Elizabeth A. Kowalski
E-mail: ekowalsk@umich.edu or kowalski@flmnh.ufl.edu

EDUCATION

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Geology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2001
    Advisor: Dr. Robyn Burnham
  • Master of Science, Marine Geology and Geochemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 1994 Advisor: Dr. Philip Meyers
  • Bachelor of Science, Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, 1992
    Advisor: Dr. John Halfman

MAJOR RESEARCH INTERESTS

  • Cenozoic paleobotany, paleoecology, paleoclimatology, paleobiogeography.
  • The relationship between plants and climate, and how that can be used to determine terrestrial paleoclimate.
  • The relationship between climate change and uplift, and how plants can be used to document paleoelevation change.
  • Distribution of variability in plant leaf morphology due to climate and phylogeny.

GRANTS AND AWARDS

  • E. C. Ermine Cowles Case Student Award For Outstanding Scholarship and Attainment in Research, awarded annually by the Museum of Paleontology and Department of Geological Sciences (1999).
  • Paleontological Society Grant-in-aid (1999).
  • University of Michigan Rackham Discretionary Funds Award (1999).
  • Scott Turner Award in Earth Sciences from the University of Michigan Department of Geological Sciences (1997, 1999).
  • Summer Preliminary Field Research Grant from Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Michigan (1997).
  • University of Michigan Rackham Travel Grant (1993, 1998, 1999).

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Lecturer

  • University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI (2002)
  • GS 150: Dinosaur Extinction and Other Controversies. First-year seminar course teaching the history of life, evolution and extinction.

Post-Doctoral Research Assistant

  • Smithsonian Institution - Washington, DC (2003).
  • Contract work for Smithsonian Institution for the Paleobiology Database, an ongoing project to document paleodiversity which is maintained through NCEAS, University of Santa Barbara.
  • Florida Museum of Natural History – University of Florida, Gainesville, FL (2001-2002).
  • NSF funded project comparing modern leaf morphology and wood anatomy with climate parameters. Involves sampling leaves and wood from modern forests, statistical tests of the resultant data and predictive equation formation.

Teaching Assistant

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (1993-1999)

  • GS 120: Geology of National Parks (1993). Two laboratory sessions per week. Created and graded weekly quizzes and laboratory exercises, and lectured for 30 minutes at the start of each session.
  • GS 125: Evolution and Extinction (1996). Led three discussion sections per week, graded and created weekly quizzes, and led review sessions.
  • GS 411: Geology of Michigan (1997). Graded weekly homework exercises and held office hours to explain course material (office hours were well attended).
  • GS 440: Field Geology for Geology Majors (1998, 1999). A small class that teaches field techniques to geology majors. I helped to demonstrate field geology techniques, including stratigraphic and structural mapping, field recognition of formations, structure, and depositional environment, and stream flow and velocity calculation. Also, I graded exams, field and laboratory exercises.

University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN

  • GS 145: Introduction to Physical Geology (1991). Responsible for laboratory set-up, grading and class assistance.

Museum/Research Assistant

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (1992-1994 and 1996–2001)

  • Responsible for preparation, cleaning and curation of fossil plant specimens, and for cataloguing and curation of modern botanical specimens (stems, fruits and seeds). In addition, I have performed grain size, carbonate and organic carbon analysis (CHN analysis) of sediment samples.

University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN (1991-1992)

  • Assisted with ongoing projects, data entry and organization of laboratory space.

University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI (Summers of 1990 and 1991)

  • Analyzed sediment samples from Lake Malawi and DSDP cores using paleomagnetic techniques.

Supervisor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (1992-1994)

  • Responsible for coordinating and overseeing several undergraduates in the marine geology laboratory for the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, teaching carbon bomb and CHN analyzer techniques and data interpretation.

