Microbial Development in the Cambro-Ordovician

Missouri and Oklahoma

Research Mission:

My research on Cambro-Ordovician carbonates addresses the evolution of the carbonate system, specifically the controls on the development of microbialites during the Middle Cambrian-Middle Ordovician. The abundance of microbialites during this time encompasses the time period that follows the "Cambrian Explosion" of complex body plans yet precedes the Ordovician radiation of skeletonized organisms.

The early Paleozoic provides a more controlled paleoenvironment to study microbial development over later ecosystems, which were dominated by metazoans. In examining the Cambro-Ordovician, ideally one can better study the chemical, sedimentological, and biological factors that influenced the development of microbial structures by excluding variables related to microbial-metazoan interactions, including predation and preservation.

The Cambro-Ordovician units of southern Missouri and Oklahoma provide a laboratory to observe, describe and interpret the development of microbial structures.