Daniel Peppe

Daniel Peppe
Baylor University | BU · Department of Geosciences

PhD

About

138
Publications
70,283
Reads
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Introduction
Daniel Peppe is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geosciences at Baylor University. Research in the Peppe Research Group is focused on understanding how environmental change drives evolutionary processes in plants and animals. Specifically, our lab’s research is focused on reconstructing ancient climates and ecosystems through time in North America and East Africa, and on developing better and more accurate paleoclimate and paleoecological proxies. To do this we integrate methods in paleobotany, ecology, paleoclimatology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, and paleomagnetism. For more information about active research projects, please visit our lab website: www.danielpeppe.com.
Additional affiliations
January 2009 - present
Baylor University
Position
  • Professor
August 2008 - July 2009
Wesleyan University
Education
June 2005 - May 2009
Yale University
Field of study
  • Geology
September 2003 - May 2005
Yale University
Field of study
  • Geology
September 1999 - May 2003
St. Lawrence University
Field of study
  • Geology

Publications

Publications (138)
Article
The lineage of apes and humans (Hominoidea) evolved and radiated across Afro-Arabia in the early Neogene during a time of global climatic changes and ongoing tectonic processes that formed the East African Rift. These changes probably created highly variable environments and introduced selective pressures influencing the diversification of early ap...
Preprint
Full-text available
Lower Paleocene deposits in the San Juan Basin document one of the best records of mammalian change and turnover following the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinctions and are the type section for the Puercan (Pu) and Torrejonian (To) North America Land Mammal age biozones (NALMA). One of the largest mammalian turnover events in the early Paleocene occurs...
Preprint
Full-text available
Plants are strongly influenced by their surrounding environment, which makes them reliable indicators of climate and ecology. The relationship between climate, ecology, plant traits and the geographic distribution of plants based on their climatic tolerances have been used to develop plant-based proxies for reconstructing paleoclimate and paleoecol...
Article
The effects of precipitation changes on tropical East African ecosystems and human populations is poorly understood due to the complex interplay between global and regional processes and missing data from key regions and time periods. We generate a water-budget model for Lake Victoria, the largest tropical lake in the world, the source of the White...
Article
Earliest Paleocene megafloras from North America are hypothesized to be low diversity and dominated by long-lived cosmopolitan species following the Cretaceous/Paleogene (K/Pg) mass extinction. However, megafloras used to develop this hypothesis are from the Northern Great Plains (NGP) of North America, and relatively little is known about floras f...
Chapter
The Baynunah Formation in western Abu Dhabi Emirate was deposited by a major fluvial system and preserves the only known late Miocene terrestrial fossils in the Arabian Peninsula. We analyzed paleomagnetic samples from six sections (Jebel BarakahJebel Barakah (JBR), ShuwaihatShuwaihat (SHU)2, HamraHamra (HMR) Haplotilapiini 5, Mleisa 1, Mleisa 2, a...
Article
Full-text available
Plain Language Summary Throughout Earth history, temperature and atmospheric CO2 usually track each other. During the Late Cretaceous to early Paleocene (∼70–60 Ma), global mean surface temperature was ∼8–12.5°C higher than today. However, CO2 estimates are variable, with some estimates equal to or less than present‐day CO2 (∼415 ppm) and at odds w...
Article
Full-text available
Premise: Reconstructing plant canopy light environment and architecture from the fossil record includes proxies derived from cell wall undulation, cell size, and carbon isotopes. All approaches assume that plant taxa will respond predictably to changes in light environments. However, most species-level studies looking at cell wall undulation only...
Article
Full-text available
Background and Aims Leaf size has considerable ecological relevance, making it desirable to obtain leaf size estimations for as many species worldwide as possible. Current global databases, such as TRY, contain leaf size data for approximately 30,000 species, which is only ca. 8% of known species worldwide. Yet, taxonomic descriptions exist for the...
Article
Modern human evolution in Africa over the last ∼300 kyr is complex, with a variety of behavioral and biological changes appearing at different times and places. Explaining this pattern, as well as its relationship to paleoenvironmental circumstances, requires chronological and stratigraphic control of the paleoanthropological record. This study emp...
Article
Rusingoryx atopocranion is an extinct alcelaphin bovid from the late Pleistocene of Kenya, known for its distinctive hollow nasal crest. A bonebed of R. atopocranion from the Lake Victoria Basin provides a unique opportunity to examine the nearly complete postcranial ecomorphology of an extinct species, and yields data that are important to studyin...
Conference Paper
The assembly of Africa’s iconic C4 grassland and savanna ecosystems is central to evolutionary interpretations of many mammals, including hominins. Based largely on pollen, biomarkers, and isotopic data, C4 grasses are thought to have become ecologically dominant in Africa only after 10 Ma. However, paleobotanical records older than 10 Ma are spars...
Article
