Baylor University
Department of Geosciences
College of Arts and Sciences

Baylor > Department of Geosciences > People > Faculty & Staff > Dr. Daniel Peppe

Dr. Daniel Peppe

Contact Information
Dr. Daniel Peppe
Department of Geology
Baylor University
One Bear Place #97354
Waco TX 76798

Phone (254) 710-2629
Fax (254) 710-2673

Room E427, Baylor Sciences Building


Associate Professor & Graduate Program Director

• Paleobotany
• Paleomagnetism
• Paleoclimate



Ph. D., Yale University
M. Phil., Yale University
B. S., St. Lawrence University

Research Interests

My research program uses a collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to address how environmental change drives evolutionary processes in plants and animals. Specifically, my research is focused on reconstructing ancient climates and ecosystems through time in North America and East Africa, and on developing better and more accurate paleoclimate and paleoecological proxies. To do this I integrate methods in paleobotany, ecology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, and paleomagnetism. Results from my current and future research address a broad spectrum of questions aimed at understanding the underlying dynamics of environmental, biotic, and climatic change through time.

Through my research, I aim to answer questions about how ancient terrestrial ecosystems have been influenced by large scale environmental perturbations, such as long and short term climate change events and mass extinctions. I rely on field based research and the integration of diverse methodologies to approach these questions. I use paleobotanical and ecological methods to reconstruct ancient paleoenvironments and paleoclimates and to develop paleoclimate and paleoecological proxies. I also utilize aspects of stratigraphy, sedimentology, and paleomagnetism as correlation tools, and to reconstruct the sedimentary record of terrestrial basins. Through the integration of these complimentary methods it is possible to study terrestrial ecosystems and make regional and global correlations to synchronous ecosystems. Using these correlations, I can test local, regional, and global hypotheses about evolution, paleoenvironment, paleoecology, and paleoclimate.

I have three major research initiatives focused on answering questions about the evolutionary history and paleoecology of terrestrial ecosystems and the paleoclimatic record of the Cretaceous and Cenozoic:

1) Studying Paleocene plant communities across North America to understand how terrestrial ecosystems respond to mass extinction and long term climate change.

2) Developing paleobotanical proxies for paleoclimate and paleoecology.

3) Reconstructing paleonvironments during the Neogene in East Africa to identify the influence of changing environments on the evolution of hominids.

Please see my website (link above) for more information about these research projects and my lab and research group.

I am looking for students interested in carrying out undergraduate, MSc, and PhD research projects in paleobotany, paleoclimatology, paleomagnetism, and sedimentary geology. Please contact me if you are interested!

Selected Publications

Faith, J.T., Tryon, C.A., Peppe, D.J., *Beverly, E.J., *Blegen, N., in press, Biogeographic and evolutionary implications of an extinct Late Pleistocene impala from the Lake Victoria Basin, Kenya: Journal of Mammalogy.

Peppe, D.J. and Deino, A.L., in press, Dating rocks and fossils using the geologic record: Nature Education Knowledge.

Tryon, C.A., Faith, J.T., Peppe, D.J., Keegan, W.F., Keegan, K.N.,*Jenkins, K.H., *Nightingale, S., *Patterson, D., *Van Plantinga, A., Driese, S., Johnson, C.R., *Beverly, E., Fox, D.L., in press, Sites on the landscape: Paleoenvironmental reconstruction of late Pleistocene archaeological sites from the Lake Victoria Basin, Equatorial Africa: Quaternary International.

Conrad, J.L., *Jenkins, K., Lehmann, T., Manthi, F.K., Peppe, D.J., *Nightingale, S., **Cossette, A., Dunsworth, H.M., Harcourt-Smith, W.E.H., and McNulty, K.P., 2013, New specimens of Crocodylus pigotti (Crocodylidae) from Rusinga Island, Kenya, and generic reallocation of the species: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 33: 629-646.

Faith, J.T., Tryon, C.A., Peppe, D.J., and Fox, D.L., 2013, The fossil history of Gr�vy's zebra (Equus grevyi) in equatorial East Africa: Journal of Biogeography, 40: 359-369.

Peppe, D.J., 2013, Hot summers in continental interiors: The case against equability during the early Paleogene: Geology. doi: 10.1130/focus012013.1. (Research Focus article)

Danley, P.D., *Husemann, M., *Ding, B., *DiPietro, L., *Beverly, E., Peppe, D.J., 2012, The impact of the geologic history and the paleoclimate of the African Great Lakes on the diversification of East African cichlids, International Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Article ID 574851: 20 pages.

