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Paleobiology Research Group

The Paleobiology and Paleoenvironments Group has broad research and teaching interests in evolution, the origin of life, and Earth system science. Graduate students in the group have access to a wide range of facilities and other resources as well as campus-wide working groups on Evolution and the Anthropocene. For information on graduate student opportunities in paleobiology at USF, please contact one of us.


Jen Bright - evolutionary biology, functional morphology, finite element modeling
Greg Herbert - evolutionary biology, conservation biology, paleoenvironments
Bogdan Onac - paleoclimatology
Matt Pasek - astrobiology
Philip Van Beynen - paleoclimatology

Facilities and other resources

USF Stable Isotope Lab (additional geochemical facilities are available in the USF College of Marine Sciences)

USF Florida Institute of Oceanography

USF Center for Virtualization and Applied Spatial Technologies

USF Scanning Electron Microscopy

USF Institute for the Advanced Study of Culture and the Environment (webpage in progress)

Current Graduate Students

Joshua Abbattielo (MS Geology) - Advisor: Pasek
Nasser Al Qattan (PhD Geology) - Advisor: Herbert
Elzbieta Bialkowska-Jelinska (PhD GEP) - Advisor: Van Beynen
Daniel Cleary (PhD Geology) - Advisor: Onac
Pierre Couillard (PhD Geology) - Advisor: Bright
Oana Dimitru (PhD Geology) - Advisor: Onac
Tian Feng (PhD Geology) - Advisor: Pasek
Ryan Harke (Herbert) - Advisor: Herbert
Matthew Hayes (PhD Geology) - Advisor: Herbert
Jennifer Lago (PhD Geology) - Advisor: Pasek
Danny Lindsay (MS Geology) - Advisor: Pasek
Guiseppe Lucia (MS Geology) - Advisor: Onac
Jackson McGraw (MS ESP) - Advisor: Van Beynen
Arsum Pathak (PhD GEP) - Advisor: Van Beynen
Yasemin Tasci (MS Geology) - Advisor: Van Beynen
Samantha Tavarez Kinman (PhD Geology) - Advisor: Pasek
Ethan Upton (MS ESP) - Advisor: Van Beynen
Ruoshu Zhao (MS Geology) - Advisor: Van Beynen

Prospective Grad students

USF has an active and competitive graduate program in Paleobiology and Paleoenvironments. The School of Geosciences offers Doctoral (PhD) and Master's (MS) degrees in Geology. At the doctoral level, our graduates usually go on to postdoctoral fellowships and eventually faculty positions but also government organizations (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, USGS) and corporations (Exxon). Our MS students have most often gone on to doctoral graduate programs.

Admission to our program is competitive. Maximize your chances of admission by keeping your GPA high, especially in the last 60 hours, practice for the GRE, especially the quantitative section, write a personal statement that explains your academic interests and goals clearly, and contact a potential advisor in the School of Geosciences well before the application deadline. Be sure to engage in research at your current institution and get letters of reference from faculty who know about your research. Most students are admitted to begin in Fall term (August start date). The Fall admissions process is usually completed by February.

Consider a donation to geology: 421070 Geology Operating Fund