Rowan C Martindale

Rowan C Martindale
Associate Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences

Work: +1 512 475 6439
Office: JGB 3.216A
Mailcode: C1100

I am an Associate Professor at UT Austin in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. My students and I are involved with many paleontological, geobiological, and sedimentological projects so please contact me if you think you may be interested in joining the group. Check out specific projects and facilities on our website:

I am primarily interested in marine paleoecology and the geobiology of carbon cycle perturbation events (e.g. mass extinctions, ocean anoxic events, and ocean acidification events in deep time). My research also includes carbonate sedimentology and the paleontology/paleobiology of reef builders (e.g., corals and sponges). I am currently working on the Pliensbachian/Toarcian reef crisis and Toarcian Ocean Anoxic Event from the Early Jurassic (~183 Ma). My doctoral research focused on the reef demise and extinction at the Triassic/Jurassic (T/J) boundary, which has been hypothesized to be an ocean acidification event caused by the rapid eruption of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province and subsequent release of carbon dioxide. Extinction events, such as the Triassic/Jurassic, draw attention for their catastrophism; however, lesser extinction events can be just as interesting, particularly for resolving questions pertaining to species survival and ecosystem recovery. The Late Triassic and Early Jurassic events will help us understand what environmental conditions cause massive ecosystem collapse, and what conditions marine biota can survive. A large part of my research involves the study of Upper Triassic and Lower Jurassic reef ecosystems, the newly evolved scleractinian corals, and reef variations geographically and temporally. Another aspect of my research is Early Jurassic Lagerstatten, which preserves\ both pelagic and benthic communities across the Toarcian Ocean Anoxic Event. In future work, I am interested in combining my research on ancient ocean carbon cycle perturbations and extinctions with research on modern reef decline and stressors that inhibit the secretion of calcareous skeleton.

Areas of Expertise

Triassic and Jurassic reef paleoecology, mass extinctions (Triassic-Jurassic, 201 Ma), carbon cycle perturbation events in deep time, ocean acidification in deep time, Oceanic Anoxic Events, invertebrate paleontology (corals, sponges, algae, microbes), Mesozoic marine communities and ecosystems, exceptional fossil preservation (Lagerstätten), paleoecology, marine ecology, Geoscience Education, educational game design, carbonate petrography, warm-water and cool-water carbonate (eco)systems, low-temperature geochemistry.

Research Locations

Current Research Programs & Projects

Mass Extinctions and their Causes ( view )Carbon-cycle Perturbation Events: Community collapse or resilience? ( view )Triassic and Jurassic Reef Paleoecology ( view )Paleocene-Eocene Reefs and the PETM ( view )Paleobiology of Reef Builders ( view )Exceptional Fossil Preservation (Lagerstatten) ( view )

Jamaican Coral Reefs

CAREER Award - National Science Foundation (2019)

Best paper in 2019 for the journal “Papers in Palaeontology”: - Palaeontology (2019)

Acknowledgement for support of students with disabilities - UT Austin (2018)

Carolyn G. and G. Moses Knebel Teaching Award (teaching excellence in an introductory undergraduate course in the Department of Geological Sciences) - Jackson School of Geoscience (2017)

UT Austin Mentoring fellowship - University of Texas at Austin (2017)

JSG Outstanding Service Award - Jackson School of Geosciences (UT Austin) (2017)

2013 Outstanding Paper in Palaios - SEPM (2015)

Critical infrastructure upgrades and expanded digital access to Non-vertebrate Paleontology Collections at the University of Texas at Austin - NSF Collections in Support of Biological Research (2015)

CNS Catalyst Grant - University of Texas at Austin, College of Natural Sciences (2015 - 2016)

JSG Seed Grant - Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin (2013 - 2016)

Postdoctoral Scholar (declined) - Scripps Institution of Oceanography (2012)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (declined) - Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2012)

AGU Session Organizer, AGU Annual Meeting (2015 - 2016)

Science Advisor, Paleontological Society of Austin (2015 - Present)

AGU Outstanding Student Presentation Judge, Judge and Session Liason, American Geophysical Union (AGU) (2015 - Present)

Session Chair, Caribbean Coral Reefs at Risk Symposium (2015)

Poster Symposium Judge, Jackson School of Geosciences Student Symposium (2015 - Present)

Executive committee member, Secretary, GSA Geobiology and Geomicrobiology Division (2014 - Present)

Board of Directors, Workshop Committee, STEPPE Consortium (2014 - Present)

GSA Session Organizer, GSA Annual Meeting (2013 - 2014)

Reviewer, NSF; Science; Geology; Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology; Sedimentology (2008 - Present)


Ekaterina Larina
Ekaterina (Katya) Larina received her PhD from the University of Southern California. Ekaterina is an interdisciplinary geoscientist that bridges research between paleoecology, geochemistry, geobiology, sedimentology, and earth-system modeling. Specifically, her expertise includes the investigation of the ammonite ecology, the end-Triassic and the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinctions. Ekaterina is interested in ecological and environmental trends during major earth-life perturbation events, and what...

A. Drew Muscente, 2018 - 2019

William Foster, 2015 - 2017

Graduate Students

Sinjini Sinha (Supervisor)
Sinjini Sinha is a Ph.D. candidate in the Martindale lab. Her doctoral research is about assessing the impacts of environmental changes on Early Jurassic exceptional preservation, extinction, and recovery. She uses Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive X-Ray spectroscopy to investigate the taphonomy of Lagerstätten deposits from the UK and Germany. Her extinction and recovery work involves studying the community...

