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David Bottjer

Professor of Earth Sciences, Biological Sciences and Environmental Studies

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-6100
Office: ZHS 233

Curriculum Vitae
Personal Website


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

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,



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  
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