Quantitative Paleoecology, Stratigraphic Paleobiology 

Education

Ph.D., Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University - 2019

Dissertation: Morphological diversity and disparity of Strophomenida (Brachiopoda) during the Late Ordovician mass extinction and recovery

Advisor: Mark E. Patzkowsky

M.S., Geology, University of Georgia - 2013

Thesis: Using Hubbell’s neutral theory to test the species-area relationship in the Late Ordovician of Laurentia

Advisor: Steven M. Holland

B.S., Cum Laude, Primary major: Geology with honors, Second major: Environmental Science, The College of William and Mary - 2011

Honors thesis: A morphological and phylogenetic examination of the Miocene and Pliocene bivalve genus Chesapecten

Advisor: Rowan Lockwood

Professional Appointments

Ecological Data Initiative Fellow 

Marine Science Institute, UC Santa Barbara (Summer 2020)

Visiting Assistant Professor

Geology Department, Pomona College (2019-2020)

Courses: Sedimentology w/Lab, Mass Extinctions Seminar, Earth History w/Lab, Introductory Geology (w/focus on the ocean-climate system)

Teaching Experience

Online Instructor

Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University

GEOSC 010: Geology of the National Parks (Summer 2017)

Teaching assistant

Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University

GEOSC 040: The Sea Around Us (Falls 2015-2017) 

EARTH 150: Dinosaur Extinctions and Other Controversies (Fall 2018)

GEOSC 204: Geobiology (Springs 2017-2019; includes a 5 day field trip to K-Pg sections in Denver, Colorado)

GEOSC 310: Earth History (Spring 2016)

GEOSC 572: Field Stratigraphy (field trip to Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, Maymester 2016)

Teaching assistant

Geology Department, The University of Georgia

GEOL 1122L: The History of Global Change Laboratory (Spring 2012, Fall 2011)

Other Professional Experience

Graduate student advisor for senior thesis students

Department of Geosciences

Pennsylvania State University (2017-2018)

General education course recertification process assistant

Department of Geosciences 

Pennsylvania State University (Summer 2018)

Research assistant

For Mark Patzkowsky, Department of Geosciences 

Pennsylvania State University (2013 - 2015)

Research assistant 

For Steven Holland, Geology Department

University of Georgia (2012 - 2013)

Fossil preparation and collections assistant 

Department of Vertebrate Paleontology

Virginia Museum of Natural History (summer 2010)

Sustainability research intern 

College of William and Mary (summer 2009)

Publications (*indicates undergraduate student)

Articles

Sclafani, J.A., M. Christie, B. Roselle*, A. Bourne*, M. Cone*, C. Gazze*, M. O’Brien*. submitted. Morphology in time and space: a method for adding morphometrics to the stratigraphic paleobiology toolkit. Paleontological Electronica.

 

Sclafani, J.A., C.R. Congreve, and M.E. Patzkowsky. accepted. Does evolutionary relatedness predict ecological similarity? Paleobiology. 

Sclafani, J.A., C.R. Congreve, A.Z. Krug, M.E. Patzkowsky, 2018, Effects of mass extinction and recovery dynamics on long-term evolutionary trends: A morphological study of Strophomenida (Brachiopoda) across the Late Ordovician mass extinction. Paleobiology. 44(4):603-619.

Holland, S.M. and J.A. Sclafani, 2015, Phanerozoic diversity and neutral theory. Paleobiology, 41(3): 369-376. 

Sclafani, J.A. and S.M. Holland, 2013, Using Hubbell’s neutral theory to test the species-area relationship in the Late Ordovician of Laurentia. Diversity, 5: 240-262. 

Abstracts

Sclafani, J.A., M. Christie, M. Cone*, B. Roselle*, A. Bourne*, C. Gazze*, M. O’Brien.* 2020. Morphology in time and space: how does shape change with sequence stratigraphic architecture? EGU 2020. doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-832. (invited keynote)

 

Del Vecchio, J., C.L Stanton, T.M. Ferland, G. Rossetto-Harris, J.C. Carr, P. Silverhart, A. Karp, B.D. Barnes, E. Stiles, B.A. Eberle, J.A. Sclafani, E.A. Hajek. 2019. Student-led organizations as a mechanism for improving department culture. ED33G-1056, AGU Fall Meeting.

