Rhiannon LaVine is a Paleontology Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago. She received her B.S. in Geology from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, where her lifelong interest in paleontology – inspired by growing up in the fossil-rich landscapes of Arizona and the dinosaur-rich culture of the 1980s – was nurtured into a career.
Throughout her time as a student, she has been involved in studies of fossilized benthic gastropod assemblages and explorations of western North America. She acquired further training in geochemical analysis, mapping, and determining evolutionary relationships between bellerophontid gastropods, through her own research and as an intern at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History. Her Ph.D. thesis project focuses on how constraints on possible body shapes can influence evolution in Cambrian trilobites.