Travis N Stone (Supervisor)
Travis Stone is a fourth year PhD candidate working in the Martindale lab. He received his B.S. in Geological Sciences in 2018 from California State University, Fullerton, where he studied Triassic reefs and their recovery following the End-Permian mass extinction in the Panthalassic Ocean. Travis' research is focused on ecosystem reconstruction following extinction events and other environmental stressors on...

Patty Standring (Co-supervisor)
Co-advised by Dr. Chris Lowery and Dr. Rowan Martindale for PhD. Current research is focused on deep ocean current changes in the southern Gulf of Mexico, surface circulation changes in the western Atlantic around the Eocene-Oligocene Transition (EOT) using stable isotopes from benthic and planktic foraminifera combined with paleoecology, and determining how these changes may have coincided with development of...

Liam Norris (Supervisor)
Liam Norris is a PhD student at the Jackson School of Geosciences. He has a B.S. in Geology with a specialization in biology from Texas A&M University, where he also conducted research on Pennsylvanian seed ferns preserved in coal balls. Liam’s research interests are based around paleoecology, and he hopes to further study the connection that ecosystems have with other...

Claire Williams (Supervisor)
Claire Williams is a PhD student at the Jackson School of Geosciences. She has a B.S. in Geology and in Integrative Biology and a minor in Chemistry from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is a biologist turned paleobiologist interested in conservation paleobiology. Claire is currently studying coral reefs in the Caribbean working with the East Portland Special Fishery Conservation...

Estefania Salgado-Jauregui, Ph.D., 2023 (Co-supervisor)
Jackson School of Geosciences

Anna Weiss, Ph.D., 2019 (Supervisor)

Benjamin Smith, Ph.D., 2019 (Committee Member)

Nicholas Ettinger, M.S., 2017 (Supervisor)

Kelly Hattori, M.S., 2017 (Supervisor)

Selva Marroquin, M.S., 2016 (Supervisor)

Chiara Tornabene, M.S., 2016 (Supervisor)

Hannah Brame (Supervisor)

Paleontological Society of Austin seminar speaker, Paleontological Society of Austin, Austin, TX (2018)

McConnell Club Invited Speaker, Geological Survey of Canada, Calgary, Canada (2017)

Repsol Invited Speaker, Repsol, Calgary, Canada (2017)

Goldschmidt Invited Speaker, Goldschmidt, Paris, France (2017)

Boone Pickens School of Geology Invited Speaker (Department Seminar), Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma (2017)

Stout Lecture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska (2017)

Mesozoic Marine Communities and the Extinctions that Shaped Them, Texas A&M University, College Station (2016)

Reefs, Extinctions, and Lagerstätten! Oh My!, University of Texas, San Antonio, San Antonio (2015)

Reefs, Lagerstätten, and Extinctions!, Paleontological Society of Austin, Austin (2015)

2024Spring GEO 405 Life Through Time
2023Fall GEO 397L Transitions In Hist Of Life
2023Fall GEO 322J Transitions In History Of Life
2023Fall GEO 405 Life Through Time
2023Spring GEO 405 Life Through Time
2022Spring GEO 405 Life Through Time
2021Spring GEO 405 Life Through Time-Wb
2020Fall GEO 389E Evolutn Of Reef Ecosystems-Wb
2020Fall GEO 389E Evolution Of Reef Ecosystems
2020Fall GEO 369E Evolutn Of Reef Ecosystems-Wb
2020Spring GEO 405 Life Through Time
2019Fall GEO 397L Transitions In Hist Of Life
2019Fall GEO 322J Transitions In History Of Life
2019Summer GEO f660A Field Geo-Tx/Nm/Co/Wy/Mt/Id/Ut
2019Spring GEO 369E Evolution Of Reef Ecosystems
2019Spring GEO 389E Evolution Of Reef Ecosystems
2019Spring GEO 405 Life Through Time
2018Summer GEO f660A Field Geo-Tx/Nm/Co/Wy/Mt/Id/Ut
2018Spring GEO 405 Life Through Time
2017Fall GEO 397L Transitions In Hist Of Life
2017Fall GEO 322J Transitions In History Of Life
2017Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2017Spring GEO 405 Life Through Time
2016Fall GEO 389E Evolution Of Reef Ecosystems
2016Fall GEO 371T Evolution Of Reef Ecosystems
2016Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2016Spring GEO 405 Life Through Time
2015Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2015Fall GEO 391 Transitions In History Of Life
2015Fall GEO 371T Transitions In History Of Life
2015Spring GEO 391 Evolution Of Reef Ecosystems
2015Spring GEO 391 Exceptional Fossilization

Graduate Positions

MSc or PhD Student
Our team is almost always interested in recruiting new graduate students who are interested in paleoecology, marine communities, carbonate sedimentology, and/or geobiology. We currently have teo areas of focus, modern and Pleistocene reef and coastal communities in Jamaica and Early Jurassic marine paleoecology in Morocco


Martindale Lab Website
The website for the Martindale research group at UT Austin.

Finding Fossils
This is my science blog, check it out for photos and stories from the field and my research.

Non-vertebrate Paleontology Lab
The Non-vertebrate Paleontology Lab website on Pickle Research Campus

GSA Geobiology & Geomicrobiology Website
News and Updates from the GSA Geobiology & Geomicrobiology Division