FIELD EXPERIENCE

  • Paleocene paleontology and paleobotany of the Crazy Mountains Basin, Montana (2003).
    Co-leader. Collected plant macrofossil specimens as part of an NSF funded project detailing the paleontology, paleobotany, isotope geology and magnetostratigraphy of the early Paleocene of central Monatana.
  • Eocene Paleobotany of western Tennessee (2002).
    Field Assistant. Collected plant macrofossils from clay pits near Paris, Tennessee.
  • Modern relationship between plants and climate, Eastern North America (2001).
    Project leader. Collected leaf and wood samples from trees in ten sites along the East Coast of the United States.
  • Pliocene paleobotany and stratigraphy of the San Isidro Formation, Bolivia (2001).
    Co-leader. Measured section and collected Pliocene plant macrofossils, ash, pollen and modern plant samples.
  • Eocene paleobotany and vertebrate paleontology of Mahenge, Tanzania (2000).
    Field assistant. Collected plant macrofossil and vertebrate fossil specimens.
  • Miocene paleobotany and stratigraphy of the Nabón Basin, Ecuador (1997, 1999).
    Project leader. Measured section, collected plant macrofossil specimens and conducted field censusing of plant species.
  • Miocene paleobotany of the Nabón, Loja and Cuenca Basins, Ecuador (1997, 1998).
    Field assistant. Collected plant macrofossil specimens.
  • Eocene vertebrate paleontology of the Green River Basin, Wyoming (1995).
    Field assistant. Collected mammal and reptile fossil specimens.

INVITED LECTURES

  • South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Paleontology Series; Vertebrate Paleontology Class (2003)
  • El Museo de Historia Natural “Noel Kempff Mercado", Santa Cruz, Bolivia, (2001)
  • The University of Florida, Ecology Series (2001)
  • Albion College, Introduction to Earth History (2000)

PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY MEMBERSHIPS

  • The Paleontological Society
  • The Geological Society of America
  • The Botanical Society of America

PUBLICATIONS

  • Kowalski, E. A. and Dilcher, D. L., in press. Paleobotany. In Gornitz, V. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Paleoclimatology and Ancient Environments, Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  • Kowalski, E. A. and Dilcher, D. L., 2003. Warmer Paleotemperatures for Terrestrial Ecosystems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 100(1): 167-170.
  • Sun, B., Dilcher, D. L., Beerling, D. J., Zhang, C.J., Defei, Y., Kowalski, E., 2003. Responses of Gingko biloba L. Leaves to Arid and Humid Climates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 100(12) 7141-7146.
  • Kowalski, E. A., 2002. Mean Annual Temperature Estimation Based on Leaf Morphology: A Test from Tropical South America. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 188(3-4): 141-165.
  • Gunnell, G. F., Jacobs, B. F., Herendeen, P. S., Head, J. A., Kowalski, E. A., Msuya, C. P., Mizambwa, F. A., Harrison, T., Habersetzer, J., Storch, G., 2002. Oldest Placental Mammal from Sub-Saharan Africa: Eocene Microbat from Tanzania– Evidence for Early Evolution of Sophisticated Echolocation. Paleontologica Electronica, 5(2).
  • Kowalski, E.A., 2001. Middle to Late Miocene Environments of Southern Ecuador: Temperature, Elevation, and Fossil Plants of the Nabón Basin. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Geology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, U.S.A. 437 Pp.
  • Kowalski, E. A., and Meyers, P. A., 1997. Glacial-interglacial Variations in Quaternary Production of Marine Organic Matter at DSDP Site 594, Chatham Rise, Southeastern New Zealand Margin. Marine Geology, 140: 249-263.
  • Meyers, P. A., and Kowalski, E. A., 1994. Enhanced Accumulation of Continental Organic Matter in Coastal Sediments of Northern Gondwana during the Late Triassic: Evidence from the Wombat Plateau and the Carnarvon Basin, Northwest Australia, and the Himalayas. in B. Beauchamp, A. F. Embry, and D. Glass (eds.), Carboniferous to Jurassic Pangea, Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 17, p. 439-448.

PUBLISHED ABSTRACTS

  • Kowalski, E. A., and D. L. Dilcher, 2002. Improved Precipitation Estimates using Leaf Morphology. The Geological Society of America, Denver 2002 GSA Annual Meeting, Abstracts with Programs. 34(6):429.
  • Madden, R. H., E. A. Kowalski and M. Morgan, 2002. Middle to Late Miocene Paleoenvironments of Equatorial South America. Society of Vertebrate Paleontology 22(3): 82A.
  • Kowalski, E. A., and D. L. Dilcher, 2002. Precipitation Estimates using Leaves from Modern Sites in Eastern North America. The Geological Society of America, Lexington 2002 North-Central and Southeastern Section GSA Annual Meeting, Abstracts with Programs.
  • Kowalski, E. A., and D. L. Dilcher, 2001. Estimates of Mean Annual Temperature using Leaves and Wood from Modern Sites along a Latitudinal Gradient in Eastern North America. The Geological Society of America, Boston 2001 Annual Meeting, Abstracts with Programs, 33(6): A-68.
  • Kowalski, E. A., and D. L. Dilcher, 2001. Estimates of Mean Annual Temperature using Leaves from Modern Sites along a Latitudinal Gradient in Eastern North America: Initial Results. Climate and Biota of the Early Paleogene: An International Conference, July 3-8, 2001, Powell, Wyoming.
  • Kowalski, E. A., and R. J. Burnham, 2000. La Flora y Vegetación del Mioceno Superior de la Cuenca de Nabón, Ecuador. III Congreso Ecuatoriano de Botanica. October 25-27, 2000. Quito, Ecuador. http://www.joethejuggler.com/Funbotanica/2nda/Pres.html
  • Kowalski, E. A., 1999. Late Miocene Paleotemperature, Elevation, and Uplift Rate using Fossil Floras from the Nabón Basin, Ecuador, Northern Andes. The Geological Society of America, Denver 1999 Annual Meeting, Abstracts with Programs, 31(7): A-365.
  • Kowalski, E. A., 1998. Correlation of Mean Annual Temperature and Elevation: An Effective Tool for the Reconstruction of Paleoelevation in Areas with Single Paleofloras. The Geological Society of America, Toronto 1998 Annual Meeting, Abstracts with Programs, 30(7): A-28.
  • Kowalski, E. A., P. A. Meyers and L. Diester-Haass, 1994. Effects of Glacial/ interglacial Cycles on Sedimentation and Delivery of Organic Matter in Deep-Sea Sediments. AGU Baltimore National Meeting, EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 75: 204-205
  • Meyers, P. A., and E. A. Kowalski, 1994. Triassic Burial of Organic Matter on the Northern Margin of Pangea and Consequences of Subsequent Continental Breakup. AAPG/SEPM Annual Meeting, Denver, p. 215.
  • Kowalski, E. A., P. A. Meyers and L. Diester-Haass, 1993. Glacial/Interglacial Variations Recorded by Organic Matter Contents of Deep-Sea Sediments. AGU San Francisco National Meeting, EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 74: 366.
  • Meyers, P. A., and E. A. Kowalski, 1993. Source and Maturity of Organic Matter in Late Triassic Sedimentary Rocks from the Wombat Plateau and the Carnarvon Basin, Northwest Australia Margin. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention, Calgary, Canada, Program and Abstracts, p. 209.
  • Kowalski, E. A., J. D. Halfman and J. King, 1991. New Geochronological Controls on Paleoclimatic Signals from Lake Turkana, Kenya. AGU San Francisco National Meeting, EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 72: 271.

PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATIONS

  • 2002 Improved Precipitation Estimates using Leaf Morphology. The Geological Society of America, Denver 2002 GSA Annual Meeting. (oral presentation).
  • 2002 Precipitation Estimates using Leaves from Modern Sites in Eastern North America. The Geological Society of America, Lexington, KY, 2002 North-Central and Southeastern Sections GSA Annual Meeting (oral presentation).
  • 2001 Estimates of Mean Annual Temperature using Leaves and Wood from Modern Sites along a Latitudinal Gradient in Eastern North America. The Geological Society of America, Boston, MA, 2001 Annual Meeting (oral presentation).
  • 2001 Estimates of Mean Annual Temperature using Leaves from Modern Sites along a Latitudinal Gradient in Eastern North America: Initial Results. Climate and Biota of the Early Paleogene: An International Conference, Powell, WY (poster presentation).
  • 2000 Temperature Estimates from Leaf Physiognomy: A Test from South America. The 17th Midcontinent Paleobotanical Colloquium, Chapel Hill, NC (oral presentation).
  • 1999 Late Miocene Paleotemperature, Elevation, and Uplift Rate using Fossil Floras from the Nabón Basin, Ecuador, Northern Andes. The Geological Society of America, Denver, CO, 1999 Annual Meeting (oral presentation).
  • 1998 Correlation of Mean Annual Temperature and Elevation: An Effective Tool for the Reconstruction of Paleoelevation in Areas with Single Paleofloras. The Geological Society of America, Toronto, 1998 Annual Meeting (poster presentation).
  • 1997 Miocene Coussapoa (Cecropiaceae) from the Nabón Basin, Ecuador, South America. The 14th Midcontinent Paleobotanical Colloquium, Athens, OH (poster presentation).
  • 1994 Effects of Glacial/ interglacial Cycles on Sedimentation and Delivery of Organic Matter in Deep-Sea Sediments. American Geophysical Union National Meeting, Baltimore, MD (oral presentation).
  • 1993 Glacial/Interglacial Variations Recorded by Organic Matter Contents of Deep-Sea Sediments. American Geophysical Union National Meeting, San Francisco, CA (poster presentation).