Baylor University
Department of Geosciences
College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Rena Bonem

Contact Information
Dr. Rena Bonem
Department of Geology
Baylor University
One Bear Place #97354
Waco, TX 76798

Phone (254) 710-2187
Fax (254) 710-2673

Room E413, Baylor Sciences Building



• Paleoecology

• Invertebrate Paleontology

• Modern Carbonates


Ph.D., University of Oklahoma, 1975

M.S., New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, 1971

B.S., New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, 1970

Additional specialized courses in:

• Oceanography, NSF (UCSD, USD, Scripps)

• Underwater Archaeology, National Park Service

• Coral Reef Management Workshop, NOAA

• Cretaceous Planktic Foraminifera

• Living and Fossil Sponges Short Course, Univ. Miami

• Underwater Educational Symposium, Univ. Michigan

• Biology and Geology of Modern Reefs: OTS, Jamaica

• Tropical Marine Environments: University of Miami

Teaching Experience

Dr. Bonem began teaching at Baylor in 1981, following four years at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and two years at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. She has served as a consultant for Supron on Cretaceous carbonate depositional environments, on modern reefs for the Amoco exhibit at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry and on nutrient flux for Epcot's Living Seas Exhibit.

Research Interests

Her research interests include paleoecology, invertebrate paleontology, and modern carbonate environments with an emphasis on reef development and soft substrate adaptation. Her students have completed theses on paleoecology ranging from Cambrian to Recent strata. In addition to local theses emphasizing Cretaceous and Pennsylvanian paleoecology, Dr. Bonem has directed several theses on modern carbonates in Jamaica.

Her current research interests are primarily centered on the development of coral reef communities and human impact on reef systems. In addition, Dr. Bonem has studied hurricane impact and preservation of storm events in the sedimentologic record of reefs in Jamaica, as well as the influence of fresh water submarine springs on reef development. She is actively involved in earth science education and is working on a project using paleoecology of dinosaur track-bearing strata as an educational tool. Her research has been supported by PRF and Mellan Grants, as well as Baylor Research Committee funds.

Dr. Bonem teaches graduate courses in History of Geology, Paleoecology, Oceanography, Field Studies in Marine Biology and Geology, and Modern Carbonate Depositional Environments. She is actively involved with the Geological Society of America on a regional and national level, as well as the National YMCA SCUBA Program. In that capacity, she has taught several short courses on reef ecology and geology for SCUBA instructors and the general public and has co-authored a book on modern reef environments. She was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in March 2001 for her contributions to education of divers in coral reef ecology.

Current Research Areas Include:

• Soft Substrate Adaptations of Cretaceous Communities

• Pennsylvanian and Cretaceous Biohermal Development and Comparison to Modern Lagoonal Reefs

• Pennsylvanian Rostroconch Mollusks and Edrioasteroid Communities

• Lower Cretaceous Dinosaur Trackways

• Human Impact on Modern Coral Reefs

Student Theses:

Ph.D. Dissertation Research, Baylor University (1996-Present)

John Mosley: Conodont Biostratigraphy, Tectonics, and Sea-Level Change in Upper Mississippian and Lower Pennsylvanian Strata in Utah and Nevada (August 1996)

Nick Pieracocos: Depositional Environments and Conodont Biofacies of the Council Grove Group (Early Permian) in the Hugoton Embayment, Southwestern Kansas and Oklahoma Panhandle (December 2001)

Ryan F. Morgan, 2015. Investigations in Blastoid Phylogenetics, Speciation, and the Sedimentology of an Echinoderm-defined Stratotype

M. S. Thesis Research, Baylor University (1981-present)

Charles P. Luginbill, 1985: Paleoecology of the Dennison Formation, Tarrant and Denton Counties, Texas

Edwin H. Westergaard, 1986: A New Cornute Species from the Asgill of Northern Ireland

Carol R. Hoadley, 1986: Paleoecology of Encrusting Epifauna on Echinoids and Oysters of the Mid-Cretaceous

J. Michael Hawthorne, 1987: The Stratigraphy and Depositional Environments of Dinosaur Tracks in the Edwards Plateau and Lampasas Cut Plain Provinces of Texas

Kurt Johnston, 1996: Conodont Biostratigraphy of the Derryan Type Section (Pennsylvanian), Sierra County, New Mexico

Angela Gaitros, 1996: Influence of Biological and Chemical Variations on Jamaican Reef Health

Georgina Cuzzort, 1997: A Classroom Without Walls An Overview and Guide to the Geology of Miller Springs Nature Center, Lake Belton, Bell County, Texas

Elaine Alexander, 1998: Water Quality and Geologic Impacts on Macroinvertebrate Communities in the North Bosque River Watershed, Texas

Tambra Eifert, 1999: Morphologic and Stratigraphic Succession of the Carboniferous Blastoid Pentremites

Christopher R. Moses, 1999: Short-term Evolution of Reef Geomorphology and Biozonation, North Coast, Jamaica, W. I.

Tabitha Hutchinson, 2003: Introductory Oceanography Laboratories for Marine Stations.

