SAFE Student Spotlight: Luke Rose

Luke Rose, B.S. Geology
Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund Recipient: Fall 2022

Project: "Osteichthyans and Chondrichthyans of the Upper Triassic Homestead Site of East-Central New Mexico, USA, along with a Comparison of Lungfish (Sarcopterygii:Dipnoi) Tooth Plates from Other Triassic Localities across the American Southwest"

Luke received a Fall 2022 Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund grant to fund his travel to the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP)'s 82nd annual meeting in Toronto, Canada, a gathering that brought together leading vertebrate paleontologists from across the world. While at the meeting, Rose had the opportunity to attend numerous presentations, connect with professionals, and learn about the latest discoveries in paleontology.

"Not many undergraduates get to attend meetings like SVP, so it was a great experience getting to be part of the vertebrate paleontology community. It helped improve my understanding of various aspects of paleontology, and it benefited me as a researcher by allowing me to contribute to the field," shared Rose, who is currently pursuing his bachelor's degree in geology with a concentration in paleontology.

In addition to attending presentations, Rose presented his research on Late Triassic fish fossils from the southwestern United States during a 15-minute platform talk at the meeting. "It is very uncommon for an undergraduate to be selected for a talk at SVP. Having presented this talk, my chances at getting into a graduate program for paleontology have greatly increased," explained Rose. Rose's research is advised by Dr. Andrew B. Heckert, professor in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences.


About the SAFE Fund
Initially endowed by Hughlene and Bill Frank, the College of Arts and Sciences Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund provides resources that can be used to support undergraduate, graduate and faculty experiences. The SAFE Fund provides funding for college priorities and opportunities that arise throughout the year. These unrestricted funds support student and faculty travel, publication support for faculty and student research opportunities. Learn more at

About the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences
Located in Western North Carolina, Appalachian State University provides the perfect setting to study geological and environmental sciences. The Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences provides students with a solid foundation on which to prepare for graduate school or build successful careers as scientists, consultants and secondary education teachers. The department offers six degree options in geology and two degree options in environmental science. Learn more at

Written by Autumn Dagenhardt
Edited by Lauren Andersen

November 21, 2023

Luke Rose
Published: Nov 21, 2023 8:05am