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College of Arts & Sciences

Dan Hembree


Associate Professor

Geological Sciences
207 Clippinger Laboratories

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Ph.D., 2005, University of Kansas

M.S., 2002, University of Kansas

B.S., 1999, University of New Orleans

Research Interests

Ichnology, Paleopedology, Vertebrate Paleontology

  • Continental ichnofossils
  • Paleosols
  • Pre-Quaternary soil ecosystems
  • Neoichnology

An In-Depth Look at My Research Program

My research interests primarily lie with the interaction of sedimentological and biological processes. I am interested in animal-substrate interactions in ancient and modern continental (or non-marine) environments. These interactions are preserved in the fossil record as trace fossils. Trace fossils provide an in situ record of ancient biodiversity, ecology, and environment. The study of ichnofossils, therefore, provides vital information for accurate paleoenvironmental reconstructions. As sensitive indicators of environmental and climatic change, ichnofossils are also useful for detailed sequence stratigraphic analysis.

In my research, I interpret the paleoenvironmental, paleoclimatic, and paleoecological significance of paleosols and ichnofossils preserved in the geologic record. This involves not only the study of paleosols and continental trace fossils throughout geologic time but also the experimental study of burrowing behaviors of extant terrestrial annelids, arthropods, amphibians, and reptiles. My current research projects involve the study of the influence of climate changes on ancient soils and soil ecosystems including those of the Pennsylvanian of southeast Ohio, Permian of eastern Kansas, and the Eocene to Miocene of Colorado and Wyoming.

Courses Taught

  • GEOL 1010: Introduction to Geology
  • GEOL 2210: Earth and Life History
  • GEOL 2550: Historical Geology (summer)
  • GEOL 4/5440: Ichnology
  • GEOL 4/5560: Paleopedology

Professional Appointments

2012-present, Associate Professor

2007-2012, Assistant Professor

Selected Publications

  • Hembree, D.I., in press. Neoichnology of the whip scorpion Mastigoproctus giganteus: complex burrows of predatory terrestrial arthropods. PALAIOS. Accepted October 2012.
  • Hembree, D.I., *Johnson, L.M., *Tenwalde, R.W., 2012. Neoichnology of the desert scorpion Hadrurus arizonensis: burrows to biogenic cross lamination. Palaeontologica Electronica v. 15, p. 1-34.
  • *Smilek, K.R., Hembree, D.I., 2012. Neoichnology of the holothurian Thyonella gemmata. Open Paleontology Journal v. 4, p. 1-10.
  • *Catena, A., Hembree, D.I., 2012. Recognizing vertical and lateral variability in terrestrial landscapes: a case study from the paleosols of the Casselman Formation (Conemaugh Group), Southeast Ohio, U.S.A. Geosciences v. 2, p. 178-202.
  • *Dzenowski, N., Hembree, D.I., 2012. Examining local climate variability in the Late Pennsylvanian through paleosols: an example from the Lower Conemaugh Group of southeastern Ohio. Geosciences v. 2, p. 260-276.
  • Hembree, D.I., Nadon, G., 2011. A Paleopedologic and Ichnologic Perspective of the Terrestrial Pennsylvanian Landscape in the Distal Appalachian Basin, USA. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology v. 312, p. 138-166.
  • Hembree, D.I., Nadon, G., King, R., 2011. Large, complex burrow systems from freshwater deposits of the Monongahela Group (Virgilian), southeast Ohio, USA. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology v. 300, p. 128-137.
  • Mapes, R.H., Hembree, D.I., Rasor, B., Stigall, A.L., Goirand, C., de Forge, R., 2010. Nautilus (Cephalopoda) taphonomy and sedimentology of a subtidal, carbonate dominated nearshore environment. Palaios v. 25, p. 656-670.
  • Hembree, D.I., 2009. Neoichnology of burrowing millipedes: understanding the relationships between ichnofossil morphology, behavior, and sediment properties. Palaios, v. 24, p. 425-439.
  • Hembree, D.I., 2009. Aestivation in the fossil record, in Navas, C.A., Carvalho, J.E. (eds.), Aestivation. Springer-Verlag.
  • Hembree, D.I., Hasiotis, S.T., 2008. Miocene vertebrate and invertebrate burrows defining compound paleosols in the Pawnee Creek Formation, Colorado, USA. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 270, p. 349-365.
  • Hembree, D.I., 2007. Phylogenetic revision of Rhineuridae (Reptilia: Squamata: Amphibaenia) from the Eocene to Miocene North America. The University of Kansas Paleontological Contributions New Series, no. 15, p. 1-20.
  • Hembree, D.I., Hasiotis, S.T., 2007. Sand-swimming biogenic structures produced by the Kenyan sand boa Eryx colubrinus: modern analogs for interpreting continental ichnofossils. Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 77, p. 389-397.
  • Hembree, D.I., Hasiotis, S.T., 2007. Paleosols and ichnofossils of the White River Formation of Colorado: insight into soil ecosystems of the North American Midcontinent during the Eocene-Oligocene transition. Palaios, v. 22, p. 123-142.
  • Hasiotis, S.T., Platt, B.F., Hembree, D.I., Everhart, M., 2007. The trace fossil record of vertebrates. In: Miller, W. (ed.), Trace Fossils: Concepts, Problems, and Prospects, pp. 196-216.
  • Hembree, D.I., 2006. Amphisbaenian paleobiogeography: evidence of vicariance and geodispersal patterns. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 235, p. 334-348.
  • Hembree, D.I., Hasiotis, S.T., 2006. The identification and interpretation of reptile ichnofossils in paleosols through modern studies. Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 76, p. 575-588.
  • Hembree, D.I., Hasiotis, S.T., Martin, L.D., 2005. Torridorefugium eskridgensis (new ichnogenus and ichnospecies): amphibian aestivation burrows from the Lower Permian Speiser Shale of Kansas. Journal of Paleontology, v. 79, p. 596-606.
  • Hembree, D.I., Martin, L.D., Hasiotis, S.T., 2004. Amphibian burrows and ephemeral ponds of the Lower Permian Speiser Shale, Kansas: evidence for seasonality in the mid-continent. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 203, p. 127-152.
  • * denotes student author.

Recent Advisee Masters Theses

  • Angeline Catena, 2012. Neoichnology of two Scincoid lizards and Pennsylvanian paleosols: improving interpretations of continental tracemakers and soil environments. M.S. Thesis, Ohio University.
  • Nicole Dzenowski, 2012. The neoichnology of two Ambystomatid salamanders, Pennsylvanian paleosols, and their use in paleoenvironmental, paleoecological, and paleoclimatic interpretations. M.S. Thesis, Ohio University.
  • Bart Rasor, 2010. Taphonomy and Sedimentology of a Modern Nautilus Deposit in a Nearshore Paleoenvironment. B.S. Thesis, Ohio University.
  • Krista Smilek, 2009. Using ichnology and sedimentology to determine paleoenvironmental and paleoecological conditions of a shallow water marine depositional environment: case studies from the Pennsylvanian Ames Limestone and modern holothurians. M.S. Thesis, Ohio University.


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