SOEST alumna recognized for excellence in paleontology

Pam Hallock Muller, alumna of SOEST’s Oceanography Department, is the recipient of the prestigious Raymond C. Moore Medal which is presented by the the Society for Sedimentary Geology for sustained excellence in paleontology. She was awarded the medal recently at the 2019 American Association of Petroleum Geologists annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas which is normally attended by at least 12,000 geoscientists.

Muller, who is a professor at the University of South Florida, studies both the geologic record and modern ecosystems to gain insight not only into environments of the past and present, but also the probable effects of human activities on future tropical marine ecosystems. Foraminifera are the most abundant shelled organisms in modern oceans and have a fossil record going back more than 500 million years. They are also excellent model organisms for environmental and paleoceanographic research. Muller’s ongoing projects include: decadal-scale changes in reef communities of the Florida Keys, biology and ecology of benthic foraminifera, corals and their algal symbionts, development of bioindicator protocols applicable to reef environments worldwide, and effects of ocean acidification on calcification of benthic organisms.

Muller received her Masters degree in 1972 and doctorate in 1977, both in Oceanography from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, with Johanna Resig in the Department of Geology and Geophysics (now Department of Earth Sciences) as her doctoral advisor.

The list of past recipients for Raymond C. Moore Medal includes famous paleontologists from around the world.