Robert A. Gastaldo

Faculty Emeritus (Retired)

Box 5807

Phone: 207-859-5807
Fax: 207-859-5868
Mailing Address:
5807 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, Maine 04901-8858
Gastaldo, Robert A.


B.A. Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325, 5/72
M.S. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois 62901, 5/75
Ph.D. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois 6290l, 8/78

Areas of Expertise

  • Evolution of terrestrial plants and peat-forming environments
  • Paleoecology and taphonomy
  • Extinctions & recovery
  • Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
  • Deep Time climate proxies


A description of Professor Gastaldo's Pedagogy and Courses is available at the link provided above.

Professional Information

Fulbright Fellowship, Sub-Saharan Africa, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa 2013
Paleontological Society Fellow 2008-present
Distinguished Service Award, Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM) 2008
PALAIOS 2004 Best Paper Award - Honorable Mention
Councilor-at-Large, Paleontological Society, 2002-2004
College of Science & Mathematics Research Award, Auburn University (Physical Sciences) 1997-1998
Smithsonian Institution Short-Term Visitor 1997
NSF EAR Geology & Paleontology Panel Member 1997-2000
Member, SEPM Council 1996-2002
Distinguished Lecturer, GSA Coal Geology Division 1996-1998
Fellow, Geological Society of America 1994-present
Distinguished Lecturer, Paleontological Society 1994-1995; 1995-1996
Adjunct Professor of Geology, University of Pennsylvanian, Department of Geology 1992-present
Senior U.S. Research Award, Forschungspreistr�ger, Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, Bonn 1991-1992; 2012.
Chairman, Coal Division, Geological Society of America 1991-1992; Chairman-elect 1990-1991
Alumni Professorship, Auburn University 1990-1991; 1992-1996
Visiting Curator, Department of Geology, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago 1986-1987 (NSF BSR 8702337 curatorial grant)
Research Collaborator, Department of Paleobiology, Smithsonian Institution (renewed 1998-present)
President, Southeastern Section Paleontological Society 1986-87; President-elect 1985-86
Fulbright Fellowship, Netherlands American Commission for Educational Exchange, Laboratory of Paleobotany and Palynology, Utrecht, The Netherlands 1982
Phi Kappa Phi, National Honor Society
Member Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society of North America