We report on the Late Pleistocene (36-12 ka) mammals from Kibogo in the Nyanza Rift of western Kenya, providing (1) a systematic description of the mammal remains, (2) an assessment of their paleoenvironmental implications, and (3) an analysis of the biogeographic implications of non-analog species associations. Kibogo has yielded one of the larges...
Article
In 2010, a hominin right humerus fragment (KNM-RU 58330) was surface collected in a small gully at Nyamita North in the Late Pleistocene Wasiriya Beds of Rusinga Island, Kenya. A combination of stratigraphic and geochronological evidence suggests the specimen is likely between ∼49 and 36 ka in age. The associated fauna is diverse and dominated by s...
Article
Palaeontological deposits on Rusinga Island, Lake Victoria, Kenya, provide a rich record of floral and faunal evolution in the early Neogene of East Africa. Yet, despite a wealth of available fossil material, previous palaeoenvironmental reconstructions from Rusinga have resulted in widely divergent results, ranging from closed forest to open woodl...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Baynunah Formation in the Al Gharbia region of Abu Dhabi Emirate was deposited by a major fluvial system and preserves the only known late Miocene terrestrial fossils in the Arabian Peninsula. We analyzed paleomagnetic samples from six sections (Jebel Barakah, Shuwaihat 2, Hamra 5, Mleisa 1, Mleisa 2, and Kihal 2) to develop a polarity stratigr...
Article
Full-text available
Premise: The size and shape (physiognomy) of woody, dicotyledonous angiosperm leaves are correlated with climate. These relationships are the basis for multiple paleoclimate proxies. Here we test whether Vitis exhibits phenotypic plasticity and whether physiognomy varies along the vine. Methods: We used Digital Leaf Physiognomy (DiLP) to measure...
Article
The Hell Creek Formation and overlying Fort Union Formation record a geologically rapid base-level rise that was approximately contemporaneous with the K/Pg extinction and deposition of Chicxulub-impact indicators. An outstanding question that remains is whether this base-level rise is attributable to: 1) a multi-thousand-year transgression adjacen...
Article
Full-text available
The lower Paleocene Ojo Alamo Sandstone and Nacimiento Formation from the San Juan Basin (SJB) in northwestern New Mexico preserve arguably the best early Paleocene mammalian record in North America and is the type location for the Puercan (Pu) and Torrejonian (To) North American land mammal ages (NALMA). However, the lack of precise depositional a...
Article
The uppermost Eocene lacustrine Florissant Formation in central Colorado preserves a diverse flora and fauna at a key time in Earth history immediately preceding the Eocene-Oligocene boundary. Laminated shales in the Florissant Formation record impression fossils of woody non-monocot angiosperm leaves that were used to estimate paleoecological and...
Article
Leaf carbon isotope fractionation (Δleaf) is sensitive to environmental conditions and can provide insights into the state and evolution of leaf gas-exchange in response to climate and environment factors. In modern plants, water availability is the strongest environmental predictor of Δleaf across sites that experience relatively uniform and low c...
Article
An impact with a dash of volcanism Around the time of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction that wiped out dinosaurs, there was both a bolide impact and a large amount of volcanism. Hull et al. ran several temperature simulations based on different volcanic outgassing scenarios and compared them with temperature records across the extinction event. Th...
Preprint
Full-text available
During the early Paleogene the Earth experienced long-term global warming punctuated by several short-term ‘hyperthermal’ events, the most pronounced of which is the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). During this time, tropical climates expanded into extra-tropical areas potentially forming a wide band of ‘paratropical’ forests that are hypot...
Preprint
Full-text available
The uppermost Eocene Florissant Formation of central Colorado, U.S.A. contains a diverse flora and fauna preserved in lacustrine facies and represents a key episode in Earth history immediately preceding the Eocene-Oligocene boundary. Laminated shales contain impressions of non-monocot angiosperm leaves that were used to estimate paleoecological an...
Preprint
Full-text available
Paleontological deposits on Rusinga Island, Lake Victoria, Kenya, provide a rich record of floral and faunal evolution in the early Neogene of East Africa. Yet, despite a wealth of available fossil material, previous paleoenvironmental reconstructions from Rusinga have resulted in widely divergent results, ranging from closed forest to open woodlan...
Preprint
Full-text available
The lower Paleocene Ojo Alamo Sandstone and Nacimiento Formation from the San Juan Basin (SJB) in northwestern New Mexico preserve arguably the best early Paleocene mammalian record in North America and is the type location for the Puercan (Pu) and Torrejonian (To) North American Land Mammal ages (NALMA). However, the lack of precise depositional a...
Preprint
Full-text available
PREMISE OF THE STUDY: The size and shape (physiognomy) of woody, dicotyledonous angiosperm leaves are correlated with climate and these relationships have been used to develop paleoclimate proxies. These proxies assume that leaf morphology plastically responds to meteorological conditions and that leaf traits change isometrically through developmen...
Preprint
Full-text available
Earliest Paleocene megafloras from North America are hypothesized to be low 6 diversity and dominated by long-lived cosmopolitan species following the Cretaceous-Paleogene 7 (K/Pg) mass extinction. However, megafloras used to develop this hypothesis are from the 8 Northern Great Plains of North America, and relatively little is known about floras f...
Article
