James T Sprinkle


James T Sprinkle
Professor and The First Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Yager Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences

Phone: +1 512 471 4264
Email: echino@jsg.utexas.edu
CV (pdf)

Media Rep Contact

Anton Caputo (primary)
512-232-9623
email

Monica Kortsha
512-471-2241
email

 
 

Dr. Sprinkle is an invertebrate paleontologist who studies Paleozoic marine communities and ecosystems and specializes in early (and now mostly extinct) echinoderms. Jim has worked on late Paleozoic echinoderm communities in Montana, Oklahoma, and Texas. Since 1989, he has been working on Late Cambrian and Early Ordovician echinoderm communities from the Rocky Mountains, Texas, and Oklahoma. Most of this recent work has been done with colleagues Tom Guensburg (Rock Valley College, Rockford, IL) and former Ph.D. student Colin Sumrall (now University of Tennessee, Knoxville), funded by two NSF grants. These time intervals overlap the critical transition between the Cambrian Evolutionary Fauna and the initial radiation of the Paleozoic Evolutionary Fauna, which then dominated marine ecosystems for the next 220 million years. However, before their work, they represented a "gap" in the echinoderm fossil record, with very few echinoderms from anywhere in the world. They were very successful collecting new echinoderms in the Early Ordovician on the first NSF grant (1989-1991), discovering several new faunas that are the largest ever found in North America. They were somewhat less successful collecting echinoderms from the Late Cambrian on the second NSF grant (1993-1994), an interval where echinoderms were apparently much less common and harder to find in the field. The Late Cambrian project is now nearly finished (7 papers published, 1 more in press), but the Early Ordovician work (now 19 papers published, 3 more in press, and at least 10 more in preparation) has expanded so much that it will take many more years to complete.

Media Rep Contact

Anton Caputo (primary)
512-232-9623
email

Monica Kortsha
512-471-2241
email