McMicken College of Arts & SciencesMcMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

McMicken College of Arts & Sciences

David L Meyer

Professor David Meyer earned his doctorate in geology from Yale University in 1971, worked as a research scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama from 1971-1975, and then joined the University of Cincinnati in 1975. He was tenured and promoted to associate in 1979 and was then promoted to full professor in 1985.

Dave has published widely in the field of paleobiology, especially on the paleontology of echinoderms, the ecology of coral reefs, and the regional paleoecology of Ordovician strata in the Cincinnati area and of Mississippian strata in the Lake Cumberland area of Kentucky and Tennessee. His research has touched on several key issues in paleoecology and macroevolution, including: the nature of fossilization processes involved in the transformation of once-living organisms into skeletal and, ultimately fossil remains; the behavioral ecology of several extinct groups of echinoderms and brachiopods; the importance of predation as an agent in long-term macroevolutionary transitions observed throughout the history of life; the significance and genesis of, large, enigmatic "mud mounds", which were prominent features on mid-Paleozoic sea floors; and the relevance of observations and data collected on present-day sea floors to patterns and processes observed in the deep-time fossil record. Of particular recent note is Dave's book about the world-famous Cincinnatian rocks and fossils, A Sea Without Fish (Indiana University Press, 2009), which has been widely praised in the professional and amateur scientific communities. But this book is merely the culmination of a storied career, during which Dave has published widely in leading journals, including Science, the Bulletin of Marine Science, and Paleobiology. In short, Dave is one of the world's experts on living crinoids, the spectacular "feather star", one of which Davidaster, is named for him.

Dave has also played a leading role in developing the graduate paleontology program at UC into one of the top programs in the nation, as evidenced by its high ranking in U.S. News and World Report. Dave has also served on the editorial boards of two leading journals in the field, has mentored 26 masters students and 4 doctoral students. Dave is a fellow of the Graduate School at UC and an active member of the UC chapter of Sigma Xi.

Dave has also long played a prominent role in the local community including his service as advisor to the nationally-known amateur organization of paleontologists, the Dry Dredgers. Dave has also served on numerous advisory panels at the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History, he advised the City of Sharonville on the development of a public fossil park, and he has routinely led the Department of Geology's efforts at annual the Cincinnati Gem and Mineral Show.

As a long-time resident of the area, Dave has also been willing to take an active role in promoting the well-being of Cincinnati's citizens. This was evidenced most recently in a guest column that he published in February 2012 in the Cincinnati Enquirer, articulating an expansive vision for regional commuter rail system.

Above all, Dave is one of the kindest, most reasonable gentlemen that you'll ever meet. He has wealth of knowledge and insight tempered with noble humility

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