William Clyde

Phone: (603) 862-3148
Office: Earth Sciences, James Hall Rm 328, Durham, NH 03824
William C. Clyde

I am fundamentally interested in Earth history. I am particularly interested in how climate change, tectonics, and other geological forces have influenced mammalian evolution and shaped the terrestrial sedimentary record. Recently, I have been trying to understand the causes and consequences of Paleogene "hyperthermal" events. These are short-term, large-magnitude global warming events characterized by significant perturbations to the global carbon cycle that had wide ranging effects on continental and marine ecosystems. I use a multidisciplinary approach to address problems and have experience with a variety of paleontological and geological techniques, including magnetostratigraphy, phylogenetic analysis, morphometrics, and stable isotope geochemistry. I maintain a paleomagnetics lab at UNH and have worked throughout the Rocky Mountain region, as well as in Asia (Pakistan, Kazakhstan, China), Africa (Egypt, Tanzania), and South America (Argentina, Venezuela).


  • Ph.D., Geology/Earth Science, University of Michigan
  • M.S., Geology/Earth Science, University of Michigan
  • B.A., Geology/Earth Science, Princeton University

Research Interests

  • Geology
  • Magnetics
  • Paleobiology
  • Paleontology
  • Stratigraphy
  • Vertebrate Paleontology

Courses Taught

  • ESCI 400: Freshman Field Seminar
  • ESCI 402: Earth History
  • ESCI 530: Geological Field Methods
  • ESCI 652: Paleontology
  • ESCI 756/856: Geotectonics
  • ESCI 796/896: Topics/Iceland Field Trip
  • ESCI 896: Top/Paleomagnetism
  • ESCI 993: Advanced Seminar/Earth
  • INCO 590: Rsrch Exp/Earth Science
  • INCO 790: Adv Rsrch Exp/Earth Science

Selected Publications

Lyson, T. R., Miller, I. M., Bercovici, A. D., Weissenburger, K., Fuentes, A. J., Clyde, W. C., . . . Chester, S. G. B. (2019). Exceptional continental record of biotic recovery after the Cretaceous–Paleogene mass extinction. Science, 366(6468), 977-983. doi:10.1126/science.aay2268

Currano, E. D., Pinheiro, E. R. S., Buchwaldt, R., Clyde, W. C., & Miller, I. M. (2019). Endemism in Wyoming plant and insect herbivore communities during the early Eocene hothouse. Paleobiology, 45(3), 421-439. doi:10.1017/pab.2019.18

Widlansky, S. J., Clyde, W. C., O'Connor, P. M., Roberts, E. M., & Stevens, N. J. (2018). Paleomagnetism of the Cretaceous Galula Formation and implications for vertebrate evolution. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 139, 403-420. doi:10.1016/j.jafrearsci.2017.11.029

Krause, J. M., Clyde, W. C., Ibañez-Mejía, M., Schmitz, M. D., Barnum, T., Bellosi, E. S., & Wilf, P. (2017). New age constraints for early Paleogene strata of central Patagonia, Argentina: Implications for the timing of South American Land Mammal Ages. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 129(7-8), 886-903. doi:10.1130/b31561.1

Phillips, S. C., Johnson, J. E., Clyde, W. C., Setera, J. B., Maxbauer, D. P., Severmann, S., & Riedinger, N. (2017). Rock magnetic and geochemical evidence for authigenic magnetite formation via iron reduction in coal-bearing sediments offshore Shimokita Peninsula, Japan (IODP Site C0020). Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 18(6), 2076-2098. doi:10.1002/2017gc006943

Roberts, E. M., Stevens, N. J., O’Connor, P. M., Dirks, P. H. G. M., Gottfried, M. D., Clyde, W. C., . . . Hemming, S. (2012). Initiation of the western branch of the East African Rift coeval with the eastern branch. Nature Geoscience, 5(4), 289-294. doi:10.1038/ngeo1432

Bowen, G. J. (2002). Mammalian Dispersal at the Paleocene/Eocene Boundary. Science, 295(5562), 2062-2065. doi:10.1126/science.1068700

Fricke, H. C., Clyde, W. C., O'Neil, J. R., & Gingerich, P. D. (1998). Evidence for rapid climate change in North America during the latest Paleocene thermal maximum: oxygen isotope compositions of biogenic phosphate from the Bighorn Basin (Wyoming). Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 160(1-2), 193-208. doi:10.1016/s0012-821x(98)00088-0

Fricke, H. C., Clyde, W. C., & O’Neil, J. R. (1998). Intra-tooth variations in δ18O (PO4) of mammalian tooth enamel as a record of seasonal variations in continental climate variables. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 62(11), 1839-1850. doi:10.1016/s0016-7037(98)00114-8

Clyde, W. C., & Gingerich, P. D. (1998). Mammalian community response to the latest Paleocene thermal maximum: An isotaphonomic study in the northern Bighorn Basin, Wyoming. Geology, 26(11), 1011. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(1998)026<1011:mcrttl>2.3.co;2

Most Cited Publications