Aaron Wood

Aaron Wood

Director, Carl F. Vondra Field Station

360 Science I
Dept. of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011
Office phone: 515-294-8862
Email: awood@iastate.edu

PhD, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Michigan, 2009
MS, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Michigan, 2006
BS, Department of Geological Sciences, Indiana University, 2003
BA, Department of Biological Sciences, Indiana University, 2003

Teaching and Research Interests

Field education within the geological and atmospheric sciences enhances and reinforces students’ education as well as their marketability as scientists in academic, government, and industry settings. The benefits of field opportunities, such as the ISU Geology Summer Field Studies course and field-intensive research experiences, are numerous:

  • Core concepts become tangible and intuitive;
  • Problem-solving skills at the project scale improve; and
  • Student curiosity and appreciation of our one and only Earth are positively impacted, among many others.

As the director of the ISU’s Carl F. Vondra Geology Field Station, my goal is to enrich the education of students from ISU and elsewhere by teaching and facilitating relevant field courses and research opportunities through the use of our newly renovated field station in Wyoming.

My research interests include documenting climatic/environmental change and the impact on mammalian communities in the geologic past. I approach this work by combining intensive geological and paleontological field work with analytical techniques, such as time-series analysis, stable isotope work, and geometric morphometrics. Specific studies include lineage and community-scale impacts of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, a 58-million-year-old global warming event, and mammalian paleobiogeography and faunal composition before and after the Mid Miocene Climatic Optimum.

Representative Publications

Wood, AR and NM Ridgwell. In press. The first Central American chalicothere (Mammalia, Perissodactyla) and the paleobiogeographic implications for small-bodied schizotheriines. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

MacFadden, MJ, JI Bloch, H Evans, DA Foster, GS Morgan, AF Rincon, and AR Wood. 2014. Temporal calibration and biochronology of the Centenario Fauna, early Miocene of Panama. Journal of Geology 122: 113-135.

Secord, R, JI Bloch, SGB Chester, DM Boyer, AR Wood, SL Wing, MJ Kraus, FA McInerney, and J Krigbaum. 2012. Evolution of the earliest horses driven by climate change in the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maxium. Science 335: 959-962.

Wood, AR, MJ Kraus, and PD Gingerich. 2008. Down-slope fossil contamination: Mammal-bearing fluvial conglomerates and the Paleocene-Eocene faunal transition (Willwood Formation, Bighorn Basin, Wyoming). Palaios 23: 380-390.

Wood, AR, ML Zelditch, AR Rountrey, TP Eiting, HD Sheets, and PD Gingerich. 2007. Multivariate stasis in the dental morphology of the Paleocene-Eocene condylarth , Ectocion. Paleobiology 33: 248-260.