Aaron Morrison

We are all familiar with the terrestrial or rocky planets in our solar system—Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, as well as a number of terrestrial satellites such as our moon or Jupiter’s moon, Io, but far less is known about the icy water worlds that populate our solar system.

As the warming planet continues to cause sea levels to rise, new research suggests rising seas eventually could prove detrimental to human health. John Huntley, an assistant professor of paleobiology in the department of geological sciences at MU, has just published his first paper stemming from research he conducted as a senior visiting fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Bologna, Italy, last summer.

2017 is turning out to be a very good year for MU’s Department of Geological Sciences. The department is in the process of installing the first micro-CT scanner on campus, which will allow researchers across campus to analyze samples three-dimensionally without destroying them, as well as a highly customized scanning electron microscope.

As paleobiology graduate students, Jim Schiffbauer and John Huntley shared research projects, laughs and a tiny office at Virginia Tech. A decade later, they’re both MU assistant professors, and … not much has changed. They still collaborate. They still laugh a lot. And they’re still in close proximity, with adjacent (though larger) offices. One addition: star protégé Tara Selly, MS ’15, a doctoral candidate with a penchant for investigating the biology and ecology of the fossil record.

Newsletter Front

Alumni Newsletter


Columbia, Mo. (May 20, 2016) – The Department of Geological Sciences is delighted to host the thirteenth PACROFI conference at the University of Missouri from May 24-26, 2016.

The biennial PACROFI (Pan-American Current Research on Fluid Inclusions) conference series has been a leading international forum for the presentation of research on fluid and melt inclusions. We anticipate a vibrant meeting of ~ 70 researchers from academia, industry, and government.

Columbia, Mo (May 13, 2016) – Assistant Professor James Schiffbauer ( of the Department of Geological Sciences has been named to receive the 2016 MU Provost’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Research Award. The award recognizes faculty, who are in the early phases of their careers, for superior research and creative activity on the MU campus.

Tara Selly

Researchers who study evidence of predatory behavior in the fossil record generally look for drill holes, repair scars, bite marks, and other signs of predation in fossilized skeletons.  But a team of researchers at the University of Missouri has found fossil “snapshots” of predators caught in the act of feeding on their prey.