The Whiteside Museum

Of Natural History

Seymour, Texas

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The Whiteside Musuem

of Natural History

Seymour, Tx

Meet the Staff

Christopher J. Flis


Museum Director

Chris has been hunting fossils since he could walk. Saying that he has a passion for science is quite the understatement. Born in Midland, TX and raised all over from Ireland to Lousiana, he is a true dinosaur cowboy with a worldly charm. Chris has a degree in English and minor in History from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and began his museum career curating for what is now the Lafayette Science Museum. Soon thereafter, he was hired to build and curate new branches of the Houston Museum of Natural Science in The Woodlands and Sugarland, TX. During this time he made his first trips to Seymour, working with Dr. Bakker of the Houston Museum on excavations at the Craddock Ranch. Fortunately, the little town of Seymour got under his skin and his passion for the town and its people continues to grow alongside the success of Seymour's newest museum.


Assistant Curator

Holly C. Simon

Holly is originally from Fort Worth, but has lived in Seymour for 5 years and almost started volunteering upon arrival.  She's always had a fascination for paleontology and reptiles. WMNH provides her with the opportunity to do both! As Assistant Curator.  When she's not caring for the animals, she is a productive member of our dig team.  Holly loves that through volunteering, she is able to learn more about paleontology and is very satisfied with being able to help provide education experiences to our visitors and contribute to our research.  For her, it's the greatest thing in the world to talk to people who like the same thing you do and get to express your passion to others!


Master Docent

Jacob Stripling

Jacob has been interested in finding fossils since he was two years-old.  A native of Seymour, Texas, he is currently a student in the Seymour ISD.  Jacob started volunteering at the museum in June of 2014.  Under the mentorship of Chris Flis, Jacob has begun his journey of becoming a paleontologist.  He is now very active in leading museum tours, participating in the digs, and prepping fossils.  He joins Chris or Coleton in the educational outreach to local schools.  Jacob also likes to spend time with his family, wood working and raising rabbits.


Adjunct Curator of Paleontology

Dr. Bakker is a world renown paleontologist who helped reshape modern theories about dinosaurs, particularly by adding support to the theory that some dinosaurs were endothermic (warm-blooded).  Along with his mentor John Ostrom, Bakker was responsible for initiating the ongoing "dinosaur renaissance" in paleontological studies, beginning with Bakker's article "Dinosaur Renaissance" in the April 1975 issue of Scientific American. His special field is the ecological context and behavior of dinosaurs.  Dr. Bakker has been a major proponent of the theory that dinosaurs were "warm-blooded," smart, fast and adaptable. He published his first paper on dinosaur endothermy in 1968. His seminal work, The Dinosaur Heresies, was published in 1986. He revealed the first evidence of parental care at nesting sites for Allosaurus.

Robert T. Bakker