Royer, D.L., Peppe, D.J., Niinemetes, �., Wheeler, E.A., 2012, Roles of climate and functional traits in controlling toothed vs. untoothed leaf margins: American Journal of Botany, 99(5): 915-922.

Tryon, C.A., Peppe, D.J., Faith, J.T., *Van Plantinga, A., *Nightingale, S., Ogondo, J., Fox, D.L., 2012, Late Pleistocene artefacts and associated fauna from Rusinga and Mfangano islands, Lake Victoria, Kenya, Azania: Archaelogical Research in Africa, 47: 14-38. doi:10.1080/0067270X.2011.647946.

Peppe, D.J., Johnson, K.R., Evans, D.A., 2011, Magnetostratigraphy and geochronology of the Lebo and Tongue River Members of the Fort Union Formation (Paleocene) in the northeastern Powder River Basin, Montana: American Journal of Science, 311 (10): 813-850.

Faith, J.T., Choiniere, J.N., Tryon, C.A., Peppe, D.J., Fox, D.L., 2011, The taxonomic status and paleoecology of Rusingoryx atopocranion (Mammalia, Artiodactyla), an extinct Pleistocene bovid from Rusinga Island, Kenya: Quaternary Research, 75: 697-707.

Peppe, D.J., Royer, D.L., *Cariglino, B., **Oliver, S.Y., **Newman, S., **Leight, E., **Enikolopov, G., *Fernandez-Burgos, M., *Herrara, F., Adams, J.M., *Correa, E., Currano, E.D., Erickson, J.M., Hinojosa, L.F., Hoganson, J.W., Iglesias, A., Jaramillo, C.A., Johnson, K.R., Jordan, G., Kraft, N.J.B., **Lovelock, E.C., Lusk, C.H., Niinemetes, �., Pe�uelas, J. Rapson, G., Wing, S.L., Wright, I.J., 2011, Sensitivity of leaf size and shape to climate: global patterns and paleoclimatic applications: New Phytologist, 190: 724-739. doi:10.111/j.1469-8137.2010.03615.x

Peppe, D.J., 2010, Megafloral change in the early and middle Paleocene in the Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, and Palaeoecology, 28 (3-4): 224-234. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2010.09.027

Tryon, C.A., Faith, T.J, Peppe, D.J., Fox, D.L., McNulty, K.P., *Jenkins, K., *Garrett, N., Dunsworth, H.M., Harcourt-Smith, W.E.H., 2010, Paleoenvironmental context for Middle Stone Age hominins in Equatorial Africa: The Pleistocene Wasiriya Beds of Rusinga Island (Kenya): Journal of Human Evolution, 59: 657-671. doi:10.1016/j.hevol.2010.07.020.

Peppe, D.J., Royer, D.L., Wilf, P., Kowalski, E.A., 2010, Quantification of large uncertainties is fossil leaf paleoaltimetry: Tectonics, 29, TC3015, doi:10.1029/2009TC002549.

Royer, D.L, Miller, I.M., Peppe, D.J., Hickey, L.J., 2010, Leaf economic traits support a weedy habitat for early angiosperms: American Journal of Botany, 97(3): 1-8.

Peppe, D.J., McNulty, K., Harcourt-Smith, W., Dunsworth, H., Cote, S., 2009, Stratigraphic interpretation of the Kulu Formation (Early Miocene, Rusinga Island, Kenya) and its implication for primate evolution: Journal of Human Evolution, 56: 447-461.

Peppe, D.J., Evans, D.A.D., and Smirnov, A.V., 2009, Magnetostratigraphy of the Ludlow Member of the Fort Union Formation (Lower Paleocene) of the Williston Basin in North Dakota: Geological Society of America Bulletin, 121: 65-79. doi:10.1130/B26353.1

Peppe, D.J., Hickey, L.J., Miller, I., Green, W., 2008, A morphotype catalogue, floristic analysis and stratigraphic distribution of the Aspen Shale Flora (Cretaceous-Albian) of southwestern Wyoming: Peabody Museum of Natural History Bulletin, 49(2): 181-208.

Peppe, D.J. and Reiners, P.W., 2007, Conodont (U-Th)/He thermochronology: Initial results, potential, and problems: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 258 (3-4): 569-580.

Peppe, D.J., Erickson, J.M. and Hickey, L.J., 2007, Fossil leaf species from the Fox Hills Formation (Upper Cretaceous: North Dakota, USA and their paleogeographic significance: Journal of Paleontology, 81(3): 550-567.

Key: *indicates graduate student author, **indicates undergraduate student author

Downloads of published papers and supplemental information are available here: