Department of Geosciences

School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Faculty and Research

Richard M. Mitterer



B.Sc., Franklin and Marshall College, 1960
Ph.D., Florida State University, 1966
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 1966-1967

Research Interests

My interests are the present and past carbon cycle of the Earth and global changes throughout Earth history.

More specific research interests within this field are the fate of organic compounds in the sedimentary environment, applications of organic geochemistry in petroleum exploration, role of organic compounds in calcium carbonate precipitation, invertebrate calcification, and perturbations of the carbon cycle over geologic time.

My current project is the origin of high concentrations of methane and hydrogen sulfide in cores off the southern coast of Australia collected during Leg 182 of the Ocean Drilling Program.

Dissertations and Theses Supervised

Linda S. S. Smith, PhD, 2004. Carbonate Diagenesis and Paleoclimate of the Desmoinesian Lower Ismay Zone, Paradox Basin, S.E. Utah.

Lena Ella Boettcher, MS, 2002. Maturation Study of the Woodford Shale from Selected Rock Samples in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico.

W. Dallam Masterson IV, PhD, 2001. Petroleum Filling History of Central Alaskan North Slope Field.

Haposan Napitupulu, PhD, 1998. Organic Geochemistry and Thermal Maturity Modeling of Hydrocarbon Generation in the NW Java Basin, Indonesia.

Chairul Syafri, MS, 1997. Geochemical Evaluation of the Oils and Source Rocks of the South Pallembang Sub-Basin, South Sumatra, Indonesia.

Javier Alejandro Morelos, PhD, 1996. Geochemical evaluation of southern Tampico-Misantla Basin, Mexico : Oil-oil and oil source rock correlations.

Nathaniel R. Miller, PhD, 1995. Lithostratigraphic signal evaluation of the Miocene Monterey Formation, South Elwood Offshore Field, California.

James F. Reilly II, PhD, 1995. Geologic controls on the distribution of chemosynthetic communities in the Gulf of Mexico.

Chia-Hsin "Charlie" Wu, PhD, 1991. Depositional environments and source rock investigations of the Oligocene to Middle Miocene deposits in the Ardjuna Basin, Offshore Northwest Java, Indonesia.

Leon I. P. Dzou, PhD, 1990. Quantitative study of biomarkers in coals and vitrinite concentrates of different maturity and a geochemical study of oils and condensates from K Field, offshore Taiwan.

Michael W. Ehlebracht, MS, 1990. Transfer of petroleum hydrocarbons to water: A laboratory study.

Warren E. Neff, MS, 1989. Cyclic sequences in the Austin Chalk, south Texas.

Roger M. Miranda, MS, 1988. Geochemical variations in sedimentary organic matter within a one hundred meter shale core of uniform lithology and thermal history (Middle Tuscaloosa, Upper Cretaceous).

Charles Thomas Roberts, MS, 1988. Cyclic variation of the Woodford Formation of south central Oklahoma.

Alan Anthony Parent, MS, 1987. The depositional environment and diagenetic history of the Pennsylvanian Pottsville Formation in the Black Warrior Basin.

Glenn G. Hilton, MS, 1986. The depositional environment and diagenetic history of the "Palo Pinto Sandstone" in Callahan Co., Texas.

James O. Crump, Jr., MS, 1985. Lithofacies analysis and paleoenvironmental history of the Early Ordovician Upper Kindblade Formation, Arbuckle Mountains, south-central Oklahoma.

Iyh-Ping Dzou, MS, Fall 1985. In situ and pyrolytic hydrocarbons in carbonate sediments from Florida Bay.

Robert P. Murphy, MS, 1985. Investigation of the potential source rocks for the granite wash hydrocarbons, Washita County Oklahoma.

John R. Nutini, MS, 1985. A short-term trend analysis of recent coastal sedimentation subsequent to Hurricane Alicia on Galveston and Follets Island, Texas.

Edward P. Rashak, MS, 1985. Organic geochemistry of Woodford and Green River Shales using hydrous pyrolysis.

Anthony R. G. Sprague, PhD, 1985. Depositional environment and petrology of the lower member of the Pennsylvanian Atoka Formation, Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Harriet S. Cloft, MS, 1984. Stratigraphy and sedimentology of the Ledge Sandstone member, Ivashak Formation, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, northeastern Alaska.

Beatrice I. Meyer, MS, 1984. Depositional environment and source rock potential (Jurassic) Smackover Formation, Van Zandt County, Texas.

Renee C. Boyer, MS, 1983. Depositional environment and petrology of the Springer Formation, Ardmore Basin, Oklahoma.

Michael E. Caughey, MS, 1982. A study of the dissolved organic matter in the pore waters of carbonate-rich sediment cores from Florida Bay.

Robert Cunningham, Jr., PhD, 1980. Organic-inorganic interactions of marine humic substances from carbonate sediments: Metal binding and absorption studies.

Nivat Kriausakul, PhD, 1979. Investigation of isoleucine epimerization in model peptides and fossil protein.

Paul W. Carter, MS, 1976. Aspects of the biogeochemistry of organic matter in recent carbonate sediments.

Morris Dale Key, PhD, 1976. Heavy metal concentrations and associated mobility parameters in the floodplain of the Dallas - Fort Worth region.


Mitterer, R.M., Malone, M.J., Goodfriend, G.A., Swart, P.K., Wortmann, U.G., Logan, G. A., Feary, D.A., and Hine, A.C. (2001) Co-Generation of hydrogen sulfide and methane in marine carbonate sediments. Geophysics Research Letters 28, 3931-3934.

Napitupulu, H., Ellis, L. and Mitterer, R.M. (2000) Post-generative alteration effects on petroleum in the onshore Northwest Java Basin, Indonesia. Organic Geochemistry 31, 295-315.

Swart, P.K., Wortmann, U.G., Mitterer, R.M., Malone, M.J., Smart, P.L., Feary, D., Hine, A.C., and ODP Leg 182 Scientific Party (2000) Hydrogen sulphide-rich hydrates and saline fluids in the continental margin of South Australia. Geology 28, 1039-1042. 

Napitupulu, H., Mitterer, R.M. and Morelos-Garcia, J.A. (1997) Differentiation of oils from NW Java Basin into three oil types based on biomarker composition. In Petroleum Systems of SE Asia and Australasia (Howes and Noble, eds.), Indonesian Petroleum Association, Jakarta, 667-679.

Mitterer, R.M. (1993) The diageneses of proteins and amino acids in fossil shells. In Organic Geochemistry (Engel and Macko, eds.), Plenum Press, NY, 739-753.

Goodfriend, G.A. and Mitterer, R.M. (1993) A 45,000 year record of a tropical lowland biota: the land snail fauna from cave sediments at Coco Ree, Jamaica. Geological Society of America Bulletin 105, 18-29.

  • Updated: March 20, 2007