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Faculty Profile

Marcus Key

Joseph Priestley Professor of Natural Philosophy (1989)

Contact Information

Kaufman Hall Room 143


His teaching interests are sedimentology, stratigraphy, paleontology, evolution, extinction, energy resources, and sustainability. His research interests involve inferring evolutionary and sedimentary patterns and processes using fossil and living bryozoans. His current research involves evolution of biomineralization, marine biofouling, functional morphology of bryozoans, and geoarcheology. Interested in collecting fossils and going on field expeditions? Interested in research in paleontology? Contact me to become involved with field trip excursions, fossil collecting, or with laboratory work and research.

Curriculum Vitae


  • B.S., University of Texas at Austin, 1983
  • M.Phil., Yale University, 1986
  • Ph.D., 1988


  • Ganoe Award for Inspirational Teaching, 2004-2005

2021-2022 Academic Year

Spring 2022

ERSC 142 Earth's Changing Climate
An overview of our understanding of climate processes and their interaction with the atmosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere based on studies of ancient climates, which inform our understanding of climate change now and into the future. Topics include drivers of climate change at different time scales, evidence for climate change, and major climate events such as ice ages. Emphasis will be placed on the last 1 million years of earth history as a prelude to discussing potential anthropogenic impacts on the climate. Case studies of major climate “players” such as the US and China will be contrasted with those most vulnerable, Africa and SE Asia to determine mitigation and adaptation strategies. The lab component will use historic climate data, field experiences, and climate modeling to interpret climate change processes. Three hours classroom and three hours laboratory a week.

ERSC 550 Independent Research

ERSC 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch