Paul Sereno to Bring NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE'S DINOSAUR HUNTER to Holland Center, 3/25

Paul Sereno to Bring NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE'S DINOSAUR HUNTER to Holland Center, 3/25

Omaha Performing Arts presents National Geographic Live The Dinosaur Hunter with Paul Sereno, paleontologist, on Tuesday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m. at the Holland Performing Arts Center. The show is part of Omaha Performing Arts' 2013/14 Speaker Series. Tickets start at $20 and are available at TicketOmaha.com, 402.345.0606 or at the Ticket Omaha Office inside the Holland Center, 1200 Douglas St.

In The Dinosaur Hunter, Sereno will talk about his work as a paleontologist, discovering dinosaurs on five continents and leading dozens of expeditions. It will be an evening of adventurous tales, captivating photography and more. "I see paleontology as 'adventure with a purpose,'" said Sereno. "How else to describe a science that allows you to romp in remote corners of the globe, resurrecting gargantuan creatures that have never been seen? And the trick to big fossil finds? You've got to be able to go where no one has gone before."

Sereno grew up in a suburb of Chicago, and studied art and biology as an undergraduate at Northern Illinois University. A behind-the-scenes museum tour opened his eyes to a life of science, art and adventure: "I never recovered from that visit. In paleontology, I saw an irresistible combination of travel, adventure, art, biology and geology."

Sereno studied dinosaur fossils in China and Mongolia while he earned a doctorate in geology at Columbia University and the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In 1987, he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago, where he teaches paleontology and evolution to graduate and undergraduate students and human anatomy to medical students.

His field work began in 1988 in the foothills of the Andes in Argentina, where his team discovered the first dinosaurs to roam the Earth - the predators Herrerasaurus and the primitive Eoraptor, the "dawn stealer." These expeditions revealed the most complete picture yet of the dawn of the dinosaur era, some 225 million years ago.

In the early 1990s, Sereno's research shifted to the Sahara, and the search for Africa's lost world of dinosaurs. Expeditions to Niger and Morocco resulted in the discovery and naming: Afrovenator, a new 27-foot-long meat-eater; skeletons of a 70-foot-long plant-eater he named Jobaria; a bizarre fish-eating dinosaur named Suchomimus, with huge claws and a sail on its back; and the 45-foot-long plant-eater Nigersaurus. His team also discovered the most fleet-footed meat-eater, 30-foot-long Deltadromeus, and the skull of a huge, T. rex-sized meat-eater Carcharodontosaurus. Besides new dinosaurs, Sereno's team stumbled on the world's largest crocodile, the 40-foot-long Sarcosuchus, dubbed SuperCroc.

In 1999, he co-founded Project Exploration, a nonprofit outreach organization dedicated to bringing the excitement of scientific discovery to the public and providing innovative educational opportunities for city kids and girls. Sereno is also one of National Geographic's esteemed Explorers-in-Residence.

The author of books and stories in National Geographic and Natural History and subject of many documentaries, Sereno's recognition includes Chicago Tribune's Teacher of the Year Award (1993), Chicago magazine's Chicagoan of the Year (1996), Newsweek magazine's The Century Club (1997), People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People (1997), Esquire's 100 Best People in the World (1997), Boston Museum of Science's Walker Prize for extraordinary contributions in paleontology (1997) and Columbia University's University Medal for Excellence (1999).

Omaha Performing Arts is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to enriching the lives of the citizens of Omaha and surrounding communities. In its two venues: the Orpheum Theater and Holland Performing Arts Center, the organization presents the best of Broadway, jazz, blues, dance, comedy, family and popular entertainment. Omaha Performing Arts also offers a range of educational programs and free community events that support, enhance and expand appreciation for the arts. In addition, the organization provides comprehensive ticketing services through Ticket Omaha, the official ticket retailer for the Orpheum and Holland. Omaha Performing Arts' performances are supported in part by the Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Cultural Endowment, the Mid-America Arts Alliance, National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Omaha and the Douglas County Visitor Improvement Fund, as well as corporate sponsors, private donors and foundations. For more information, visit OmahaPerformingArts.org.

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