Robert Gaines, Associate Professor (Dept. Chair)
B.S. in Geology, College of William and Mary
M.S. in Geology, University of Cincinnati
Ph.D. in Geology, University of California, Riverside
Specialist in: Sedimentary Geology and Geochemistry, Paleontology, GeomicrobiologyContact office: Edmunds Building 252
voice: (909) 621-8674
lab: (909) 607-0982
Bob Gaines, a recipient of 2007 and 2013 Wig Awards for excellence in teaching, offers courses in Earth history, sedimentology, paleontology and climate change. His research focuses on the Cambrian Explosion, the flowering of complex life on Earth during the Late Neoproterozoic and Cambrian Periods some 570 to 500 million years ago. Bob works on the Burgess Shale and many other deposits like it that contain an unusually-rich fossil record of this event. He is also interested in microbial-mineral interactions as a link between the geosphere and the biosphere. He studies ancient sedimentary rocks in South China, British Columbia, Morocco and across the USA, especially the Great Basin.
Courses OfferedID1: The Changing Climate
Geology 20D: Introduction to Geology: Paleontology and the Evolution of Earth’s Bioshpere
Geology 125: Earth History Geology 152: Climate Change Geology 183: Sedimentology
- Caron, J.B., Gaines, R.R., Aria, C., Mángano, M.G., and Streng. M., 2014, A new phyllopod bed-like assemblage from the Burgess Shale of the Canadian Rockies, Nature Communications, v. 5: 3210.
- Torres, M.A.(’10) and Gaines, R.R., 2013, Paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic interpretations of the late Paleocene Goler Formation, Southern California, U.S.A., based on paleosol geochemistry, Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 83, p. 591-605.
- Farrell, U.C., Briggs, D.E.G., Hammarlund, E.U., Sperling, E.A., and Gaines, R.R., 2013, Paleoredox and pyritization of soft-bodied fossils in the Ordovician Frankfort Shale of New York, American Journal of Science, v. 313, p. 452-489.
- Peters, S.E. and Gaines R.R., 2012, Formation of the ‘Great Unconformity’ as a trigger for the Cambrian explosion, Nature, v. 484, p. 363-366.
- Gaines, R.R., Hammarlund, E.U., Hou, X.G., Qi, C., Gabbott, S.E., Zhao, Y.L., Peng, J., and Canfield, D.E., 2012, Mechanism for Burgess Shale-type Preservation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, v. 109, p. 5180-5184 . Download Full Text Plus Supporting Information Appendix Here.
- Gaines, R.R., Hammarlund, E.U., Hou, X.G., Qi, C., Gabbott, S.E., Zhao, Y.L., Peng, J., and Canfield, D.E., 2012, Reply to Butterfield: Low-sulfate and early cements inhibit decay and promote Burgess Shale-type preservation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, v. 109, E1902.
- Gaines, R.R., Droser, M.L., Orr, P.J., Garson, D., Hammarlund, E.U., Qi, C., and Canfield, D.E., 2012, Burgess Shale-type biotas were not entirely burrowed away, Geology, v. 40, p. 283-286. Download Full Text Here.
- Gaines, R.R., Briggs, D.E.G., Van Roy, P., and Orr, P.J., 2012, Preservation of giant Anomalocaridids in silica-chlorite concretions from the early Ordovician of Morocco, Palaios, v. 127, p. 317-325.
- Garson, D.E., Gaines R.R., Droser, M.L., Liddell, W.D., and Sappenfield, A., 2012, Dynamic paleoredox and exceptional preservation in the Cambrian Spence Shale of Utah, Lethaia, v. 40, p. 164-177.
- Zhao, Y., Zhu, M., Peng, J., Gaines, R.R., and Parsley, R.L., eds., 2012, Cryogenian-Ediacaran to Cambrian Stratigraphy and Paleontology of Guizhou, China, Guizhou University Press, 198 pp.
- Zhao, Y., Peng, J. Yuan, J., Babcock, L.E., Guo, Q., Yin, L., Yang, X., Tai, T., Wang, C., Lin, J.P., Gaines, R.R., Sun, H., and Yang, Y., 2012, Discussion of candidate stratotypes for the GSSP defining the conterminous base of Cambrian Series 3 and Stage 5, Journal of Guizhou University, v. 29, Sup. 1., p. 35-48.