Current Research


Professor Gastaldo
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS (bold & italics indicates undergraduate co-author):
A complete list of scholarly works and available reprints are available at the link provided above.
Gastaldo, R.A., Knight, C., Neveling, J., and Tabor, N., IN PRESS, Late Permian Paleosols from Wapadsberg Pass, South Africa: Implications for Changhsingian Climate: Geological Society of America Bulletin
Gastaldo, R.A., Pludow, B.A., and Neveling, J., 2013, Mud Aggregates from the Katberg Formation, South Africa: Additional Evidence for Early Triassic Degradational Landscapes: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 83, p. 531-540.
Gastaldo, R.A., 2012, Taphonomic Controls on the Distribution of Palynomorphs in Tidally-influenced Coastal Deltaic Settings: PALAIOS, v. 27, p. 798-810.
Gastaldo, R.A., and Neveling, J., 2012, The terrestrial PermianTriassic boundary event is a nonevent: REPLY: Geology, v. 40, p. e257, doi:10.1130/G32975Y.1
Kosnik, M.A., Alroy, J., Behrensmeyer, A.K., Fursich, F.T., Gastaldo, R.A., Kidwell, S.M., Kowalewski, M., Plotnick, R.E., Rogers, R.R., and Wagner, P.J., 2011, Changes in the shell durability of common marine taxa through the Phanerozoic: Evidence for biological rather than taphonomic drivers: Paleobiology, v. 37, p. 303-331.
Falcon-Lang, H.J., Heckel, P.H., Dimichele, W.A., Blake Jr., B.M., Easterday, C., Eble, C.F., Elrick, S., Gastaldo, R.A., Greb, S.F., Martino, R.L., Nelson, W.J., Pfefferkorn, H.W., Phillips, T.L., and Rosscoe, S.J., 2011, No major stratigraphic gap exists near the Desmoinesian-Missourian Stage boundary in North America: PALAIOS, v. 26, p. 125-139.
Gastaldo, R.A., and Demko, T.M., 2010, Long term hydrology controls the plant fossil record: in Allison, P.A., and Bottjer, D.J., eds., Taphonomy, Second Edition: Processes and Bias Through Time: Topics in Geobiology, v. 32, p. 249-286 (doi 10.1007/978-90-481-8643-3_7
Prevec, R., Gastaldo, R.A., Neveling, J., Reid, S.B., and Looy, C.V., 2010, An Autochthonous Glossoperid flora with Latest Permian palynomorphs from the Dicynodon Assemblage Zone of the southern Karoo Basin, South Africa: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v., 292, p. 381-408. (doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.052)
Gastaldo, R.A., 2010, Peat or No Peat: Why do the Rajang and Mahakam Deltas Differ?: International Journal of Coal Geology, v. 83, p. 162-172 (doi; 10.1016/j.coal.2010.01.005)
Daly, R.G., and Gastaldo, R.A., 2010, The Effect of Orientation to Growing-season Sunlight on Stomatal Parameters of Quercus rubra Around the Belgrade Lakes, Central Maine: PALAIOS, v. 25, p. 339-346.
Prevec, R., Labandeira, C.C., Neveling, J., Gastaldo, R.A., Bamford, M.K., and Looy, C.V., 2009, Portrait of a Gondwanan Ecosystem: A New Late Permian Locality from Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa: Review of Palaeobotany & Palynology, v. 156, p. 454-493.
Pashin, J.C., and Gastaldo, R.A., 2009, Carboniferous of the Black Warrior Basin, in Greb, S.F., and Chestnut, D.R., Jr., eds., Carboniferous Geology and Biostratigraphy of the Appalachian and Black Warrior Basins: Kentucky Geological Survey Special Publication 10, Series 12, p. 10-21.
Gastaldo, R.A., Purkynova, E., and Simůnek, Z., 2009, Megafloral Perturbation Across the Enna Marine Zone in the Upper Silesian Basin Attests to Late Mississippian Deglaciation and Climate Change: PALAIOS, v. 24, p. 350-366.
Gastaldo, R.A., Purkyňova, E., Simůnek, Z., and Schmitz, M.D., 2009, Ecological Persistence in the Late Mississippian (Serpukhovian - Namurian A) Megafloral Record of the Upper Silesian Basin, Czech Republic: PALAIOS, v. 24, p. 336-350.
Pace, D.W., Gastaldo, R.A., and Neveling, J., 2009, Aggradational and Degradational Landscapes in the Early Triassic of the Karoo Basin and Evidence for Climatic Oscillation Following the P/Tr Event: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 79, p. 276-291.
Gastaldo, R.A., Neveling, J., Clark, C.K., and Newbury, S.S., 2009, The terrestrial Permian-Triassic boundary event bed is a non-event: GEOLOGY, v. 37, n. 3, p. 199-202.
Pfefferkorn, H.W., Gastaldo, R.A., DiMichele, W.A., and Phillips, T.L., 2008, Pennsylvanian tropical floras from the United States as a record of changing climate: in Fielding, C.R., Frank, T.D., and Isbell, J.L., Eds., Resolving the Late Paleozoic Gondwanan Ice Age in Time and Space: GSA Special Paper 441, p. 305-316.
DiMichele, W.A.,and Gastaldo, R.A., 2008, Plant Paleoecology in Deep Time: Annals of the Missouri Botanical Gardens, v. 95, p. 144-198.
Gastaldo, R.A., and Rolerson, M.W., 2008, Katbergia gen. nov., a New Trace Fossil from Upper Permian and Lower Triassic Rocks of the Karoo Basin: Implications for Paleoenvironmental Conditions at the P/Tr Extinction Event: Palaeontology, v. 51, p. 215-229.
Gastaldo, R.A., 2007, TAPHONOMY: in Parker, S.P., ed., McGraw Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. 10th Edition (updated and revised; online at
Gastaldo, R.A., and Degges, C.W., 2007, Sedimentology and Paleontology of a Carboniferous Log Jam: International Journal of Coal Geology, v. 69, p. 103-118.
Greb, S.F., DiMichele, W.D., and Gastaldo, R.A., 2006, Evolution of Wetland Types and the Importance of Wetlands in Earth History: in DiMichele, W.A., and Greb, S., eds., Wetlands Through Time: Geological Society of America, Special Paper 399, p. 1-40.
Allen, J.P., and Gastaldo, R.A., 2006, Sedimentology and taphonomy of the Early to Middle Devonian plant-bearing beds of the Trout Valley Formation, Maine: in DiMichele, W.A., and Greb, S., eds., Wetlands Through Time: Geological Society of America, Special Paper 399, p. 57-78.
Gastaldo, R.A., Gibson, M.A., and Blanton-Hooks, A., 2006, A Late Mississippian Back-Barrier Marsh Ecosystem in the Black Warrior and Appalachian Basins: in DiMichele, W.A., and Greb, S., eds., Wetlands Through Time: Geological Society of America, Special Paper 399, p. 139-154.
Behrensmeyer, A.K., Fursich, F.T., Gastaldo, R.A. Kidwell, S.M., Kosnik, M.A. Kowalewski, M., Plotnick, R.E., Rogers, R.R., and Alroy, J., 2005, Are the most durable shelly taxa also the most common in the marine fossil record?: Paleobiology, v. 31, p. 607-623.
Gastaldo, R.A., Adendorff, R., Bamford, M.K., Labandeira, Neveling, J., and Sims, H.J., 2005, Taphonomic Trends of Macrofloral Assemblages Across the Permian-Triassic Boundary, Karoo Basin, South Africa: PALAIOS, v. 20, p. 478-497.
Gee, C.T., and Gastaldo, R.A., 2005, Sticks & Mud, Fruits & Nuts, Leaves & Climate: Plant Taphonomy Comes of Age: PALAIOS, v. 20, p. 415-418.
Selover, R.W., and Gastaldo, R.A., 2005, A Reinterpretation of the Wagendrift Quarry, Estcourt, Kwazulu Natal Province, and its Implications for Karoo Basin Paleogeography: Journal of South African Geology, v. 108 (3), p. 429-438.
DiMichele, W.D., Gastaldo, R.A., and Pfefferkorn, H.W., 2005, Biodiversity partitioning in the Late Carboniferous and Early Permian and its implications for ecosystem assembly: Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, v. 56, suppl. 1, no. 4, p. 32-49.
Selover, R.W., Gastaldo, R.A., and Nelson, R.E., 2005, An Estuarine Assemblage from the Middle Devonian Trout Valley Formation of Northern Maine: PALAIOS, v. 20, p. 192-197.

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