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Departments & Programs


Noel A Heim

Noel geologizing at the Book Cliffs, Utah
Title:Basic Life Science Research Associate
Primary Affiliation:
Office Location:Department of Geological & Environmental Sciences, 450 Serra Mall, Bldg 320 (GeoCorner), Room 317, Stanford, California 94305-2115
Research Lab:Paleobiology
Alternative Website:
Phone:(650) 721-2131
Fax:(650) 725-0979

Biographical Information

I am interested in large-scale patterns in the fossil record, particularly those of marine invertebrates.  In the past I have focused on how evolution of the stratigraphic record has both biased and driven the fossil reocrd of marine diversity.  Currently, I am compiling a large dataset on the body sizes of fossil marine invertebrate taxa.  In this effort I am also working with Jenny Saltzman and Jon Payne to develop and run the History of Life Internship Program, where Bay Area high school students will spend eight weeks during the summer collecting and analyzing body size data.


Professional Experience

Courses Taught

    University Teaching Experience

    2010 - 2012 Co-Instructor (informal), Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • GEOSCI 542 – Invertebrate Paleontology (Instructor of Record: Dana Geary)
  • GEOSCI 875 – Geoscience Data Analysis (Instructor of Record: Shanan Peters)
  • GEOSCI 940 – Seminar in Paleontology (Instructor of Record: Dana Geary)

    2012 Guest Lecturer, Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • GEOSCI 110 – Evolution & Extinction: 2 lectures on evolution of development and adaptation

    2009 Guest Lecturer, Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • GEOSCI 110 – Evolution & Extinction: 1 lecture on the Permian mass extinction
  • GEOSCI 541 – Paleobiology: 2 lectures on diversity and the fossil record

    2005 - 2006 Adjunct Instructor, Science Department, Georgia Perimeter College

  • GEOL 1121 – Physical Geology Lecture
  • GEOL 1121L – Physical Geology Lab
  • 2002 - 2003 Teaching Assistant, Department of Earth Sciences, University of California, Riverside
  • GEO 002 – The Earth’s Dynamic Surface
  • GEO 004 – Natural Hazards and Disasters
  • GEO 009 – Oceanography

    Outreach & K-12 Teaching Experience

    2012 - present Basic Life Science Research Associate, Department of Geological & Environmental Sciences, Stanford University

  • Develop, plan and execute an eight week summer paleobiology internship for approximately twenty high school students Develop of a database for the storage and retrieval of data on body size over the Geozoic. Oversee the development of a public, online interface for the body size database. Research focused on Paleozoic body size evolution using data collected by high school interns

    2005 - 2006 Guest Programs Volunteer (Docent), The Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta

    2000 - 2003 Instructor, Maine School of Science & Mathematics Summer Camps, Limestone

    A residential summer science camp for middle school students
  • The Time Machine (paleontology)
  • Earth Shakes and Quakes (GIS-based seismology)
  • Fun-Filled Field Ecology (schoolyard ecology of insects and plants)

    2000 - 2001 Instructor, Maine School of Science & Mathematics, Limestone

    A state-supported, residential high school
  • Statistics
  • Physical Geology
  • Earth History


    Online Research Tools

  • Kishor, P., S.E. Peters, S.E. and N.A. Heim. 2012. Earth-Base, Beta Version 0.1,
  • Peters, S.E. and N.A. Heim. 2011. Macrostrat, Beta Versions 0.1-0.3,

    Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

  • Rook, D.L., N.A. Heim and J. Marcot.  in press. Contrasting patterns and connections of rock and biotic diversity in the marine and terrestrial fossil records of North America.  Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.  Final Acceptance October 2012.
  • Rook, D.L. and N.A. Heimin revision.  Geological completeness of paleontological sampling in the non-marine rock record of North America.  Paleobiology.
  • Finnegan, S., N.A. Heim, S.E. Peters and W.W. Fischer.  2012.  Climate Change and the Selective Signature of the Late Ordovician Mass Extinction.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A. (PNAS), 109(18): 6829-6834.  DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1117039109.
  • Heim, N.A. and S.E. Peters.  2011.  Local Environmental Breadth Determines Geographic Range and Longevity in Fossil Marine Genera.  PLoS One, 5(6): e18946.  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018946.
  • Heim, N.A. and S.E. Peters.  2011.  Covariation in macrostratigraphic and macroevolutionary patterns in the marine record of North America.  The Geological Society of America Bulletin, 123: 620-630.  DOI: 10.1130/B30215.1
  • Peters, S.E. and N.A. Heim. 2011. Stratigraphic distribution of marine fossils in North America. Geology, 39: 259-262.  DOI: 10.1130/G31442.1.
  • Peters, S.E. and N.A. Heim.  2010The geological completeness of paleontological sampling in North America.  Paleobiology, 36: 61-79.  DOI: 10.1666/0094-8373-36.1.61.
  • Peng, S., N.C. Hughes, N.A. Heim, B.K. Sell, X. Zhu, P.M. Myrow, and S.K. Parcha.  2009Cambrian trilobites from the Parahio and Zanskar Valleys, Indian Himalaya.  Journal of Paleontology, 83(sp. 71): 1-95.  DOI: 10.1666/08-129.1.
  • Heim, N.A.  2009.  Stability of regional brachiopod diversity structure across the Mississippian/Pennsylvanian boundary.  Paleobiology, 35: 393-412.  DOI: 10.1666/0094-8373-35.3.393.
  • Heim, N.A.  2008.  A null biogeographic model for quantifying the role of migration in shaping patterns of global taxonomic richness and differentiation diversity, with implications for Ordovician biogeography.  Paleobiology, 34: 195-209.  DOI: 10.1666/0094-8373(2008)034[0195:ANBMFQ]2.0.CO;2.
  • Myrow, P.M., K.E. Snell., N.C. Hughes, T.S. Paulsen, N.A. Heim, and S.K. Parcha.  2006.  Cambrian depositional history of the Zanskar Valley region of the Indian Himalaya: tectonic implications.  Journal of Sedimentary Research, 76: 364-381.  DOI: 10.2110/jsr.2006.020.

    Peer-reviewed Book Chapters

  • Peters, S.E. and N.A. Heim.  2011.  Macrostratigraphy and macroevolution in marine environments: testing the common-cause hypothesis.  In McGowan, A. and A.B. Smith (eds.), Comparing the Geological and Fossil Records: Implications for Biodiversity Studies.  Geological Society Special Publication 358, p. 95-104.  DOI: 10.1144/SP358.7.
  • Railsback, L.B., K.M. Layou, N.A. Heim, S.M. Holland, M.L. Trogdon, M.B. Jarrett, G.M. Izsak, D.E. Bulger, E.J. Wysong, K.J. Trubee, J.M. Fiser, J.E. Cox, and D.E. Crowe. in press. Geochemical evidence for meteoric diagenesis and cryptic surfaces of subaerial exposure in peritidal carbonates of Late Ordovician age from the Nashville Dome, central Tennessee, U.S.A. In Morad, S and M. Ketzer (eds) Linking Diagenesis to Sequence Stratigraphy of Sedimentary Rocks. IAS Special Publication.  Accepted & Final Revisions Submitted January 2011.

    Field Guides & Other Publications

  • Heim, N.A.  in press.  Extinction Rates and the Fossil Record.  In MacLeod, N. (ed.).  Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, Extinction.  Cengage Learning, Farmington Hills, Mich.
  • Heim, N.A. and D.H. Geary. in press.  The Fossil Record.  In Losos, J. (editor in chief).  The Princeton Guide to Evolution.  Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J.
  • Hughes, N.C. and N.A. Heim.  2005.  Paleozoic: Cambrian.  In Selley, R.C., Cocks, L.R.M. and Plimer, I.R. (eds.), Encyclopedia of Geology.  Elsevier, Amsterdam, p. 163-175.
  • Jensen, S., M.L. Droser, and N.A. Heim. 2002. Trace fossil and ichnofabrics of the Lower Cambrian Wood Canyon Formation, southwest Death Valley area. In Corsetti, F.A. (ed.), Proterozoic-Cambrian of the Great Basin and Beyond, Pacific Section SEPM Book 93, p. 123-135.


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