 

Barnes, B.D., J.A. Sclafani, and A. Zaffos. 2019. Zombies of the Phanerozoic: how prevalent are dead clades walking? Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 51(5).

 

Cone, M.*, M. O’Brien*, M. Christie, J.A. Sclafani, A. Bourne*, C. Gazze*, B. Roselle.* 2019. Brachiopod shape changes across the Late Ordovician Richmondian invasion: using 3D morphometrics to analyze morphological changes through space and time. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 51(5).

 

Congreve, C.R., J.A. Sclafani, and M.E. Patzkowksy. 2019. Assessing the fit of environmental affinities to phylogenetic trees in strophomenoid brachiopods across the Ordovician mass extinction. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 51(5).

 

Williams, C.M.*, M. Christie, and J.A. Sclafani. 2019. Morphological changes in Cyclocardia granulata following Plio-Pleistocene extinction in Virginia and North Carolina, Western Atlantic. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 51(5).

 

J.A. Sclafani, Christie, M., A. Bourne*, M. Cone*, C. Gazze*, M. O'Brien*, B. Roselle*, 2019, Morphology in time and space: how does shape change with stratigraphic architecture? North American Paleontological Convention.

Sclafani, J.A., C.R. Congreve, M. Christie, A. Bourne*, C. Gazze*, B. Roselle*, and M.E. Patzkowsky, 2018, Using phylogenetic trees and 3D morphometrics to understand ecological change during the Late Ordovician mass extinction and recovery. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 50(6). 

Christie, M., J.A. Sclafani, A. Bourne*, M. Cone*, C. Gazze*, M. O'Brien*, B. Roselle*, and M.E. Patzkowsky, 2018, Three-dimensional changes in morphological diversity of brachiopods across the Richmondian Invasion, Late Ordovician. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 50(6).

Gazze, C*., A. Bourne*, B. Roselle*, M. Christie, J.A. Sclafani, and M.E. Patzkowksy, 2018, Leptaena (Brachiopoda) morphology across the Late Ordovician mass extinction. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 50(6).

Roselle, B.*, C. Gazze*, A. Bourne*, M. Christie, J.A. Sclafani, and M.E. Patzkowksy, 2018, Quantifying morphological changes among Rafinesquina (Brachiopoda) with 3D Photogrammetry. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 50(6).

Sclafani, J., A. Bourne*, C. Gazze*, B. Roselle*, M. Christie, C. Congreve, and M. Patzkowsky, 2018, Quantifying morphological change across a mass extinction: a test of a 3D photogrammetry method using strophomenide brachiopods. Abstract Book from the 5th International Palaeontological Congress, Paris, 9-13 July 2018.

Sclafani, J.A., B. Roselle*, and M. Christie, 2017, Structure from motion as a tool for 3D morphometrics: a new paleobiological application for a young geological method. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 49(6).

Sclafani, J.A., C.R. Congreve, A.Z. Krug, and M.E. Patzkowsky, 2016, How similar are sisters? The relationship between morphology, ecology, and evolutionary history. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 48(7). 

Brown, G.M., J.A. Sclafani, E. Hajek, and M.E. Patzkowsky, 2016, Biofacies interpretation of a shelf margin succession: San Andres Formation (Guadalupian, Permian), Last Chance Canyon, New Mexico. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 48(7). 

Sclafani, J.A., C.R. Congreve, A.Z. Krug, and M.E. Patzkowsky, 2015, Dynamics of extinction and recovery: a study of morphospace shifts during and after the Late Ordovician mass extinction. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 47(7). 

Patzkowsky, M.E., C.R. Congreve, A.Z. Krug, and J.A. Sclafani, 2015, Onshore-offshore patterns of Ordovician diversification in the brachiopod order Strophomenida: a phylogenetic perspective. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 47(7).

Brown, G.M., J.A. Sclafani, S. Trampush, E. Hajek, and M.E. Patzkowsky, 2015, Distribution and abundance of benthic marine taxa in shelf margin depositional sequences: San Andres Formation (Guadalupian, Permian), Last Chance Canyon, New Mexico. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 47(7). 