- Gaines, R.R., 2011, New Burgess Shale-type Locality in the “thin” Stephen Formation, Kootenay National Park, British Columbia: Stratigraphic and Paleoenvironmental Setting. Palaeontographica Canadiana, v. 31, p. 73-88. Download Full Text Here.
- Gaines, R.R., Mering, J.A. (’10), Zhao, Y.L., and Peng, J., 2011, Stratigraphic and Microfacies Analysis of the Kaili Formation, a Candidate GSSP for the Cambrian Series 2 – Series 3 Boundary, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 311, p. 171-183.
- Farrell, U.C., Briggs, D.E.G., and Gaines, R.R., 2011, Paleoecology of the Olenid trilobite Triarthrus: New evidence from Beecher’s Trilobite Bed and other sites of pyritization, Palaios, v. 26, p. 730-742.
- Gaines, R.R., and Droser, M.L., 2010, The paleoredox setting of Burgess Shale-type deposits, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 297, p. 649-661.
- Caron, J.B., Gaines, R.R., Mángano, M.G., Streng, M., and Daley, A.C., 2010, A new Burgess Shale-type assemblage from the “thin” Stephen Formation of the Southern Canadian Rockies, Geology, v. 38, p. 811-814.
- Vorhies, J.S. (’05) and Gaines, R.R., 2009, Microbial dissolution of clay minerals as a source of iron and silica in marine sediments, Nature Geoscience (article), v. 2, p. 221-225.
- Gaines R.R., Briggs, D.E.G., Zhao, Y.L., 2008, Burgess Shale-type deposits share a common mode of fossilization, Geology, v. 36, p.755-758.
- Webster, M., Gaines, R.R., Hughes, N.C., 2008, Microstratigraphy, trilobite biostratinomy, and depositional environment of the Lower Cambrian Ruin Wash Lagerstätte, Pioche Formation, Nevada, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 264, p. 100-122.
- Reinen, L.A., Grosfils, E.B., Gaines, R.R., and Hazlett, R.W., 2006, Integrating Research into a Small Geology Department’s Curriculum, Council on Undergraduate Research Quarterly, v. 26, n. 3., p. 109-114.
- Gaines, R.R., Kennedy, M.J., Droser, M.L., 2005, A New hypothesis for organic preservation of Burgess Shale taxa in the Middle Cambrian Wheeler Formation, House Range, Utah, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 220, 193-205.
- Gaines, R.R., and Droser, M.L., 2005, New Approaches to Understanding the Mechanics of Burgess Shale-type Deposits: From the Micron Scale to the Global Picture, The Sedimentary Record, v. 3, n. 2, p. 4-8.
- Gaines, R.R. and Droser, M.L., 2005, The Paleoenvironmental Context of Burgess Shale-Type Biotas in the Three Utah Lagerstätten (USA), Acta Micropaleontologica Sinica, v. 22, p. 40-47.
- Gaines, R.R. and Droser, M.L., 2003, Paleoecology of the familiar trilobite Elrathia kingii: an early exaerobic zone inhabitant. Geology, v. 31, n. 11, p. 941-944.
- Gaines, R.R., and Droser, M.L., 2002, Depositional environments, ichnology, and rare soft-bodied preservation in the Lower Cambrian Latham Shale, East Mojave, in: Proterozoic-Cambrian of the Great Basin and Beyond, edited by F.A. Corsetti, SEPM Pacific Section book 93, p. 153-164.
- Gaines, R.R., and Peters, S.E., 2013, Missing rock fueled Cambrian explosion of life, New Scientist, v. 2921, p. 30-31.
- Gaines, R.R., and Droser, M.L., 2008, Invertebrate fossils as paleoclimate proxies, Encyclopedia of Paleoclimatology and Ancient Environments, Gornitz, V., ed., Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series, Springer Press, p. 10-13.
- Gaines, R.R., 2003, A muddied perspective on the future of sedimentary research, The Sedimentary Record, v. 1, no. 2, p. 9
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