Geochronology is the study of the time relationships between rock units; it makes it possible for us to quantify the age of formative events in human history. Typically, though with some exceptions, fossils and artifacts are not dated directly. Instead their ages are assigned by determining the age of the rocks that are enclosing them. There are fo...
Article
We analyzed samples for paleomagnetism, ⁴⁰Ar/³⁹Ar detrital sanidine ages, and mammalian fauna to produce a precise chronostratigraphic framework for the Upper Cretaceous to Lower Paleocene Dawson Creek section of Big Bend National Park, west Texas. Prior to this work, the absolute ages and durations of the Upper Cretaceous Aguja and Javelina Format...
Article
Lower Paleocene deposits in the San Juan Basin document one of the best records of mammalian change and turnover following the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction and is the type area for the Puercan (Pu) and Torrejonian (To) North America Land Mammal age (NALMA). One of the largest mammalian turnover events in the early Paleocene occurs between t...
Chapter
Full-text available
Plants are strongly influenced by their surrounding environment, which makes them reliable indicators of climate and ecology. The relationship between climate, ecology, plant traits and the geographic distribution of plants based on their climatic tolerances have been used to develop plant-based proxies for reconstructing paleoclimate and paleoecol...
Preprint
We analyzed samples for paleomagnetism, 40Ar/39Ar detrital sanidine ages, and mammalian fauna to produce a precise chronostratigraphic framework for the Upper Cretaceous to lower Paleocene Dawson Creek section of Big Bend National Park. Prior to this work, the absolute age and duration of the Upper Cretaceous Aguja and Javelina Formations and Paleo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Earliest Paleocene megafloras from North America are hypothesized to be low diversity and dominated by long-lived cosmopolitan species following the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K/Pg) mass extinction. However, megafloras used to develop this hypothesis are from the Northern Great Plains of North America, and relatively little is known about floras from so...
Article
Full-text available
The impact of changing environments on the evolution and dispersal of Homo sapiens is highly debated, but few data are available from equatorial Africa. Lake Victoria is the largest freshwater lake in the tropics and is currently a biogeographic barrier between the eastern and western branches of the East African Rift. The lake has previously desic...
Article
Full-text available
Early Miocene outcrops near Karungu, Western Kenya, preserve a range of fluvio-lacustrine, lowland landscapes that contain abundant fossils of terrestrial and aquatic vertebrates. Primates are notably rare among these remains, although nearby early Miocene strata on Rusinga Island contain a rich assemblage of fossilized catarrhines and strepsirrhin...
Preprint
Recent research has demonstrated that the Lilliput effect (reduction of body size in response to a mass extinction) affected all trophic levels in the marine realm following the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) event. However, it is unclear if this size change was strictly a marine signal, or a global phenomenon that also affected continental ecosystems...
Article
The foraging behaviors of Middle Stone Age (MSA) early modern humans have largely been based on evidence from well-stratified cave sites in South Africa. Whereas these sites have provided an abundance of data for behavioral reconstruction that are unmatched elsewhere in Africa, they are unlikely to preserve evidence of the diversity of foraging str...
Article
The late Miocene Coffee Ranch fossil assemblage contains some of the earliest evidence of C4 herbivory in North America. However, little is known regarding the environmental setting associated with the fauna, and a general lack of detailed paleoclimate data exists for the late Miocene from the North American continental interior. In this study, the...
Article
Full-text available
Here we report tephra correlations, lithic artifacts, obsidian sourcing data, and fauna from nine Late Pleistocene localities of the eastern Lake Victoria basin of western Kenya, as well as new excavations from the 49-36 ka site of Nyamita Main on Rusinga Island. The Late Pleistocene of Africa is an important period for the evolution and dispersals...
Article
We describe new material of Rhinocerotidae recently collected in western Kenya. A skull from Karungu is one of the best-preserved Miocene skulls in Africa. It differs substantially from that of Rusingaceros leakeyi, the only other relatively well-known rhino from this region and age, in its degree of brachycephaly, possession of a deep nasal notch,...
Chapter
Full-text available
To better understand the potential role of environmental change in mediating human dispersals across equatorial East Africa, this study examines the biogeographic histories of ungulates, including a summary of current knowledge and fossil evidence stemming from our fieldwork in the Kenyan portion of the Lake Victoria basin. Phylogeographic and pale...
Article
The fossil record provides tangible, historical evidence for the mode and operation of evolution across deep time. Striking patterns of convergence are some of the strongest examples of these operations, whereby, over time, similar environmental and/or behavioral pressures precipitate similarity in form and function between disparately related taxa...
Conference Paper
This study investigates the geochemistry of organic matter from early Paleogene rocks of the San Juan Basin in order to evaluate ecologic, climatic, and diagenetic conditions related to these plants. Carbon isotopes can be used to reconstruct canopy cover, water stress, light intensity, and the carbon isotopic composition of the atmosphere. Recent...