I am interested in the interaction of organisms and their physical environment. The organisms that fascinate me the most are those that have the potential to be fossilized; these organisms (both algae and animals) either have hard parts (like shells) or they have some behavior (like making burrows in the sediment) that can be preserved. I focus on organisms that live in aquatic (particularly shallow-marine) systems, and study both modern systems and their ancient counterparts preserved in the rock record. My research and the courses I teach reflect these interests. Courses that I teach include:
- Marine Biology
- Environmental Biology
- Climate: Past & Future
- Calcareous algae and microbes. I have concentrated on Miocene algae (Spain), recent algae and microbes (Bahamas and freshwater in Beloit, WI), and Proterozoic and Cambrian microbes. Here's a list of related publications (mine and student) and some photos.
- Sedimentology and paleoecology of Miocene reefs of Spain. Here's a list of related publications (mine and student).
- Sedimentology and ecology of modern reefs. In June 2002 I was involved with a study in Cozumel, Mexico to investigate the sedimentology and ecology of tilefish mounds. See the project page for more information.
- Science education. I was active in the ad-hoc K-12 Earth Sciences Education Committee of the SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology); the committee produced three books of activities. K-12 will take you to the links to forty on-line classroom activities. Here's a list of my education publications.
- Estuaries. I am interested in studying estuaries using an earth systems approach. In June 1999 and 2001 I was involved in a student-faculty research project sponsored by the Keck Geology Consortium at the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. In 1999 students investigated a variety of watershed issues; in 2001 the focus was on unraveling sea-level history of southwest Florida. Here's a list of publications from these two projects.
- I am beginning a new study of shell mineralogy of mussels and how the mineralogy reflects the temperature of the water in which the organism grew.
- I've also begun to focus on using diatoms (ubiquitous, single-celled algae) and stream invertebrates as indicators of water quality of local streams.