Area of Study
Email Address
Taylor Science Center

Kris Kusnerik is a paleontologist with research interests in invertebrate paleontology and conservation paleobiology. He combines modern, historic, and prehistoric (i.e. fossil) records to reconstruct the history of long-term faunal changes for threatened ecosystems or species. Recent research interests use fossil and modern mollusks from Florida’s freshwater springs and rivers to understand the historical and ecological context of human, climate, and environmental-related changes to faunal communities. He received his doctorate in geology with a minor in wildlife ecology and conservation from the University of Florida.

Recent Courses Taught

The Marine Environmen
Age of Dinosaurs


  • Nichol Paleontology Award, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, 2021
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dissertation Fellowship, University of Florida, 2020
  • Ernst Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Florida, 2020
  • Future Leaders in Paleontology Session Invited Speaker at Geo. Soc. Am. Annual Conference, Paleontological Society, 2019

Select Publications

  • Monarrez, P.D., J.B. Zimmt, A.M. Clement, W. Gearty, J.J. Jacisin III, K.M. Jenkins, K.M. Kusnerik, A.W. Poust, S. V. Robson, J.A. Sclafani, K.T. Stilson, S.D. Tennakoon, and C.M. Thompson. 2021. Our past creates our present: A brief overview of racism in Western paleontology. Paleobiology. DOI: 10.1017/pab.2021.28 
  • Kusnerik, K.M., G.H. Means, R.W. Portell, M. Brenner, Q. Hua, A. Kannai*, R. Means, M.A. Monroe*, M. Kowalewski, 2020, Live, dead, and fossil mollusks in Florida freshwater springs and spring-fed rivers: Taphonomic pathways and the formation of multi-sourced, time-averaged death assemblages: Paleobiology. 46(3):356-378. 
  • Nawrot, R., D. Scarponi, M. Azzarone, T.A. Dexter, K.M. Kusnerik, J.M. Wittmer, A. Amorosi, M. Kowalewski, 2018, Stratigraphic signatures of mass extinctions: Ecological and sedimentary determinants: Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 285. 
  • Kusnerik, K.M., R. Lockwood, and A.M. Grant, 2018, Conservation paleobiology: establishing a baseline for Chesapeake oyster restoration, in C.L. Tyler and C.S. Schneider (eds). Marine Conservation Paleobiology
  • Scarponi, D., M. Azzarone, K. Kusnerik, A. Amorosi, K.M. Bohacs, T.M. Drexler, and M. Kowalewski, 2017, Systematic vertical and lateral changes in quality and time resolution of the macrofossil record: Insights form Holocene transgressive deposits, Po coastal plain, Italy: Marine and Petroleum Geology, 87:128-136.

Appointed to the Faculty


Educational Background

Ph.D., University of Florida
M.S., University of Georgia
B.S., College of William & Mary

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