Jarochowska, E., A.L. Keller, J. Kimmig, E. Larina, R.J. Lavine, K.M. Loughney, E.A. Orzechowski, N.D. Pierrehumbert, A. Rojas, J.A. Sclafani, A. Singer, J.A. Yager, M. Christie, S.K. McMullen, S.M. Holland, and M.E. Patzkowsky, 2014, Sequence stratigraphic control over biofacies distribution and ecological gradients in the Mississippian Lodgepole Formation, Montana. The Palaeontological Association Abstracts and Programme. 

Sclafani, J.A., A.Z. Krug, and M.E. Patzkowsky, 2014, Biogeographic patterns of brachiopod families as an explanation for phylogenetic clumping following the Late Ordovician mass extinction. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 46(6): 756.

Lavine, R.J., E.A. Orzechowski, N.D. Pierrehumbert, A. Rojas, J.A. Sclafani, J.A. Yager, M. Christie, S.K. McMullen, S.M. Holland, and M.E. Patzkowsky, 2014, Ecological gradient structure in the Mississippian Lodgepole Formation, southwest Montana. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 46(6): 136.

Sclafani, J.A., A.L. Platsky, C. Jenkins, and S.M. Holland, 2013, Applying neutral theory to the fossil record: guidelines for estimating Hubbell’s theta. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 45(7): 395.

Holland, S.M. and J.A. Sclafani, 2013, Phanerozoic increase in Hubbell’s theta: linking diversity from the alpha level to the provincial level. Geologic Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 45(7): 93

Sclafani, J.A. and S.M. Holland, 2012, Using Hubbell’s neutral theory to test the species-area relationship in the Late Ordovician of Laurentia. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 44(7): 400.  

Platsky, A.L., J.A. Sclafani, and S.T. Goldstein, 2012, The effect of increased salinity on foraminiferal assemblages in Georgia salt marshes. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 44(4): 18.  

Sclafani, J.A., R. Lockwood, and L.W. Ward, 2011, A morphological and phylogenetic examination of the Miocene and Pliocene bivalve genus Chesapecten. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 43(2): 88.

Service and Outreach

Department of Geosciences, Penn State

Grad student representative at faculty meetings (2018-present)

Outreach and education volunteer, Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum (2016-present)

Ran activities for 'girls in science' events associated with the Bearded Lady Exhibit, served as a docent for elementary school groups, assisted with museum-sponsored science discovery booths at events such as Earth Day and the Special Olympics

Student Ombudsperson Network Committee

Explored the feasibility of establishing a peer support and mediation network for graduate students

Exhibit design committee, Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum (2015-2016)

Designed and built an exhibit on ocean acidification

End of year celebration planning committee (2014-2018)

Prospective graduate student welcoming committee (2014)

 

Association for Women Geoscientists

Alternate delegate, Northeastern Region (2017-present)

Penn State Student Chapter

Mentor to undergraduate women (2016-present)

Fundraising committee for field camp scholarship to support undergraduates from underrepresented groups (2015-2018)

Planned annual chili cook-off fundraiser; wrote proposals for matching funds from faculty, alums, and the AWG Foundation; helped to develop a long-term fundraising plan that increased total scholarship fund from $500 to about $4000

Webmaster, Penn State student chapter (2017-2018)

Co-president, Penn State student chapter (2016-2017)

 

We Are For Science (Campus-wide science advocacy, outreach, and diversity organization)

Development and fundraising committee (2017-2019)

Co-wrote a plan for long-term university support via a graduate assistantship, met regularly with administrators to establish this program 

Outreach and communication subcommittee (2016-2018)

Organized and participated in outreach events focused on improving science literacy among the public

Webmaster and social media coordinator (2016-2018)

Designed website, set up and maintained social media accounts

Founding member (2016)

Field experience

Doctoral research

Developed and implemented a 3D photogrammetry method for collecting morphological data from outcrops within a sequence stratigraphic framework, co-led a team of 5 undergraduate research student assistants

Location: Cincinnati Arch road cuts in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana

Duration: 1 week during summer 2018

 

Field assistant and mentor to M.S. students

Provided academic and safety guidance to Garett Brown as he developed and implemented a protocol to collect fossil count data, sedimentological observations, and stratigraphic measurements for his M.S. research

