metamorphic rocks formed at high temperatures and pressures. She is
cleaning, identifying, and organizing the rocks and minerals stored with the Non-vertebrate Paleontology collection,
and working on a set of gem and mineral web pages featuring our
collection. Some of the most beautiful of the mineral samples
she's found to date are brilliant scarlet crystals of cinnabar,
translucent sphalerite, and large calcite prisms.
The crystals of cinnabar shown here are a rare version that can be
handled safely. Most cinnabar is toxic because it is rich in
mercury, and should not be handled.
Comment: Alex has gone on to study further and is currently developing her skills in GIS.