geobiology of invertebrates lab

who we are

Claudia Johnson
claudia johnson

Professor, Geological Sciences. My research area is focused in the Caribbean region, and my students and I pursue field investigations in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Barbados. We travel to museums such as the National Museum of Natural History, the Paleontological Research Institute, the Museo del Hombre Dominicano, and the Texas Memorial Museum to acquire specific paleontological specimens for research.

An extension of my research to the Olduvai Gorge basin focuses on evaluation of the finer points of paleotropical environmental reconstructions at the time of evolving lineages of hominids. 2013 and 2014 field seasons in Tanzania concentrated on ˜1 million year-old bivalve taxonomy and systematics and depositional environments. Sequence stratigraphic analyses will allow for further interpretations of the evolving paleoenvironments.


John Kearney
john kearney

Graduate Student. My research is titled Modern methods of stratigraphic analysis as applied to Bed III and Bed IV, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. I have been working with Dr. Claudia Johnson since 2013 and completed my M.S. in 2016. I continued my research from my Master’s and am now working on my Ph.D.

During my time here at Indiana University, I have submitted two poster abstracts to the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, two poster abstracts to our student-run Crossroads Geology Conference (unpublished), and was a coauthor on one poster abstract for the North American Paleontological Convention.


Kathryn Nold
kathryn nold

Ph.D., 2018. My dissertation research utilized geohistorical data from mollusc shells and ceramic sherds to examine the archaeology and paleoenvironment of pre-colonial, coastal settlements in the Dominican Republic. This research generates knowledge on the biologic and abiotic processes that influenced these systems through time, and provides insight into mitigation of contemporary environmental degradation. I began graduate school at Indiana University in 2007, earning my MS in Geological Sciences in 2010, MA in Anthropology in 2013, and anticipate completion of my dual Ph.D. in Geological Sciences and Anthropology in 2017.


Alex Zimmerman
alex zimmerman

Graduate Student. My research focuses on evaluating patterns of evolution and paleoecology of extinct taxa, specifically with Late Cretaceous rudist bivalves and Middle Pennsylvanian conodonts. I use both qualitative and quantitative methods to assess how the morphology of a given taxa varying through time and space. I also utilize larger datasets to interpret how climate and environmental changes influence morphologic change in the fossil record. I am in the third year of a PhD program, which I began in August 2014.


tziporah ladin-gross

Graduate Student. Tziporah Ladin-Gross earned a Bachelor’s Degree with a major in Jewish Studies and a minor in Hebrew from Indiana University in 2016.

Tziporah is continuing her education at Indiana University with graduate level courses. She is focusing on Underwater Archaeology through the Center of Underwater Science with Professor Beeker, and on the effects of climate change on coral health through the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences with Dr. Claudia Johnson. Through her work with Dr. Johnson, Tziporah is researching environmental changes that lead to coral stress, disease, and bleaching events. Through these research investigations, she formulates comprehensive presentations of the effects of climate change on coral reefs.

Tziporah has taken many classes through the Academic Diving Program. With the Center for Underwater Science at Indiana University, she completed a field project in the Florida Keys in which she contributed to a rapid assessment report of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park that was submitted to the State of Florida. This summer, she will be attending another field-based project in the Dominican Republic where she will be conducting research on corals from artificial and natural settings.


contact information

dr. claudia c. johnson
department of earth and atmospheric sciences
indiana university
1001 e. 10th st. bloomington in 47405

phone: 812-855-0646