Marie Maher, 2007: Lagoonal Patch Reef Development, Discovery Bay, Jamaica.

Isaac Westfield, 2008 (coadvised with Steve Dworkin): Identification of Sediment Sources, Pear Tree Bottom Reef, Runaway Bay, Jamaica.

Adam Dammon, 2011, A Comparison of the Cretaceous (Albian) Edwards Limestone Bioherms of Central Texas with the Holocene Coral Reefs of Bermuda.

Garrett Felda, 2014, Depositional character of Late Triassic fluvial and lacustrine strata of the Owl Rock Member (Chinle Formation), Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona.

B.S. Thesis Research, Baylor University (1981-present)

James Buice, 1983: Pre-Hurricane Allen Sedimentology of the Red Buoy Patch Reef, Discovery Bay, Jamaica

Karen L. Duffin, 1983: Paleoecology of Edwards Bioherms in Central Texas with a Comparison to Modern Lagoonal Patch Reefs

Michael E. Duffin, 1983: Paleoecology of the Pleistocene Falmouth Reef, Rio Bueno Harbor, Jamaica

Scott W. Fitzpatrick, 1983: Paleontology and Paleoecology of Trace Fossil Faunas in the Cambro-Ordovician Bliss Formation on Beach Mountain Near Van Horn, Texas

Billy D. Kruger Jr., 1983: Analysis of the Depositional Environment of the Del Rio Clay, Grayson Formation, Central Texas

J. Michael Hawthorne, 1983: Stratigraphy and Depositional Environment of the Dinosaur Track-Bearing Glen Rose Limestone in the Paluxy Basin, Texas

David Sanders, 1984: Paleoecology of the Weches Formation in Nacogdoches County, Texas

Mark H. Barber, 1985: Paleoenvironmental Interpretation of the East Mountain Shale in North-Central Texas

Charles Jay Love, Jr., 1985: Stratigraphy and Paleoecology of the Cedarton Shale (Canyon Group) in Brown and McCulloch Counties, Texas

Deanna J. Kimble, 1986: The Paleoecology of the Colony Creek Shale in North-Central Texas

Leonard R. Ellis, 1986: Biofacies relationships in the Fredericksburg Group of Central and North-Central Texas

Joseph R. Whiteside, 1987: A Study of Pennsylvanian (Late Morrowan) Edrioasteroidea from the Ardmore Basin, Southern Oklahoma

Alan B. Curtis, 1988: Paleoecology and Paleontology of Serpulid Bioherms in the Lower Glen Rose Limestone of Central Texas

Mike Sherrier, 1988: Identification and Correlation of Isochronous Units in Modern Lagoonal Sediments, Discovery Bay, Jamaica

Cynthia King, 1988: Paleoecology of Exogyra ponderosa

Duncan Aepli, 1989: Biostratigraphy and Paleoecology of the Grayson Formation, McLennan County, Central Texas

Richard Blank, 1995: The Nature of the Relationship between the Edwards and Georgetown Formations in Central Texas

Susan Cochran, 1996: Geomorphology and Biotic Density of Dairy Bull Reef, Discovery Bay, Jamaica

Matt Willis, 1997: Paleoecology and Distribution of Echinoderms in the Grayson Formation, McLennan County, Texas

Candice Carrell, 1998: Water Quality of Three North Jamaican Rivers and Related Reef Health

Karen Pate, 1999: Trace Fossils and Their Geological Significance in the Upper Cretaceous (Gulfian) Wolfe City Sand, Central Texas

William York, 2004, B. A. project on Pennsylvanian Edioasteroids.

Michael Wintersgill, 2004, The John Smith Agate Collection and its Relevance to Current Theories of Agate Formation.

Mary Rachel Bruner, 2005, Spacial Analysis and Visualization of Lower Cretaceous Dinosaur trackways in Dinosaur Valley State Park, Central Texas.

Michael Gallion, 2009, Internship Report - Rock Engineering International: The Importance of Shallow Pedology and Its' Impact on Engineering Design

Kristina Raley, 2013, Sauropod trackways in the Glen Rose Limestone, Coryell County, Texas.

Daniel Gaskell, 2015, Honors Thesis: Marine Fish Productivity Across the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.

Kolin Beam, 2015, Stratigraphy and Depositional Environment of the Austin Chalk (Upper Cretaceous) at White Rock Creek, Bellmead, Texas.

Brian Diehl, 2015, Stratigraphy and Depositional Environment of Cow House Creek Dinosaur Tracksites, Lower Cretaceous Glen Rose Formation, Central Texas.

Selected Publications

Farlow, James O., Karl T. Bates, Rena M. Bonem, Benjamin F. Dattilo, Peter L. Falkingham, Raymond Gildner, Jerry Jacene, Glen J. Kuban, Anthony J. Martin, Mike O’Brien, James White, 2015, Dinosaur Footprints from the Glen Rose Formation (Paluxy River, Dinosaur Valley State Park, Somervell County, Texas), in Chistopher Noto , ed., Early and Mid Cretaceous Archosaur Localities of North - Central Texas: Guidebook for the field trip held October 13, 2015 in conjunction with the 75th Annual Meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology in Dallas, Texas, p. 14-37.

