University of Wisconsin–Madison

Sedimentary Geology

 

Image: Alan Carroll.

SEDIMENTARY BASINS, PALEOCLIMATE AND PALEONTOLOGY

This program in the department is strongly interdisciplinary. There are six professors in the general realm of sedimentary basins, paleoclimate and paleontology. While each of us has a research specialty, there is enough overlap so students can obtain broadly-based expertise, both in their courses and in their thesis research. The program is popular with students and employers. Of a total of about 73 graduate students in the department, around 21 are in sedimentary geology. We have a modern building with excellent equipment for most types of geologic research. We have two new laboratories; one dedicated to seismic visualization and the other to paleontological research. Further, we have numerous petrographic research microscopes, as well as image analysis and cathodoluminescence capabilities. In addition, there are electron probe, and SEM facilities in the department, as well as three mass spectrometers for stable and radiogenic isotopes, low-temperature inorganic and organic geochemical facilities, and abundant networked microcomputers and terminals.

Charles W. Byers (Emeritus)     SEDIMENTARY GEOLOGY
Research focuses on the relationship of organisms and sediments in Cretaceous shales of the Rocky Mountains and Paleozoic orthoquartzite-carbonate suite of the Mid-West.
Phone: (608) 262-2361; email: cwbyers@geology.wisc.edu

Alan R. Carroll    SEDIMENTARY BASINS
Research on sedimentary tectonics, provenance, and the relationship between continental weathering and sedimentation. Emphasis on lacustrine sedimentary basins, and on collaborative studies of Paleogene weathering and radiogenic isotopic provenance within the Gulf of Mexico watershed.
Phone: (608) 345-0667; e-mail: carroll@geology.wisc.edu

Dana H. Geary    PALEOBIOLOGY
Evolutionary patterns and processes, particularly relating to speciation, diversification, and the relationship of evolutionary to environmental change.  Research utilizes morphometric, phylogenetic, and geochemical methods. Projects include molluscan radiations in ancient lakes (especially Miocene Lake Pannon of central Europe), and evolutionary patterns of Neogene molluscs in the Caribbean and eastern tropical Pacific.
Phone: (608) 263-7754; email: dana@geology.wisc.edu

Clay Kelly    MICROPALEONTOLOGY, PALEOBIOLOGY, AND PALEOCEANOGRAPHY
Research focuses on relating patterns of biotic evolution to ocean/climate change, and the dynamic interplay between the biosphere and global biogeochemical cycles. Research “tool box” includes stable isotopes, morphometrics, scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffractometry, and active participation in the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. Field areas range from continental deposits in western North Dakota to deep-sea cores from the Weddell Sea off the Antarctic coast.
Phone: (608) 262-1698; email: ckelly@geology.wisc.edu

Stephen R. Meyers    PALEOCLIMATOLOGY, SEDIMENTARY GEOCHEMISTRY, STATISTICAL ANALYSIS IN GEOSCIENCE AND STRATIGRAPHY
Research addresses three primary topics: the mechanisms of climate change, the controls on the global carbon cycle, and the measurement of geologic time. These subjects are fundamentally interrelated, as there are linkages between climate and the carbon cycle, and the establishment of reliable chronologies is essential for determining rates of climatic and biogeochemical change in Earth’s past. Research approach integrates geochemical, sedimentologic and stratigraphic data with novel modeling and statistical techniques, to unravel the history of the climate system, oceans and geosphere.
Phone: (608) 262-8960; email: smeyers@geology.wisc.edu

Shanan E. Peters     SEDIMENTARY GEOLOGY AND PALEOBIOLOGY
Research focuses on macrostratigraphy and the large-scale quantitative analysis of sedimentary successions and their relationships to the evolution of life and climate. Field studies address the sedimentary records of key intervals, including the Eocene-Oligocene climate transition and the Cambrian-Ordovician biological radiation.
Phone: (608) 262-5987; email: peters@geology.wisc.edu