Adventure through Texas fossil discoveries with paleontologist Andre LuJan at McFaddin-Ward House Lecture Series event Oct. 5
Beaumont, TX; Sep. 25, 2023 – Take a thrilling adventure through Texas fossil digs and discoveries with professional paleontologist Andre LuJan during his free public lecture, “Texas Fossil Finds: Following the Journey from Dig to the Museum,” presented by the McFaddin-Ward House on Thursday, Oct. 5, at 6:30 p.m. in the museum’s Visitor Center Lecture Hall (located at 1906 Calder Avenue, in Beaumont).
A Dallas native, LuJan is the founder and CEO of PaleoTex, a full-service commercial paleontology company that provides professional services and research specimens to institutions, vocational paleontologists, and independent researchers around the world. His lecture will detail technology, innovation, and commerce related to the field of paleontology and showcase his expertise in the preparation work and display of museum fossil installations.
“Being the first person or people to see these treasures is a real honor and privilege,” LuJan said. “Like most children, I had a fascination with dinosaurs. My parents took me to Dinosaur Valley State Park when I was four. After stepping in a dinosaur track, I was hooked, and my future in paleontology was inevitable.”
With more than 15 years of experience in preparing, mounting, casting, and providing professional paleontology services, LuJan is frequently called on for his expertise, specifically of Cretaceous and Permian animals of Texas, and has even discovered two entirely new genus of armored dinosaurs – one in Texas and one in New Mexico.
“[These discoveries have] made a huge impact on our understanding of the spread of these types of dinosaurs geographically and how they emerge into different groups,” LuJan said. “Recent discoveries like my Ankylosaur have reignited the interest in Texas paleontology. The state has long been overlooked for its rich fossil record, and better technology and years of research have created new opportunities for discovery.”
Some of these interesting new discoveries are being made at McFaddin Beach, once part of the large McFaddin family landholdings in the State of Texas.
“The ice age fauna and Paleoindian artifacts found at McFaddin Beach give us a glimpse into our ancient history here in Texas,” LuJan said. “When the giant ice sheets of the Pleistocene stretched as far as Kansas, the continental shelf was a vast open prairie teaming with life. Beach finds are evidence of that, including mammoths, horses, and a huge variety of other birds, mammals, and reptiles.”
In 2018, LuJan and his wife Carrie founded Texas Through Time, a nonprofit museum located in Hillsboro, Texas, where hundreds of authentic fossils from Texas and surrounding states are on display for free public viewing and research. LuJan said he started the museum to address the “profound need for more STEM opportunities in rural and underserved communities.”
“With so many bright young scientists, I felt an obligation to give them the best possible start in their path to success,” LuJan said. “Taking the time to speak with people and help them along on their journey of discovery is the most rewarding thing I have ever done.”
Thursday evening’s McFaddin-Ward House Lecture is free and open to the public, but space is limited. Doors open at 6 p.m.
Built in 1905-1906 in the distinctive Beaux-Arts Colonial style, the McFaddin-Ward House reflects the lifestyle of the prominent family which lived in the house for 75 years. The museum features free tours, educational programming, year-round events, a carriage house, and gardens.
For more information, call 409-832-2134 or visit mcfaddin-ward.org.