Emeriti and Associates
David L. Dilcher, Emeritus.
David's research is in paleobotany, includingthe origin of flowers to the reproductive biology of the first flowering plants the evolution of diversity in early angiosperms, the recognition of early phylogenic lines of relationship between major taxa, trends in angiosperm evolution and Cenzoic radiations of the groupand their phytogeography. He also works on evolutionary biology, plant/animal coevolution, biostratigraphy, biodiversity, and global vegetational change.
Bob Dodd, Emeritus.
Bob has done research in paleoecology including the trace chemistry and isotopic composition of fossils. He has also studied the origin and diagenesis of carbonate rocks in Indiana and New Zealand. Although retired, Bob regularly visits the department and enjoys the opportunity for consultation with students on topics in paleoecology, carbonate petrology, and Indiana geology. Bob is interested in seeing and photographic the beauty of geologic features and travels the world to find new examples.
Don Hattin, Emeritus.
Don's current research projects include analysis of the biostratigraphic utility of higher taxa of macroinvertebrate fossils, and descriptions of new cirriped species from the Greenhorn sequence of central Kansas.
Erle Kauffman, Emeritus.
Erle's research interests are in the Mesozoic – Early Cenozoic systematics, paleoecology, migration, evolution and extinction of mollusks, especially bivalves. His specialty is the Cretaceous Inoceramidae. Erle also examines the pro's and con's of paleontologic, paleoecologic, and sedimentologic theory. He is interested in sequence stratigraphy, sedimentary environments, and their effect on the varied distribution of biotas. PreCambrian paleobiology continues to pique his curiosity, ever since his award-winning paper with Jim Steidtmann, “Are these the oldest Metazoan Trace Fossils?” Erle, Jim, and Claudia Johnson are re-examining these structures; Kevin Chamberlain is providing the chronologic context and Erika Elswick the geochemical analyses. Erle has been active in documenting Mosasaur and fish predation of ammonites, and just recently, on nautiloids. This research began with the 1961 discovery, with Bob Kesling, of an ammonite that had numerous bite marks attributable to a Mosasaur (Platycarpus or Mosasaurus). The research continued until 1990 (Kauffman, Mosasaur Predation on Ammonites During the Cretaceous – An Evolutionary History), and is still active today with evidence of giant fish tooth marks, as well as those of Mosasaurs on Pacific Coast Upper Cretaceous strata.
Erle is a recipient of the “Scientist of the Year” award from the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists”, the “R.C. Moore Medal for Excellence in Paleontology”, and the W.H. Twenhofel Medal for “Excellence in Sedimentary Geology”. In 1997, he received the Gilbert Dennison Harris Award from the Paleontologic Research Institution for “Excellence in Systematic Paleontology”.
Erle is working currently on two books. One of these books “The Geology, Stratigraphy, and Paleontology of South-Central Colorado”, is to be published by the Paleontologic Research Institution. The other, a coffee table book, “Geology and Ecology of the Rocky Mountains,” is a book for which he will select 100 slides that illustrate something special about both topics - perhaps an interesting outcrop in the Rocky Mountains characterized by rocks, the nature of the soil, and flowering plants. Erle is also involved in several professional papers on the subjects of stratigraphy, ecology, and paleobiology.
Erle continues to work actively with students, most notably Stephanie Puchalski on her Ph.D. chitin research and James Morgenthien on his M.S. Cretaceous rocks with rudist bivalves.
Carl Rexroad, Adjunct Professor
Carl is studying Pennsylvanian conodonts, primarily for Desmoinesian biostratigraphy and paleoecology and mostly with Lew Brown of Lake Superior State University. Emphasis is in the Illinois Basin to test for continuity of deposition, possible time transgression, and environmental variation as well as for age determination. They are also collecting in Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma for correlative and environmental purposes and are using oxygen isotopes to assist in their research. So far, their data do not fit with the cyclothemic interpretation of Phil Heckel at Iowa, particularly in relation to deep-water sediments. Rexroad is also working with Mitch Blake of the West Virginia Geological Survey on conodonts from marine units in the Mauch Chunk Group (Chesterian) in souther West Virginia and with Joe Devera of the Illinois State Geological Survey on conodonts from the Clore Limestone (Chesterian) in the Illinois Basin.
John Steinmetz, State Geologist and Director of the Indiana Geological Survey.
John's background and early career experience involved marine geology and particularly the distribution, ecology, and biostratigraphy of calcareous nannofossils (calcareous nannoplankton or coccoliths). Since 1994, however, John has been a science research administrator and has "covered his microscope," both figuratively and actually. Nevertheless, he is involved in paleontology at a different level. John is on the Board of Trustees of the Paleontological Research Institution, serves on the Board of Advisors of Micropaleontology Press, and is active in the American Geological Institute. Closer to home, John serves on IUB's Geological Sciences Advisory Board. As time permits, John is writing a book on the Fossils of Indiana to replace a similar volume that is long out-of-print through the Indiana Geological Survey.