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H. Allen Curran

William R. Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of Geology

H. Allen Curran


Burton B11


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

Curran, H.A. and B. Glumac, 2021, Dactyloidites ottoi (Geinitz, 1849) in Bahamian Pleistocene carbonates: a shallowest-marine indicator: in Shallow-marine and Transitional Environments, C. Cónsole-Gonella et al., eds., Geological Society, London, Lyell Collection Special Publication 22, 11 p., published online 22 December 2021. DOI.:10.1144/SP522-2021-69.

Buynevich, I.V., T.A. Rothfus, H.A. Curran, H.A. Thacker, R. Peronace, K.A. Kopcznski, and P.L. Gnivecki, 2021, High-resolution geopusical imaging of reptile burrows (San Salvador rock iguana, the Bahamas): implications for ichnology and conservation ecology: in Shallow-marine and Transitional Environments, C. Cónsole-Gonella et al., eds., Geological Society, London, Lyell Collection Special Publication 22, 9 p., published online 22 December 2021. DOI:10.1144/SP522-2021-80.

Wagon, S. and H.A. Curran, 2021, Sandstone geometry on the Colorado Plateau: The Mathematical Intelligencer, v. 43 (4), 53-59, published online 13 October 2021. DOI:10.1007/s00283-021-10126-1.

Greer, L., T. Clark, T. Waggoner, J. Busch, T.P. Guilderson, K. Wirth, J. Zhao, and H.A. Curran, 2020, Coral Gardens Reef, Belize: a refugium in the face of Caribbean-wide Acropora spp. coral decline: PLOS ONE 15(9): e0239267, 1/18-18/18.

Sparacio, C.A., I.V. Buynevich, H.A. Curran, and K. Kopcznski, 2020, Morphometry of blue land crab (Cardisoma guanhumi) burrows in the Bahamas: ichnological context and paleoenvironmental implications: PALAIOS, v. 35, 461-469. DOI:org/10.2110/palp.2020.034.

Knaust, D., R.D.K. Thomas, and H.A. Curran, 2018, Skolithos linearis Haldeman, 1840 at its early Cambrian type locality, Chickies Rock, Pennsylvania: analysis and designation of a neotype: Earth-Science Reviews, v. 185, 15-31, published online May 26, 2018. DOI: 10.1016/j.earscirev. 2018.05.009.

Netto, R.G., H.A. Curran, Z. Belaústegui, and F.M.W. Tognoli, 2017, Solving a cold case: new occurrences reinforce juvenile callianassids as the Ophiomorpha puerilis tracemakers: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 475, 93-105.

Curran, H.A. and K. Seike, 2017, Callianassid shrimp diversity around San Salvador Island, Bahamas: why marine biologists and geologists should care: in Proceedings of the 1st Joint Symposium on the Natural History and Geology of The Bahamas, C.L. Landry, L.J. Florea, and D.S. Kjar, eds., San Salvador, Bahamas, Gerace Research Centre, 99-113.

Buynevich, I.V., M. Savarese, M., H.A. Curran, A. Bitinas, B. Glumac, and six others, 2017, Sand incursion into temperate (Lithuania) and tropical (the Bahamas) maritime vegetation: georadar visualization of target-rich aeolian lithosomes: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, v. 195, 69-75.

Kopcznski, K., I. Buynevich, H.A. Curran, J. Caris, and J. Nyquist, 2017, Imaging bioturbation in supratidal carbonates: non-invasive field techniques enhance neoichnological and zoogeomorphological research, San Salvador, The Bahamas: Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana, v. 56 (2), 289-297. DOI: 10.4435/BSPI.2017.24.

Irwin, A., L. Greer, R. Humston, M. Devlin-Durante, P. Cabe, H. Lescinsky, H.A. Curran, and I.B. Baums, 2017, Age and intraspecific diversity of resilient Acropora communities in Belize: Coral Reefs, v. 36, 1111-1120, published online June 24, 2017. DOI: 10.1007/s00338-017-1602-9.

Leckie, R.M., H.A. Curran, and C.M. Lowery, 2017, Memorial to Neil Ernest Tibert (1966-2015): Journal of Foraminiferal Research, v. 42, 6-8.

Curran, H.A., 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 papers), 126-137.

Busch, James, 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.

Buatois, L.A., N.B. Carmona, H.A. Curran, R.G. Netto, M.G. Mángano, and A. Wetzel, 2016, The Mesozoic Marine Revolution: in The Trace-fossil Record of Major Evolutionary Events, Vol. 2: Mesozoic and Cenozoic, M.G. Mángano and L.A. Buatois, eds., Dordrecht, Springer Science+Business Media, 19-134 (not a typo – this was a big one!).

More Curran publications can be found by clicking “Selected Works in Smith ScholarWorks”


Ph.D., M.S., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
B.S., Washington & Lee University

Personal website
Selected Works in Smith ScholarWorks