Rowan Martindale

Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

The University of Texas at Austin

I am an Assistant Professor at UT Austin in the Department of Geosciences. My students and I are involved with many paleontological, geobiological, and sedimentological projects; 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.

Workshop Participant, Website Contributor

Website Content Contributions

Activities (9)

Taphonomy: Dead and Fossilized Board Game - High School Edition part of Teach the Earth:Teaching Activities
"Taphonomy: Dead and Fossilized" can be used as an active learning tool in a class or lab to promote understanding of Earth processes (Geology), deep time, fossils, and the history of life on Earth ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Conference Presentations (3)

Facilitating spaces of collaborative learning for geoconservation using a new board game, "Reef Survivor: Jamaica" part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2022:Program:Oral Sessions:Monday Oral Session A
"Reef Survivor: Jamaica" is an educational board game that incorporates elements of place-based education and Earth systems thinking to help players learn about reef ecology and resilience in the face of ...

The Impact of Educational Games on Learning, Engagement, and Equity in Geosciences part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2021:Program:Poster Sessions:Wednesday:Poster Session II
Incorporating play in classrooms has been shown to improve student learning (Griggs et al., 2009); however, the advantages may not be equal across all learners. Some studies have suggested that gender, ...

Learning outcomes of the educational board game Taphonomy: Dead and Fossilized, evaluated with high school learners in a summertime out-of-school program part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2020:Program:Oral Sessions:Oral Session I
Educational games are designed to help students retain educational material, gain a deeper understanding of concepts, and become innovative problem solvers. Like other active learning activities, games have been ...