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Richard Lupia

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Richard Lupia

Richard Lupia

Norman R. Gelphman Professor
Associate Professor of Geosciences
Associate Director and Head Curator, Sam Noble Museum

Ph.D., 1997, University of Chicago
M.S., 1994, University of Chicago
B.A., 1991, University of Pennsylvania

Office: SEC 932

Areas of Interest

Paleobotany, Palynology, and Paleoecology


My primary research focuses on changes in the vegetation occurring during the Late Paleozoic Ice Age, specifically the latest Pennsylvanian through the Early Permian (~310-275 million years ago) of Oklahoma and Kansas. My students and I are investigating the palynology—pollen and spores—of core and outcrop samples collected in southwest and north-central Oklahoma to establish the timing and magnitude of the shift from “humid-adapted” vegetation of the Pennsylvanian to “arid-adapted” vegetation of Permian. I am also interested in the diversification of heterosporous ferns that coincided with the Cretaceous expansion of flowering plants. Combining analyses of specimens from the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal plains using scanning electron microscopy with database compilations, details of their taxonomic and morphologic diversification are emerging. And I am working with graduate students on the taxonomy and anatomy of petrified wood floras from the Morrison Formation of Oklahoma, Utah, and Montana to understand local Late Jurassic paleoecology and climate.

Courses Taught

History of Earth and Life

The Dynamic Earth


Selected Publications

Richmond, D., R. Lupia, M. Philippe, and J. Klimek. in press. First occurrence of the boreal fossil wood Xenoxylon meisteri from the Jurassic of North America: Morrison Formation of central Montana, US. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology.

Lupia, R., D. G. Wyckoff, and P. Bonefield. in press. Low magnification examination of experimentally heated Frisco chert flakes: light microscopy versus scanning electron microscopy. In The Calf Creek Horizon: The Archaeology of Mid-Holocene Hunter-Gatherers on the Southern Plains.

Lupia, R. 2015. Mid-Cretaceous megaspore floras from Maryland, USA. Journal of Paleontology. 89(3):494-521.

Lupia, R., and J.L. Armitage. 2013. Late Pennsylvanian–Early Permian vegetational transition in Oklahoma: Palynological record. International Journal of Coal Geology 119:165-176.

Lupia, R. 2011. Late Santonian megaspore floras from the Gulf Coastal Plain (Georgia, USA). Journal of Paleontology 85:1-21.