Location: Last Chance Canyon, Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico

Duration: 2 weeks during summers 2015 and 2016

Provided academic and safety guidance to Chelsea Jenkins as she collected fossil slabs for her M.S. research

Location: road cuts in Southeastern Tennessee and Central Pennsylvania

Duration: 1.5 weeks during summer 2013

Tidal pool survey and snorkel dive buddy

Conducted an independent research project on distribution of snails in tide pools, provided snorkel-based safety support to classmates conducting research with SCUBA

Location: San Salvador Island, The Bahamas

Duration: Five weeks during summer 2015 as a part of the Taphonomic and Ecological Processes in Tropical Environments research-based field course 

Masters research 

Collected rock slabs for whole-community fossil counts 

Locations: road cuts in Virginia, Minnesota, and Manitoba, Canada

Durations: 3 weeks during summer 2012

Fossil survey

Provided assistance with a vertebrate bone mapping project to Sharon McMullen and the Bureau of Land Management

Location: Colorado Uncompahgre Field Office, Gunnison Gorge, Colorado

Duration: 1 week during summer 2012

Honors research

Collected Chesapecten (scallop) fossils for morphological analysis

Location: Cobham Wharf, Surry County, Virginia

Duration: 2 days during summer 2010

Vertebrate fossil excavation

Excavated 3 plaster jackets worth of fossil whale material and several tens of pounds of associated teeth from other vertebrates

Location: Carmel Church Quarry, Carmel Church, Virginia

Duration: 2 weeks during summer 2010 as part of a specimen collection trip led by Alton Dooley, Virginia Museum of Natural History

Other field courses attended

Clastic sequence stratigraphy in the Book Cliffs: Penn State University, Summer 2015

Stratigraphic paleobiology: Paleontological Society sponsored field course, Tobacco Root Mountains, Montana, Summer 2014

Field Stratigraphy: Penn State University, Guadalupe Mountains, Texas, May 2014

Regional field geology of Big Bend, Texas: College of William and Mary, May 2011

Regional field geology of San Salvador, Bahamas: College of William and Mary, Spring 2010

People, politics, and the environment: Galápagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences, Ecuador, Semester abroad, Fall 2009

Grants awarded

Paul D. Krynine Travel Scholarship 

Department of Geosciences, Penn State (2014-2019)

Scholten-Williams-Wright Scholarship

Department of Geosciences, Penn State (2018)

Student research grant

Geological Society of America (2018, 2012)

Graduate Student Travel Grant for International Conferences

Penn State Global Programs (2018)

Student Conference Travel Fund

Geological Society of America (2012-2018)

Schuchert and Dunbar grants-in-aid of collections research

Yale Peabody Museum (2017)

Grants-in-Aid of Research

Sigma Xi (2015, 2012)

Miriam Watts-Wheeler Fund student research and travel grant

Department of Geology, University of Georgia (2012)

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Fund Grant

American Museum of Natural History (2012)

Kenneth E. and Annie Caster Award

Paleontological Society (2012)

Computer skills

R, Agiosoft Metashape, Cloud Compare, Adobe Creative Cloud, Matlab, Python, ArcGIS, Unix

Professional society memberships

Other honors and awards

Second place talk by a pre-comps Ph.D. student

Graduate Student Colloquium

Department of Geosciences, Penn State University (2016)

Graduate student of the year

Department of Geology, UGA (2013)

Sigma Xi inductee (2012)

Sigma Gamma Epsilon Earth Sciences Honor Society Inductee (2010)

Sharpe community scholar

College of William and Mary (2007)

Professional development

Implicit bias and bystander intervention workshop

AWG sponsored short course

Geological Society of America meeting (2018)

Using the Paleobiology Database, Macrostrat, and RockD in the classroom

Paleontological Society workshop (March 2018)

invited participant

Beta testing hack-a-thon

ePandda (October 2017) 

invited participant

Best practices in Science Outreach and Communication

Graduate seminar, Penn State College of Science (Fall 2017)

Paleobiological and phylogenetic approaches to macroevolution 

National Evolutionary Synthesis Center Academy course (summer 2014)

Geological Society of America, Paleontological Society, Association for Women Geoscientists