Marine Geology/Paleontology

My research program is conducted in modern and ancient marine environments. Since 2003 I have worked with colleagues at the University of Western Australia (Perth) and the University of Queensland (Brisbane) to better understand the response of reef corals to present and future climate change. I have recently begun a project in Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles) examining reef coral succession in a region of low hurricane frequency. Finally, I have constructed a large literature-derived database on coral occurrences in fossil (Late Pleistocene, Holocene) and modern reefs in the Caribbean region. See initial analyses of reef crest and mid-slope environments.

I have also been involved in extensive reef survey work in modern environments. Much of this work is an outgrowth of my research involving the sedimentologic and biologic influences on the preservation potential (taphonomy) of marine invertebrates. I have applied the results of my research to currently salient issues including coral reef management and the response of coral communities to climate change, as well as more "traditional" paleontologic issues including paleoecologic reconstructions, evolutionary histories and patterns of diversity of echinoid echinoderms.

2010-2012- The role of disturbance in reef coral development, Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles. More information.
2003-Present - Comparison of Pleistocene and modern reef-coral communities present along the coast of Western Australia. More information.
1998-2002 - Atlantic-Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA). Compartive analyses of reef coral communities in Belize and the Bahamas and their response to El Nino and Hurricane Events. More information.
1994-1996 - Effect of preservation bias on the fossil record of coral reefs. Surface and saturation diving in the Florida Keys to compare living and dead coral communities in shallow and deep reef habitats. More information.
1992-1995 - Preservation potential of outbreaks of the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish on the Great Barrier Reef. Examined the ability of the reef sedimentary record to preserve pre-human outbreaks. More information.
1989-1992 - Impact of Hurricane Hugo on benthic molluscan communites, St. Croix, U.S.V.I. More information.
1986-1993 - The effect of preservation bias on the fossil record of echinoid echinoderms. San Salvador, Bahamas and St. Croix, U.S.V.I. More information.
1984-1986 - Preservation potential of the mass mortality of the echinoid Diadema antillarum in Bonaire, N.A., and Andros, Bahamas. More information.