Johnny A. Waters

Dr. Johnny Waters served as Chair of the Department from 2004-2012 before stepping down to return to teaching and research. He retired from teaching in 2016, but is still active in research. A paleontologist by training, Waters has conducted extensive fieldwork in Mongolia, Timor, Ireland, Britain, Japan and China. His research interests include rebound from mass extinctions, Paleozoic community evolution, and the taxonomy, functional morphology, ontogeny and paleoecology of paleozoic echinoderms, especially blastoids.  He is a co-leader of the UNESCO-funded International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) 596 (Climate Change and Biodiversity Patterns in the Mid-Palaeozoic) and a Fellow of the Explorers Club.

More information about his mass extinction and paleoclimate research is available at, and his blastoid research is showcased here.


  • B.S. Auburn University
  • M.S. Indiana University
  • Ph.D. Indiana University

Courses Taught

  • GLY 1102 - Introduction to Historical Geology
  • GLY 2250 - Evolution of the Earth
  • HON 1515 - Darwin
  • HON 1515 - Candle in the Dark


Title: Emeritus & Adjunct Research Professor: Invertebrate Paleontology
Department: Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences

Email address: Email me