Chris Mays

Chris Mays
University College Cork | UCC · School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences

Ph.D.

About

61
Publications
23,436
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
645
Citations

Publications

Publications (61)
Article
Full-text available
The Cenomanian–Turonian is considered the warmest interval of the last 150 million years. It was characterized by major disturbances to the global carbon cycle, resulting in elevated pCO2 levels and global temperatures, and witnessed the rise to dominance of angiosperms floras. In this paper, we assess changes of fossil floras during the Cenomanian...
Article
Wildfire has been implicated as a potential driver of deforestation and continental biodiversity loss during the end-Permian extinction event (EPE;~252 Ma). However, it cannot be established whether wildfire activity was anomalous during the EPE without valid pre-and post-EPE baselines. Here, we assess the changes in wildfire activity in the high-l...
Article
Full-text available
At sunrise on a summer day in Australia, about an hour's drive from Sydney, we clambered northward along the base of a cli on a mission. We were searching for rocks that we hoped would contain clues to the darkest chapter in our planet’s history. Life on Earth has experienced some terrifyingly close calls in the past four billion years—cataclysmic...
Data
Supplementary palynological data files for upper Permian strata of GSQ Emerald NS7 and GSQ Springsure 19 wells, Bowen Basin, Queensland, Australia.
Article
Full-text available
The upper part of the upper Permian succession in the Bowen Basin of Queensland, NE Australia, was investigated to ascertain the timeline and character of environmental changes in this high southern palaeolatitudinal setting leading up to the End-Permian Extinction (EPE). The study focused on (in ascending order) the Peawaddy Formation, Black Alley...
Article
Longitudinally aligned borings attributed to the ichnotaxon Dekosichnus meniscatus in the inner secondary wood of a silicified Middle–Late Jurassic conifer from Argentina contain finely granular frass particles arranged in meniscoid laminae. Synchrotron X-ray computed tomographic reconstruction of the borings reveals new characters of this ichnotax...
Article
Full-text available
Harmful algal and bacterial blooms linked to deforestation, soil loss and global warming are increasingly frequent in lakes and rivers. We demonstrate that climate changes and deforestation can drive recurrent microbial blooms, inhibiting the recovery of freshwater ecosystems for hundreds of millennia. From the stratigraphic successions of the Sydn...
Article
Full-text available
Neutron tomographic reconstructions, macrophotography, transmitted light microscopy and fluorescence microscopy are employed to assess the quality of organic preservation, determine organ associations, identify insect damage, and document fungal interactions with selected Santonian–lower Campanian plant fossils from the northern Kristianstad Basin,...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid climate change was a major contributor to the end-Permian extinction (EPE). Although well constrained for the marine realm, relatively few records document the pace, nature, and magnitude of climate change across the EPE in terrestrial environments. We generated proxy records for chemical weathering and land surface temperature from continent...
Article
Full-text available
The newly defined Frazer Beach Member of the Moon Island Beach Formation is identified widely across the Sydney Basin in both outcrop and exploration wells. This thin unit was deposited immediately after extinction of the Glossopteris flora (defining the terrestrial end-Permian extinction event). The unit rests conformably on the uppermost Permian...
Article
Full-text available
The abundance, diversity and extinction of non-marine algae are controlled by changes in the physical and chemical environment and community structure of continental ecosystems. We review a range of non-marine algae commonly found within the Permian and Triassic strata of Gondwana and highlight and discuss the non-marine algal abundance anomalies r...
Book
Full-text available
Lost World of Rēkohu explores the extraordinary fossil record of one of the most remote regions of the planet—the Chatham Islands. Once the home of the mysterious Moriori people, this archipelago approximately 850km east of mainland New Zealand preserves a rock archive from a dynamic time in Earth’s history when the southern continents were land-lo...
Chapter
Full-text available
Chapter 6: Wonderful life at the South Pole 100 to 90 million years ago—An ancient polar greenhouse ecosystem
Article
Full-text available
