By DEZRI ROCHIN/Montana State News

Jack Horner, world-renowned paleontologist and Museum of the Rockies curator, married 19-year-old Montana State University student and museum volunteer Vanessa Shiann Weaver in Las Vegas on Jan. 15. Horner is 65.

The couple was married at the Bellagio Hotel, according to posts on the couple’s Facebook pages. Jean Conover, marketing director for the museum, confirmed the marriage occurred and that it took place in Las Vegas.

The now Vanessa Shiann Horner posted on Wednesday that, “I love him, and he is my best friend. Judge all you want about the age difference. It won’t matter. He is not my advisor, teacher, employer and has no say in my grades at MSU.”

Jack changed his status to married on his Facebook page on Wednesday, Jan. 25. He also added a post imploring people to, “Leave the poor girl alone. We’re happy and that’s all that matters.”

According to a recently updated Wikipedia page, Vanessa is an undergraduate in MSU ‘s paleontology department and an intern who worked in Horner’s lab.

Conover said that is inaccurate. “She was not an intern; she was a volunteer.”

Jack Horner is one of the best known paleontologists in the United States and has published more than 100 professional papers and six popular books. He teaches in the Honors Program at MSU.

According to Tim Van Gundy, Vanessa’s Facebook friend, Vanessa married her “lifetime hero.”