Biology: Department Chair and Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Vertebrate Paleontology, Paleoecology, and Natural History
David Broussard, Ph.D., department chair and assistant professor of biology, focuses his research on the paleontology of Late Devonian (365 – 360 million years ago) vertebrates including extinct groups of fishes and early tetrapods (four-limbed animals). In his research, he integrate paleontology, sedimentology, taphonomy (how fossils form), geochronology, and palynology (fossil pollen and plant spores) to gain an understanding of the terrestrial ecosystems preserved in Late Devonian strata that contain freshwater and marginal marine environments preserved in Catskill Formation strata of north-central Pennsylvania. The Catskill Formation was deposited while vertebrates were undergoing the fin-limb transition moving from aquatic habitats on to land. These early tetrapods along with a diversity of vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants, were living in and alongside a variety of freshwater environments that are preserved in the Catskill Formation. Broussard has mentored several students that have gone on to present their results at scientific conferences such as the Geological Society of America and the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.
Courses that he teaches include Human Physiology, Animal Behavior, Vertebrate Biology, Introductory Biology 2, and a non-major’s course on Dinosaurs (Natural History of Dinosaurs).
Broussard, D.R., Treaster, C. (Lycoming undergraduate)., Trop, J.T., Daeschler,E.B., Zippi, P., Vrazo, M., Rygel, M.C. 2020. Vertebrate paleontology, taphonomy, sedimentology, and palynology of a fossiliferous Upper Famennian fluvial succession, Catskill Formation, Pennsylvania, USA. Palaios, In Press.
Broussard, D.R.., Trop, J.M., Benowitz, J.A., Daeschler, E.B., Chamberlain Jr, J.A., Chamberlain, R.B., 2018. Depositional setting, taphonomy and geochronology of new fossil sites in the Catskill Formation (Upper Devonian) of north-central Pennsylvania, USA, including a new early tetrapod fossil. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 511: 168 – 187.