Khai Button

Resident Graduate Student, Paleontology Research Lab

121 West Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601


  • B.S. in General Biology, University of Washington, 2010


  • Graduate Lab Instructor, Department of Biological Sciences, North Carolina State University

Research Interests

Khai is a PhD student working in the Paleontology Research Lab. His primary research interests center around understanding the ecology and evolution of avian and non-avian theropod dinosaurs. In particular, he is working to reconstruct the diet, ecology, and soft tissue of theropod dinosaurs that have beaks, including the ostrich-mimic ornithomimosaurs, the bizarre therizinosaurians, and modern birds. Khai is currently researching the evolution of herbivory and tooth replacement in the lineage of theropod dinosaurs leading to birds. He is interested in using techniques such as dental histology and geometric morphometrics combined with statistical analysis to answer new questions about dinosaur paleobiology.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Button, K., Zanno, L.E., Makovicky, P.J. (2014) New Coelurosaurian Theropod Remains from the Upper Cretaceous Mussentuchit Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation, Central Utah. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 101.
  • Button, K., Zanno, L.E, You, H. (2014) Incremental lines in therizinosaurian tooth enamel suggest slowed amelogenesis: implications for the evolution of herbivory in theropods. Society for the Study of Evolution, 401.
  • Button, K., Zanno, L.E. (2013) Tooth enamel microstructure of the Early Cretaceous therizinosaurian Falcarius utahensis (Theropoda, Maniraptora). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 98.

Fields of Research