Alberta dinosaur expert proposes marriage in scientific paper

An Alberta paleontologist proposed marriage at the end of a scientific paper and luckily his intended was a diligent reader.

Caleb Brown and Lorna O'Brien share a love of fossils at the Royal Tyrrell Museum

Caleb Brown of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology proposed in a paper on a new species of dinosaur. (CBC)

An Alberta paleontologist proposed marriage at the end of a scientific paper and luckily his intended was a diligent reader. 

Now, Caleb Brown has confirmed to CBC News that he is engaged to Lorna O'Brien.

He's a post-doctoral fellow at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alta. She's "interested in fossils of all kinds" and holds a PhD in palaeobiology, according to her Twitter profile. O'Brien works in a laboratory at the museum.

They met while doing their PhDs in Toronto.

Brown said he doesn't want the proposal to overshadow the discovery unveiled at the museum today— a skull nicknamed Hellboy that belongs to a completely new species of horned dinosaurs.

The proposal was first picked up on Twitter by dinosaur fans who also read to the end of a co-authored paper, which was released early in the morning.

The note in the acknowledgment section said Brown would "specifically like to highlight the ongoing and unwavering support of Lorna O'Brien. Lorna, will you marry me?"

Brown said the editors of the journal were supportive.

"I don't know if there's a precedent or not, but I certainly haven't seen it done before," he said. "The editors were really interested and they wanted to know what her answer was."

While some tweeters also speculated on the proposal, O'Brien had already agreed to marry him.

"I didn't really have a plan for how she would find it, how she would figure it out, but I just gave up eventually and just showed it to her, to give her a bit of a heads up before it came out today," he said.

"She was a bit astonished, speechless at first. I don't think she fully comprehended the significance, but regardless of that she said yes, so that's always a good answer."


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