Steven L. D'Hondt

Professor of Oceanography

Areas of Specialization Research:

My primary research focus is the interplay between Earth's life, sediments, and surface processes. My current projects include studies of (1) microbial life in deeply buried marine sediments, and (2) the biological and environmental consequences of the Cretaceous/Tertiary and Permo-Triassic mass extinctions.


I teach graduate courses on geobiology, marine stratigraphy, and various special topics. I also regularly co-teach an undergraduate course titled Oceanographic Science.

Education History:

1990 Ph.D. Geological and Geophysical Sciences, Princeton University.
1986 M.A. Geological and Geophysical Sciences, Princeton University.
1984 B.S. Geology, Stanford University.

Recent Students:

Bonnie Epstein, 1999 Ph.D.
Scott Rutherford, 1999 Ph.D.
Danielle Luttenberg, 1997 M.S.
Dania Whitaker, 1996 M.S.

Some Recent Papers Presented at Scientific Meetings and Conferences:


D'Hondt, S., S. Rutherford, and A. Spivack, Global Patterns of Microbial Activity in Deep-Sea Sediments, Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, F236.

D'Hondt, S., J.C. Zachos, S. Bowring, G. Hoke, M. Martin, D. Erwin, Y. Jin, W. Wang, C. Cao, and Y. Wang, Permo/Triassic Events and the Carbon Isotope Record of Meishan, China, Geol. Soc. Am. Ann. Meeting, Abstr. Prog., 32.

D'Hondt, S., and J.C. Zachos, Carbon isotopic studies of mass extinctions and recoveries, Catastrophic Events and Mass Extinctions: Impacts and Beyond, LPI Contribution 1053, 36.


D'Hondt, S., Marine biological consequences of the Chicxulub impact, invited for Geol. Soc. Am. Ann. Meeting, Abstr. Prog., 31, A241.

Rutherford, S., S. DÕHondt, and W. Prell, The geographic distribution of zooplankton diversity, Sepkoski Memorial Symposium, Geol. Soc. Am. Ann. Meeting, Abstr. Prog., 31, A399.

Some Recent Articles in Professional Journals:

2000 Rutherford, S.D., and S. D'Hondt. Early onset and tropical forcing of 100,000 year Pleistocene glacial cycles. Nature, 408, 72-75.

1999 Rutherford, S.D., S. D'Hondt, and W. Prell. Environmental controls on the geographic distribution of zooplankton diversity. Nature, 400, 749-753.

1998 D'Hondt, S., P. Donaghay, J.C. Zachos, D. Luttenberg, and M. Lindinger. Organic carbon fluxes and ecological recovery from the Cretaceous/Tertiary mass extinction. Science, 282, 276-279.

1998 Epstein, B.L., S. D'Hondt, J.G. Quinn, J. Zhang, and P.E. Hargraves. An effect of dissolved nutrient concentrations on alkenone-based temperature estimates. Paleoceanography (Paleoceanographic Currents), 13, 122-126.

1998 Pope, K.O., S.L. D'Hondt, and C.R. Marshall. Meteorite impact and the mass extinction of species at the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, U.S.A., 95, 11028-11029.