Geobiology of Mesozoic Terrestrial Environments

Faculty: D.E. Fastovsky

URI Collaborative Faculty

S.L. D’Hondt, A. Spivack, and J. King (Graduate School of Oceanography), M. Stolt (Natural Resources Sciences), J.C. Boothroyd (Geosciences)

Summary of Research

GEO_GMTE1The evolution of Mesozoic terrestrial paleoenvironments, particularly those that contain dinosaurs and other terrestrial vertrebrates. Many paleobiological questions are uniquely addressed through geological means and here the sedimentary geology of a variety of terrestrial settings – from the Triassic of Arizona, to the Cetaceous of Mongolia, to the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary in the upper Great Plains of the United States – are studied to gain insights about fundamental stratigraphic and paleoecological questions.

Selected Recent Publications

  • Fastovsky, D.E., 2008, Ideas in dinosaur paleontology: resonating to social and political context, in, Sepkoski, D., and Ruse, M.J. (eds.), Paleontology at the High Table: A Science Matures: University of Chicago Press (in press).
  • Fastovsky, D.E., 2007, Dinosaurs as icons of evolution, in, Regal, B. (ed.), Icons of Evolution: Greenwood Publishing (in press).
  • Fastovsky, D.E., and Weishampel, D.B., 2005, Evolution and Extinction of the Dinosaurs (second edition): Cambridge University Press,
  • Fastovsky, D.E., Hermes, O.D., Strater, N.H., Bowring, S.A., Montellano, M., and Hernandez, R., 2005, Pre-Late Jurassic, Fossil-Bearing Volcanic and sedimentary red beds of Huizachal Canyon, Tamaulipas, Mexico, in, Anderson, T.H., Nourse, J.A., and McKee, J.W. (eds.), The Mojave-Sonora Megashear Hypothesis: Development, Assessment, and Alternatives, Geological Society of America Special Paper, no. 393, p. 401 – 426.
  • Fastovsky, D.E., and Sheehan, P.M., 2005, The Extinction of the Dinosaurs in North America: GSA Today, v. 15, p. 4 – 10.
  • Fastovsky, D.E., and Smith, J.B., 2004, Dinosaur Paleoecology, in, Weishampel, D.B., Dodson, P., and Osmolska, H., The Dinosauria (2nd Edition): University of California Press, Berkeley, p. 614 – 626.
  • Archibald, J.D., and Fastovsky, D.E., 2004, The extinction of the dinosaurs, in, Weishampel, D.B., Dodson, P., and Osmolska, H., The Dinosauria (2nd Edition): University of California Press, Berkeley, p. 672 – 684.
  • Fastovsky, D.E., Huang, Y., Hsu, J., Martin-McNaughton, J., Sheehan, P.M., and Weishampel, D.B., 2004, The shape of Mesozoic dinosaur richness: GEOLOGY, v. 32, p. 877 – 880.

Selected Recent Proposals

  • (2006 – 2008), A new and unexpected dinosaur-bearing region from the Late Cretaceous of south-central Mexico (State of Michoacan, Mexico), National Geographic Society
  • (2004 – 2005), Collaborative study of dinosaur-bearing paleoenvironments in Coahuila and Chihuahua, Mexico, Fulbright Garcia-Robles Scholar Program (Council for International Exchange of Scholars)
  • (2003), Geological Field Trip to the Colorado Plateau, Rhode Island Space Grant (NASA)
  • (2000 – 2002) Magnetostratigraphic correlation of Late Cretaceous and Early Paleogene vertebrate-bearing deposits, Nemegt Basin, Mongolia, National Science Foundation. With J. Hicks and L. Tauxe, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and M. Watabe, Hayashibara Museum of Natural History (Japan).