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John Van Couvering

Editor in Chief, Micropaleontology Press; Adjunct Professor, City University of New York Graduate Program in Anthropology; PhD Geology, University of Cambridge, 1973

Fields of Study

Principles and practices in stratigraphic geology; age and environments of Cenozoic mammal faunas of Africa and southern Eurasia; the Neogene time scale and chronostratigraphic boundaries.

Current Research Interests

With limited time for field work, I have focused in recent years on well defined. cooperative projects (Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Italy) that touch on my interest in mammalian biochronology and continental chronostratigraphy, particularly with regard to the hominoid-bearing faunas. I have been working in recent years on a scheme of land mammal ages for Africa, and on the history and status of Neogene epoch boundaries. I serve on international and national working groups concerned with the stratigraphic code, and I participate in regional studies of such problems as the Messinian desiccation event and the beginning of the Pleistocene.

Selected Publications

  • Van Couvering, J. A., Ed. (1996) The Pleistocene boundary and the beginning of the Quaternary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Conroy, G. C., Pickford, M., Senut, B.,Van Couvering, J. A. & Mein, P. (1992) Otavipithecus namibiensis, first Miocene hominoid from southern Africa. Nature 356, 144-148.
  • Senut, B., Pickford, M., Mein, P., Conroy, G. C. & Van Couvering, J. A. (1992) Discovery of 12 new Late Cainozoic fossiliferous sites in paleokarsts of the Otavi Mountains, Namibia. C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris, ser. II 314, 727-733.
  • Van Couvering, J. A. & Harris, J. A. (1991) Late Eocene age of the Fayum mammal fauna. J. Human Evol. 21, 241-260.
  • Tattersall, I., Delson, E. & Van Couvering, J. A., Eds (1988). Encyclopedia of Human Evolution and Prehistory. New York: Garland (2nd edition in progress).
  • Drake, R. E., Van Couvering, J. A., Pickford, M. H., Curtis, G. H. & Harris, J. A. (1988) New chronology for Early Miocene mammalian faunas at Kisingiri, Western Kenya. J. Geol. Soc. London 145, 479-491.
  • Berggren, W. A., Kent, D. V. & Van Couvering, J. A. (1985). Neogene geochronology and chronostratigraphy. In The Chronology of the Geological Record, ed. N. J. Snelling, pp. 211-260. Geological Society of London, Memoir 10.
  • Shipman, P., Walker, A., Van Couvering, J. A., Hooker, P. J., & Miller, J. A. (1981). The Fort Ternan hominoid site, Kenya: geology, age, and paleontology. J. Human Evol. 10, 49-72.
  • Andrews, P. J., Meyer, G. E., Pilbeam, D. R., Van Couvering, J. A. & Van Couvering, J. A. H[arris] (1981). The Miocene fossil beds of Maboko Island, Kenya: geology, age, taphonomy, and paleoecology. J. Human Evol. 10, 35-48.
  • Bergren, W. A. & Van Couvering, J. A. (1974). The late Neogene: biostratigraphy, geochronology, and paleoclimatology of the last 15 million years in marine and continental sequences. Palaeogeog., Palaeoclimatol., Palaeoecol. 16, 1-216.