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Diana Boyer

Associate Professor


Ph.D. University of California, Riverside, 2007
MS, University of California, Riverside, 2002

BS, University of Delaware, 1999



  • Paleoecological change across extinction events
  • low oxygen communities and the sedimentological
  • geochemical and biological record of environmental conditions
  • Paleozoic paleoecology

Specialty areas:

  • paleontology
  • sedimentology
  • inorganic geochemistry

Current projects
My students and I are working to better understand the dynamics of the end Devonian Mass Extinction Events.  This particular series of events, despite resulting in dramatic losses in diversity and ecological restructuring of marine communities, is poorly understood. I am using a combination of fossil and geochemical evidence to reconstruct bottom water oxygen levels through these intervals. Anoxia, or the absence of oxygen, has widely been cited as a potential kill mechanism. My research is testing at high resolution the potential impacts of oxygen stress on marine communities through a multi-proxy approach.

I am also working with students on the incredibly fossil rich Ordovician carbonate deposits of the Trenton Group in central New York. These units preserve a large diversity of invertebrate body fossils in a range of community structures. We are investigating specific groups of fossils as well as how the overall community structure reflects variations in climatic conditions.


  • Boyer, Diana L. Haddad, Emily E. and Seeger, Emily S*., 2014, The Last Gasp: Pyritized burrows tell the story of de-oxygenation leading into the Frasnian-Famennian extinction event: Palaios, v 29, p 646-651 doi:10.2110/palo.2014.049.
  • Boyer, D.L. and Droser, M.L., 2011, A Combined Trace and Body Fossil Approach Reveals High Resolution Record of Oxygen Fluctuations in Devonian Seas, Palaios, v. 26, no. 8, p. 500-508. 
  • Boyer, D.L., Owens, J.D., Lyons, T.W., and Droser, M.L., 2011, Joining forces: Combined biological and geochemical proxies reveal a complex but refined high-resolution palaeo-oxygen history in Devonian epeiric seas,Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology Volume 306, Issues 3-4, Pages 134-146. 
  • Boyer, D.L., and Droser, M.L., 2009, Paleoecological patterns within dysaerobic biofacies; examples from Devonian black shales of New York State. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, and Palaeoecology, v. 276, p. 206-216.
  • Boyer, Diana L. and Droser, Mary L., 2007, Devonian monospecific assemblages: new insights into the ecology of reduced oxygen depositional settings: Lethaia. Vol. 40, p. 321-334.
  • Boyer, Diana L., Bottjer, David J., and Droser, Mary L., 2004, Ecological signature of Lower Triassic shell beds of the western United States: Palaios, v. 19, no. 4, pp. 372-380.
  • Boyer, Diana L., and Droser, Mary L., 2003, Shell beds of the Kanosh and Lehman Formations of western Utah: paleoecological and paleoenvironmental interpretations: Brigham Young University, Geology Studies, v. 47, pp. 1-15.
  • Moffat, Heather A., Boyer, Diana L., Droser, Mary L., and Sheehan, Peter M., 2002, Analysis of monospecific molluscan shellbeds: separating and extracting paleoecological and taphonomic signals from Early Paleozoic bivalve accumulations, Western Society of Malacologists Annual Report 35: 31-39.

Classes taught

  • GEO 105 Dinosaurs
  • GEO 420 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy with Lab
  • GEO 325 Geology of the Bahamas (Q2)