Roy E. Plotnick

Current Title: Professor Emeritus Vita


A.B. Columbia University, 1976

M.S. University of Rochester, 1978

Ph.D. University of Chicago, 1983


Paleontological Society Distinguished Lecturer, 2005-2008

Paleontological Society Fellow, 2012

Geological Society of America Fellow, 2013

Edward P Bass Distinguished Environmental Visiting Scholar, Yale Department of Geology and Geophysics, 2017

Research Interests: ECLECTIC!

Invertebrate paleobiology; paleoecology; mathematical methods and models; fossil preservation; paleobiomechanics; science education and outreach

Current Research Projects

  • Fossil record of the Sixth Extinction and the Anthropocene. Click here or here for an interview. And here for a press release.

  • Sensory and movement behavior in the fossil record, including fossilized senses. Click here for press coverage and here to download the paper on cricket ears.

  • Theoretical morphology, simulations, and behavioral biology of trace fossils.

  • The Mazon Creek cnidarian Essexella.

  • History of cave biotas, including a really amazing Pennsylvanian paleokarst deposit. Click here for article in

  • Fractals and related methods in the Earth sciences. Here is a recorded talk on the subject:

Fermilab talk

Science Education Grant Projects

  • Chicago Geopaths: is a new program at the University of Illinois at Chicago that introduces geoscience as a potential undergraduate major and career to urban students. The program is led by the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at UIC and sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

  • Project SEEEC - Science Education for Excellence and Equity in Chicago is a National Science Foundation-funded initiative to develop community-responsive urban science teachers and leaders. Project SEEEC enriches the MEd Science Education program and the PhD Mathematics and Science Education program at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Education.

Blog Posts. I post on Medium

Graduate Students


Roy E. Plotnick

Earth and Environmental Sciences

University of Illinois at Chicago

845 W. Taylor St.

Chicago,IL 60607

phone: 312-996-2111

Fax: 312-413-2279