H. Allen Curran

William R. Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of Geology

H. Allen Curran

Contact & Office Hours

Burton B11



Ph.D., M.S., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

B.S., Washington & Lee University


Al Curran is an invertebrate paleontologist and marine geologist who specializes in the study of trace fossils (ichnology) and the geology of Quaternary tropical, shallow-marine carbonate sediments and rocks. Retired from active teaching, he currently is pursuing research with colleagues at Smith and beyond. Specific areas of present interest include the geology of the Bahama islands, a classic area of carbonates study; the geology of Pleistocene, Holocene and modern coral reefs, with emphasis on reefs as indicators of sea-level history; and marine environmental education for schoolchildren, specifically the Smith College Coral Reef Ed-Ventures Program in Belize.

Selected Publications

H.A. Curran, M. Savarese, and B. Glumac, 2016, The stellate burrow: a large and complex trace fossil in Holocene carbonate eolianites of the Bahamas: Ichnos, v. 23 (nos. 1-2, Seilacher Memorial volume), 126-137.

Busch, J., L. Greer, D. Harbor, K. Wirth, H. Lescinsky, H.A. Curran, and K. de Beurs, 2016, Quantifying exceptionally large populations of Acropora spp. corals off Belize using sub-meter satellite imagery classification: Bulletin of Marine Science, v. 92, 265-283.

Curran, H.A. and K. Seike, 2016, Modern and fossil callianassid burrows of the Bahamas: comparisons and implications for paleoenvironmental analysis: in Proceedings of the 16th Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas and Other Carbonate Regions, B. Glumac and M. Savarese, eds., San Salvador, Bahamas, Gerace Research Centre, 153-167 (co-author of 3 other papers in this volume).

Curran, H.A., 2015, Sinuous rhizoliths mimic invertebrate trace fossils on Upper Pleistocene caliche surfaces, San Salvador Island, Bahamas: in ICHNOLOGY: Papers from ICHNIA III, McIlroy, D., ed., Geological Association of Canada, Miscellaneous Publication 9, 63-72.

Seike, K. and H.A. Curran, 2014, Burrow morphology of the land crab Gecarcinus lateralis and the ghost crab Ocypode quadrata on San Salvador Island, The Bahamas: comparisons and palaeoenvironmental implications: Spanish Journal of Palaeontology, v. 29, 61-70.

Rodríguez-Tovar, F.J., K. Seike, and H.A. Curran, 2014, Characteristics, distribution patterns, and implications for ichnology of modern burrows of Uca (Leptuca) speciosa, San Salvador Island, Bahamas: Journal of Crustacean Biology, v. 34, 565-572.

Buynevich, I.V., H.A. Curran, L.A. Wiest, A.P.K. Bentley, S.V. Kadurin, C.T. Seminack, M. Savarese, D. Bustos, B. Glumac, I.A. Losev, 2014, Near-surface imaging (GPR) of biogenic structures in siliciclastic, carbonate, and gypsum dunes in Experimental Approaches to Understanding Fossil Organisms, Hembree, D.I., B.F. Platt, and J.J. Smith, eds., Topics in Geobiology 41, Dordrecht, Springer, 405-418.

Curran, H.A. and K.J. Cunningham, 2013, Ichnogenic megaporosity and permeability in carbonate aquifers and reservoirs: definitions and examples: AAPG Search and Discovery, Article 50866.

Winsor, K.*, H.A. Curran, L. Greer, and B. Glumac, 2012, Unusual Holocene serpulid-tufa bioherms, Enriquillo Valley, Dominican Republic: morphologies and paleoenvironmental implications: PALAIOS, v. 27, 693-706.

Curran, H.A., M. Schultz-Baer*, K. Durkin*, and B. Glumac, 2012, Recovery of carbonate sand beaches on San Salvador Island, Bahamas from damage by Hurricane Frances (2004) in Proceedings of the 15th Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas and Other Carbonate Regions, D.W. Gamble and P. Kindler, eds., San Salvador, Bahamas, Gerace Research Centre, 1-14 (co-author of one other paper in this volume).

Knaust, D., H.A. Curran, and A.V. Dronov, 2012, Shallow-marine carbonates, in Trace Fossils as Indicators of Sedimentary Environments, D. Knaust and R.G. Bromley, eds., Amsterdam, Elsevier – Developments in Sedimentology, v. 64, 705-750 (co-author of one other chapter in this volume).

*indicates Smith student co-author