David Bottjer

Professor of Earth Sciences, Biological Sciences and Environmental Studies

Contact Information
E-mail: dbottjer@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 740-6100
Office: ZHS 233

Curriculum Vitae
Personal Website


  • B.S. Geology, Haverford College, 5/1973
  • M.A. Geology, State University of New York at Binghamton, 6/1976
  • Ph.D. Geology, Indiana University, Bloomington, 12/1978

  • Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    Professor Bottjer is a paleobiologist and paleoecologist who has worked broadly on organism-sediment interactions and the ecological history of life. His current research focuses on two broad paleobiological questions. The first includes a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the paleobiology and paleoecology of early metazoan life, with field work conducted in eastern California and China. The second emphasizes obtaining a detailed understanding of the paleoecology of the recovery from the end-Permian mass and end-Triassic extinctions, with extensive work on Triassic strata throughout the western U.S., Europe, Japan and China. This Triassic research project has led to involvement in the Paleobiology Database, which has undertaken the development of large databases with web-based access to solve major outstanding paleobiological and evolutionary problems.
    Research Specialties
    Geobiology, evolutionary paleoecology, paleobiology, paleoclimatology, paleoenvironmental analysis, paleogenomics

    Affiliations with Research Centers, Labs, and Other Institutions

    • Center for Chinese Fossil Discoveries, Co-Director, http://chinafossils.nhm.org


    • Allison, P.A. and D.J. Bottjer (Ed.). (2010). Taphonomy: Process and Bias Through Time. (Vol. Topics in Geobiology, Dordrecht: Springer.

    Journal Article
    • Greene, S. E., Bottjer, D. J., Hagdorn, H., Zonneveld, J. (2011). The Mesozoic return of Paleozoic faunal constituents: A decoupling of taxonomic and ecological dominance during the recovery from the end-Permian mass extinction. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology/Elsevier. Vol. 308, pp. 224-232.
    • Martindale, R. C., Zonneveld, J., Bottjer, D. J. (2010). Microbial framework in Upper Triassic (Carnian) patch reefs from Williston Lake, British Columbia, Canada. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. Vol. 297, pp. 609-620.
    • Marenco, K. N., Bottjer, D. J. (2010). The intersection grid technique for quantifying the extent of bioturbation on bedding planes. Palaios. Vol. 25, pp. 457-462..
    • Powers, C. M., Bottjer, D. J. (2009). Behavior of lophophorates during the end-Permian mass extinction and recovery. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences. Vol. 36, pp. 413-419.
    • Mata, S. A., Bottjer, D. J. (2009). Development of Lower Triassic wrinkle structures: Implications for the search for life on other planets. Astrobiology. Vol. 9, pp. 895-906.
    • Chen, J. Y., Bottjer, D. J., Li, G., Hadfield, M. G., Gao, F., Cameron, A. R., Zhang, C. Y., Xian, D. C., Tafforeau, P., Liao, X., Yin, Z. J. (2009). Complex embryos displaying bilaterian characters from Precambrian Doushantuo phosphate deposits, Weng’an, Guizhou, China. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Vol. 106, pp. 19056-19060.
    • Mata, S. A., Bottjer, D. J. (2009). The paleoenvironmental distribution of Phanerozoic wrinkle structures. Earth-Science Reviews. Vol. 96, pp. 181-195.
    • Chen, J. Y., Bottjer, D. J., Davidson, E. H., Gang, G., Gao, F., Cameron, R. A., Hadfield, M. G., Xian, D., Tafforeau, P., Jia, Q., Sugiyama, H., Tang, R. (2009). Phase contrast synchrotron X-ray microtomography of Ediacaran (Doushantuo) metazoan microfossils: Phylogenetic diversity and Evolutionary implications. Precambrian Research. Vol. 173, pp. 191-2000.
    • Fraiser, M. L., Bottjer, D. J. (2009). Opportunistic behaviour of invertebrate marine tracemakers during the Early Triassic aftermath of the end-Permian mass extinction. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences. Vol. 56, pp. 841-857.
    • Powers, C. M., Bottjer, D. J. (2009). The effects of mid-Phanerozoic environmental stress on bryozoan diversity, paleoecology, and paleogeography. Global and Planetary Change. Vol. 65, pp. 146-154.
    • Clapham, M. E., Shen, S. Z., Bottjer, D. J. (2009). The double mass extinction revisited: reassessing the severity, selectivity, and causes of the end-Guadalupian biotic crisis (Late Permian). Paleobiology. Vol. 35, pp. 32-50.

    • Schopf, J.W. and Bottjer, D.J. (Ed.). (2009). World Summit on Ancient Microscopic Fossils. Precambrian Research.

    Honors and Awards

    • Honorary Member, Pacific Section Society for Sedimentarty Geology (SEPM), 2013-  
    • Fellow, The Paleontological Society, 2007-  
    • American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, 1999-  
    • Fellow, Geological Society of America, 1986-  
    • Raymond C. Moore Medal for Excellence in Paleontology, Society for Sedimentarty Geology (SEPM), 2014  
    • Albert S. Raubenheimer Award, Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, 2013  
    • UCLA CSEOL Distinguished Scientist Award, 2001-2002   

    Service to the University

    Administrative Appointments
    • Co-Director, Center for Chinese Fossil Discoveries, 2008-  
    • Chair, Department of Earth Sciences, 08/16/2009-08/15/2012  
    • Chair, Department of Earth Sciences, 08/16/2006-08/15/2009  

    Service to the Profession

    Editorships and Editorial Boards
    • Editor-in-Chief, Palaeogeography; Palaeoclimatology; Palaeoecology, 2000-  
    • Editor, Palaios, 1989-1996  

    Professional Offices
    • President, The Paleontological Society, 2004-2006  

  • Zumberge Hall of Science (ZHS)
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0740
  • Phone: (213) 740-6106
  • Email: earthsci@usc.edu