Chris is a foraminiferal micropaleontologist who studies the response of marine organisms to environmental perturbations, particularly ocean deoxygenation. His research interests include Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Events, the End Cretaceous mass extinction, and modern and ancient foraminifer geochemistry. At the UT Institute for Geophysics hes working on several complementary projects related to the Mesozoic of the Gulf of Mexico, including the diversification of planktic foraminifera following the K/Pg mass extinction from cores taken during IODP Expedition 364, the distribution and paleoenvironment of the Albian Glen Rose Formation, and the pre-salt sediments of the Gulf of Mexico.

Areas of Expertise

Micropaleontology, Stratigraphy, Paleoceanography, Geochemistry


Research Locations



Current Research Programs & Projects

Gulf of Mexico Cretaceous Stratigraphy - studying the extent of several Gulf of Mexico stratigraphic units as part of the Gulf Basin Depositional Synthesis project. See "Research Locations" for more details on specific projects. ( view )
Outcrop of the Eagle Ford Shale, underling Buda Limestone, and overlying Austin Chalk at Lozier Canyon in west Texas, taken during post-meeting field trip following the NAMS Conference in 2013.

Selected photos from field work

Outcrop of the Eagle Ford Shale, underling Buda Limestone, and overlying Austin Chalk at Lozier Canyon in west Texas, taken during post-meeting field trip following the NAMS Conference in 2013.Outcrop of the Eagle Ford equivalent Hartland Shale and Bridge Creek Limestone at Rock Canyon State Park, Pueblo, CO. The base of the Bridge Creek, at the first prominent limestone, is equivalent to the first prominent limestone visible in the Eagle Ford in the previous picture.Outcrop of the Fort Hays Limestone Member of the Niobrara Formation along the bank of the Arkansas River in Pueblo, CO. Matt Corbett for scale.Outcrop of the Niobrara Formation near Wagon Mound, NM. Seven prominent limestone beds halfway up the slope are locally mapped as the Fort Hays Limestone; compare these to the thick limestones in the previous picture. The outcrop is capped by Quaternary basalt; a halo of contact metamorphism is visible just below the basalt.Writing notes at Castle Rock, a crumbling outcrop of Niobrara Chalk southwest of Hays, KS.Monument Rocks, an excellent outcrop of the middle chalk unit of the Smoky Hill Shale Member of the Niobrara Formation and one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas.Natural Arch at Monument RocksDrainage filled with tumble weeds cutting through the organic-rich lower shale unit of the Smoky Hill Shale Member of the Niobrara Formation near the Arkansas River in Pueblo, CO. Compare this to the much more carbonate rich outcrop of the Smoky Hill in Kansas in the previous pictures. In the Niobrara Formation, carbonate content increases from west to east.Sunset over the Culebra Range in southern Colorado from a campsite in La Veta Pass during field work in the summer of 2014.View from the summit of West Spanish Peak toward East Spanish Peak during a day off from field work in the summer of 2014.Trenching in the Cenomanian-Turonian Tropic Shale on the flank of the Kaiparowits Plateau near Big Water, UT. Close to the western margin of the Western Interior Sea, these sediments were deposited in much shallower water than the Bridge Creek Limestone or Eagle Ford Shale, a fact that is reflected in their more siliciclastic lithology.A lizard standing on a fossil of the late Cenomanian straight ammonoid Scipinoceras gracileView toward Big Water.Bonarelli Level (i.e., Oceanic Anoxic Event 2) in the Scaglia Bianca limestone in Furlo Gorge, Italy. This is R/V Roger Revelle in the port of Alotau, Papua New GuineaSeismic acquisition, in all its glory.The ship's piston core.Core top foraminifera. Not that you can see, but its a typical tropical assemblage.Sunset in the South PacificSailing into Manila Harbor at dawn.