A distinctive burrow form, Reniformichnus australis n. isp., is described from strata immediately overlying and transecting the end-Permian extinction (EPE) horizon in the Sydney Basin, eastern Australia. Although a unique excavator cannot be identified, these burrows were probably produced by small cynodonts based on comparisons with burrows elsew...
Article
Full-text available
Upper Permian to Lower Triassic coastal plain successions of the Sydney Basin in eastern Australia have been investigated in outcrop and continuous drillcores. The purpose of the investigation is to provide an assessment of palaeoenvironmental change at high southern palaeolatitudes in a continental margin context for the late Permian (Lopingian),...
Research
Nature Ecology & Evolution Community. Series: Extreme Wildfires. When entire continents go up in flames, it seems inevitable that life on land will be pushed beyond the brink of extinction. https://go.nature.com/2WePbhK
Article
Full-text available
The Northern Hemisphere dominates our knowledge of Mesozoic and Cenozoic fossilized tree resin (amber) with few findings from the high southern paleolatitudes of Southern Pangea and Southern Gondwana. Here we report new Pangean and Gondwana amber occurrences dating from ~230 to 40 Ma from Australia (Late Triassic and Paleogene of Tasmania; Late Cre...
Article
Full-text available
Current large-scale deforestation poses a threat to ecosystems globally, and imposes substantial and prolonged changes on the hydrological and carbon cycles. The tropical forests of the Amazon and Indonesia are currently undergoing deforestation with catastrophic ecological consequences but widespread deforestation events have occurred several time...
Article
Full-text available
Previously unrecognized anatomical features of the cone scales of the enigmatic Early Cretaceous conifer Krassilovia mongolica include the presence of transversely oriented paracytic stomata, which is unusual for all other extinct and extant conifers. Identical stomata are present on co-occurring broad, linear, multiveined leaves assigned to Podoza...
Article
Full-text available
The collapse of late Permian (Lopingian) Gondwanan floras, characterized by the extinction of glossopterid gymnosperms, heralded the end of one of the most enduring and extensive biomes in Earth’s history. The Sydney Basin, Australia, hosts a nearcontinuous, age-constrained succession of high southern paleolatitude (∼65–75°S) terrestrial strata spa...
Article
Full-text available
Premise of research. Permineralized peats are prized for hosting three-dimensionally preserved plant remains that provide insights into fossil plant anatomy and the composition of coal-forming ecosystems. A new record of siliceous permineralized peat is documented from a Lopingian-aged (upper Permian) strata from the southern Sydney Basin. It repre...
Article
Full-text available
Past studies of the end-Permian extinction (EPE), the largest biotic crisis of the Phanerozoic, have not resolved the timing of events in southern high-latitudes. Here we use palynology coupled with high-precision CA-ID-TIMS dating of euhedral zircons from continental sequences of the Sydney Basin, Australia, to show that the collapse of the austra...
Article
Fossil resin (amber) has been recently reported as common, but small, sedimentary components throughout the lower Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian; 99–94 Ma) strata of the Tupuangi Formation, Chatham Islands, eastern Zealandia. From these deposits, resin has also been identified and obtained from well-preserved, coalified specimens of the conifer fossi...
Article
Full-text available
Mays, C. & Cantrill, D.J., January 2018. Protodammara reimatamoriori, a new species of conifer (Cupressaceae) from the Upper Cretaceous Tupuangi Formation, Chatham Islands, Zealandia. Alcheringa XXX, X–X. ISSN 0311-5518. Isolated conifer female reproductive structures are common fossil elements from Cenomanian (ca 99–94 Ma) charcoal- and resin-rich...
Presentation
Global hothouse climatic conditions prevailed during the Cretaceous (Cenomanian-Turonian) amidst the tectonic separation of southeastern Gondwana and poleward radiation of angiosperms. The fossilised remnants of the highest southern palaeolatitude (~70–80˚S) forest studied to date from this important time interval are preserved within the Tupuangi...
Article
Amber is a complex, organic polymer that offers unparalleled utility as a preservation medium, providing insights into past organisms and environments. However, under specific circumstances, this information can be compromised through alteration of the amber structure. Understanding the degradation of amber in the geosphere could improve prospectin...
Article
Full-text available