Dattilo, Benjamin F., Sadye Howald, Rena Bonem, James Farlow, Anthony J Martin, Mike O’Brien, Michael Blair, Glen Kuban, Lydia Mark, April Knox, Bill Ward, and Tara Joyce, 2013, Stratigraphy of the Paluxy River Tracksites in and Around Dinosaur Valley State Park, Lower Cretaceous Glen Rose Formation, Somervell County, Texas: in, M. G. Lockley and S. G. Lucas (eds.), Fossil Footprints of Western North America, Bulletin 62, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque, New Mexico, p. 307-338.

Westfield, Isaac, Steve Dworkin, Rena Bonem, and Emyris Short Lane, 2008, Identification of sediment sources using geochemical fingerprinting at Pear Tree Bottom Reef, Runaway Bay, Jamaica, in, Abstracts 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, p. 137

Bonem, Rena M., 2007, Cultivating a Relationship, Workshop on Undergraduate Recruitment and Retention: Annual Meeting Geological Society of America, Denver, CO.

Sumrall, Colin D., James Sprinkle, and Rena M. Bonem, 2006, An edrioasteroid-dominated echinoderm assemblage from a Lower Pennsylvanian marine conglomerate in Oklahoma: Journal of Paleontology, v. 80, no. 2, p. 229-44.

Maher, Marie Ann and Rena Bonem, 2006, Construction of a Comprehensive Modern Lagoonal Reef Model for Interpretation of Ancient Bioherms: Annual Meeting, Geological Society of America, Philadelphia, PA, Abstracts with Programs, v. 38, no. 7, p. 228.

SC GSA Meeting, April 2, 2005: Bruner, Mary Rachel, Prochnow, Shane J., Bonem, Rena M., Cawthorn, Tim M., Ryan, Jeff D., and Zygo, Lisa M., Spatial analysis and visualization of Lower Cretaceous trackways in Dinosaur Valley State Park, Central Texas

Hawthorne, J. M., R. M. Bonem, J. O. Farlow, and J. O. Jones, 2002, Ichnology, stratigraphy and paleoenvironment of the Boerne Lake Spillway dinosaur tracksite, south-central Texas: Texas Journal of Science, v. 54,no. 4, p.309-324.

Moses, C. S. and R. M. Bonem, 2001, Recent population dynamics of Diadema antillarum and Tripneustes ventricosus along the north coast of Jamaica, W. I.: Bulletin of Marine Science, v. 68, no. 2, p. 327-36.

Bonem, R. M., 1999, The Saltwater Aquarium as a Teaching Tool: Currents, 99-2, p. 12.

Bonem, R. M. and C. R. Moses, 1998, Reef Health - Nature Reverses the Trend in Jamaican Reefs: Currents, 98-4, p. 15.

Bonem, R. M. and C. R. Moses, 1998, Niche Expansion, Competition and Reef Dominance, -- Implication for the Geologic Record: Abstracts with Programs, v. 30, no. 7, 1998 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Toronto, Canada, p. A29.

Bonem, R. M., J. M. Hawthorne, J. O. Jones, J. O. Farlow, K. A. Pate, T. L. Eifert, 1997, Opportunity from Disaster - An Educational Experience: Geological Society of America Late-Breaking Abstracts #60006, 1997 GSA Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Bonem, R. M., and J. G. Strykowski, 1993, Palaces Under the Sea: A Guide to Understanding the Coral Reef Environment: Star Thrower Foundation, Crystal River, Florida, 262 p.

Bonem, R. M., 1989, Effects of submarine karst development on reef succession, in Proceedings, 6th International Coral Reef Symposium, Townsville, Australia, 1988, v. 3, p. 419-23.

Bonem, R. M., 1989, Recognition of storm impact on the reef sediment record, in Proceeding as, 6th International Coral Reef Symposium, Townsville, Australia, 1988, v. 2, p. 475-78.

Bonem, R. M., 1985, Hurricane impact on lagoonal patch reefs implications for recognition of ancient storm deposits, in Geol. Soc. America National Meeting (Orlando, Florida): Abstracts with Programs for 1985, v. 17, p. 527.

Bonem, R. M., 1984, Sedimentologic development of lagoonal patch reefs: Advances in Reef Sciences, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, p. 12-13.

Bonem, R. M., 1982, Morphology and paleoecology of the Devonian Rostroconch Genus Bigalea: Journ. of Paleontology, v. 56, p. 1362-74.

Bonem, R. M., 1982, Soft substrate adaptation of stropheodontid brachiopods, in South Central Sec. Geol. Soc. America 16th Annual Meeting (Norman, Oklahoma): Abstracts with Programs for 1982, v. 14, p. 106.

Bonem, R. M., 1981, Orientation and functional morphology of conocardid mollusks, in Geol. Soc. America National Meeting (Cincinnati, Ohio): Abstracts with Programs for 1981, v. 13, p. 413.,