Computed tomography is an increasingly popular technique for the non-destructive study of fossils. Whilst the science of X-ray computed tomography (CT) has greatly matured since its first fossil applications in the early 1980s, the applications and limitations of neutron tomography (NT) remain relatively unexplored in palaeontology. These highest r...
Article
Full-text available
Several highly effective fire-adaptive traits first evolved among modern plants during the mid-Cretaceous, in response to the widespread wildfires promoted by anomalously high atmospheric oxygen (O2) and extreme temperatures. Serotiny, or long-term canopy seed storage, is a fire-adaptive strategy common among plants living in fire-prone areas today...
Article
Full-text available
The Tupuangi Flora of the Chatham Islands, New Zealand, reveals a south polar forest ecosystem, and important biogeographical links between eastern and western Gondwana. We employed neutron tomography (NT) to image fossil Cupressaceae seed cones from the Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian) strata of the Tupuangi Formation. This technique facilitated the...
Article
Full-text available
Stilwell, J.D., Vitacca, J. & Mays, C., April 2016. South polar greenhouse insects (Arthropoda: Insecta: Coleoptera) from the mid-Cretaceous Tupuangi Formation, Chatham Islands, eastern Zealandia. Alcheringa 40, xxx–xxx. ISSN 0311-5518 Rare insect body fossils have been discovered for the first time after 175 years of research on the Chatham Island...
Article
The flora of the Cenomanian–Turonian (ca. 96–90 Ma) Tupuangi Formation, Chatham Islands, New Zealand, was inhabiting a region well within the south polar circle (~70–80° S) during the early Late Cretaceous, an interval characterised by extreme global greenhouse conditions. The Tupuangi flora offers a unique perspective into an ecological and enviro...
Article
Full-text available
Chen, K., Stilwell, J.D. & Mays, C., 12.3.2015. Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of Livingston Island, Antarctic Peninsula in the Early Cretaceous: interpretations from the Walker Bay erratics. Alcheringa 39, 000–000. ISSN 0311-551 Fossiliferous, volcaniclastic sandstone erratics, containing abundant plant fragments, palynomorphs and a possible i...
Article
Full-text available
A new Turonian amber occurrence, representing the oldest in situ amber locality in Australia and the southern-most locality in Gondwana, has recently been discovered in the Otway Basin of Victoria. The amber was collected from petroleum cores and many pieces contain a range of inclusions that can provide information on the depositional history of t...
Book
Full-text available
Forty palynofloral assemblages were obtained from the Waihere Bay and Tupuangi Beach outcrop successions of Pitt Island, Chatham Islands, New Zealand. All assemblages are from the Ngaterian–Mangaotanean (Cenomanian–Turonian) Tupuangi Formation, except one which is from the overlying Kahuitara Tuff. These strata likely represent the highest southern...
Article
Full-text available
Late Cretaceous fossils from the Chatham Islands, New Zealand, represent an important high palaeolatitude (~70–80°S) flora. Located between eastern and western Gondwana, and prior to Late Cretaceous continental break-up, these plants grew during a period of global greenhouse climates. Macrofloral remains of the Tupuangi Formation, Pitt Island, accu...
Article
Full-text available
The Red Bluff Tuff Formation, an early Palaeogene volcano-sedimentary shallow marine succession from the Chatham Islands (New Zealand), provides a unique framework, in eastern ‘Zealandia’, to explore tephra dispersal processes associated with ancient small phreatomagmatic explosions (i.e. Surtseyan-style eruptions). Detailed sedimentological mappin...
Article
Full-text available
Described here is a small acritarch with a fine reticulation on the internal surface of the cyst wall which provides a new criterion for future acritarch taxonomy. Sixty-six specimens of Introvertocystis rangiaotea gen. et sp. nov. have been identified from sediments of Ngaterian to Arowhanan age (Cenomanian to early Turonian; c. 99–92 Ma) within t...
Thesis
Full-text available
For analogues of global warming, the mid-Cretaceous is held up as both an archetype and a warning. Using a combination of theoretical models and geological evidence, a consensus is revealing that polar latitudes experience the greatest degree of warming during global greenhouse conditions. The Tupuangi Formation of the Chatham Islands, New Zealand,...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (4)
Project
Reinvestigate the many Devonian and Lower Carboniferous continental deposits of Ireland.
Project
Understand the extinction and timing, pace, severity and ecological shift of land plants across the end-Permian mass extinction event.