University of Missouri

James Schiffbauer

  • James Schiffbauer
  • Assistant Professor
  • 573.882.9501
  • schiffbauerj@missouri.edu
  • Specializing in taphonomy, biogeochemistry, and paleobiology of Konservat Lagerstätten, Dr. Schiffbauer studies pathways of exceptional preservation, largely focused at the Ediacaran–Cambrian transition during the­ dawn of animal life. Jim received his Honors BA in Biology from West Virginia University (2000), dual MS degrees in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecosystems from Nova Southeastern University (2004; advisor: Patricia Blackwelder), and a PhD in Geobiology from Virginia Tech (2009; advisor: Shuhai Xiao). Following a two-year post-doctoral position in the Virginia Tech Department of Geosciences, he spent a year as an Assistant Research Professor at the Virginia Tech Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science Nanoscale Characterization and Fabrication Laboratory and an Adjunct Professor in the Virginia Tech Department of Geosciences, studying advanced microbeam analytical methods in geosciences. Jim joined the Mizzou Department of Geological Sciences in 2012. He is broadly interested in the evolution and ecology of our earliest animal ancestors, and the geobiological and environmental factors that influence soft-tissue fossil preservation.

Education

Ph.D. in Geosciences (2009), Department of Geosciences, Virginia Tech (Advisor: Shuhai Xiao; Committee members: Michał Kowalewski, Kenneth Eriksson, Robert Bodnar, and Stephen Scheckler).

Dual M.S. in Marine Biology and Coastal Ecosystem Management (2004), Oceanographic Center, Nova Southeastern University (Advisor: Patricia Blackwelder; Committee members: Charles Messing and Bernardo Vargas-Angel).  

B.A. (Honors) in Biology (2000), Department of Biology, West Virginia University .

Current and Previous Positions

2012–current: Assistant Professor, Mizzou Department of Geological Sciences

2011­–2012: Research Assistant Professor, Virginia Tech Nanoscale Characterization and Fabrication Laboratory, Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science

2011–2012: Adjunct Professor, Virginia Tech Department of Geosciences

2009–2011: NASA Postdoctoral Research Associate, Virginia Tech Department of Geosciences

2003–2004: Miramar High School (Miramar, FL) Science Department and Honors Program Faculty

Research Interests

Taphonomy, focusing on examination of fossil preservation through the Proterozoic and early Phanerozoic

Taphonomic and geomicrobiological laboratory experimentation to investigate various taphonomic windows

Archean-Proterozoic geobiology, biogeochemistry, stable isotope geochemistry, sedimentology, and Earth system processes

Earth materials characterization and geobiological applications of advanced microbeam instrumentation

Current and Previous Graduate Students

Jesse Broce – PhD student, Mizzou (Primary advisor)

Tara Selly – MS student, Mizzou (Primary advisor)

Gretchen O'Neil – MS student, Mizzou (Primary advisor)

B. Danielle Cavender – MS student, Mizzou (Committee member; Primary advisor: K. Shelton)

Arianna Soldati – PhD student, Mizzou (Committee member; Primary advisor: Alan Whittington)

Page Quinton – PhD student, Mizzou (Committee member; Primary advisor: Ken MacLeod)

Mike Meyer – PhD, Virginia Tech (Committee member; Primary advisor: Shuhai Xiao; graduated 2013)

Jesse Broce – MS, Virginia Tech (Committee member; Primary advisor: Shuhai Xiao; graduated 2013)

Publications (pdfs available upon request)

In Press

41. Cortijo, I., Cai, Y., Hua, H., Schiffbauer, J.D., and Xiao, S. In press. Life history and autecology of an Ediacaran index fossil: Development and dispersal of Cloudina. Gondwana Research.

40. LoDuca, S.T., Caron, J.-B., Schiffbauer, J.D., Xiao, S., and Kramer, A. In press. A reexamination of Yuknessia from the Cambrian of British Columbia and Utah. Journal of Paleontology.

2014

39. Xiao, S., Muscente, A.D., Chen, L., Zhou, C., Schiffbauer, J.D., Wood, A.D., Polys, N.F., and Yuan, X. 2014. The Ediacaran Weng’an biota and the radiation of multicellular eukaryotes. National Science Review 1: 498–520.

38. Schiffbauer, J.D., Xiao, S., Cai, Y., Wallace, A.F., Hua, H., Hunter, J.L., Xu, H., Peng, Y., and Kaufman, A.J. 2014. A unifying model for Neoproterozoic–Paleozoic exceptional fossil preservation through pyritization and carbonaceous compression. Nature Communications 5:5754.

37. Schiffbauer, J.D., Wallace, A.F., Broce, J., and Xiao, S. 2014. Exceptional fossil conservation through phosphatization. The Paleontological Society Papers 20: 59–82.

36. Laflamme, M., Schiffbauer, J.D., and Darroch, S.A.F. 2014. Reading and writing of the fossil record: Preservational pathways to exceptional fossilization. The Paleontological Society Papers [Introduction article] 20: x–xi.

35. Esposito, R., Hunter, J., Schiffbauer, J.D., Shimizu, N., and Bodnar, R.J. 2014. An assessment of the reliability of melt inclusions as recorders of the pre-eruptive volatile content of magmas. American Mineralogist 99: 976–998.

34. Schiffbauer, J.D., and Xiao, S. 2014. An examination of life history and behavioral evolution across the Ediacaran–Cambrian transition. Journal of Paleontology [Introduction article] 88: 205–206.

33. Broce, J., Schiffbauer, J.D., Sen Sharma, K., Wang, G., and Xiao, S. 2014. Possible animal embryos from the Lower Cambrian (Stage 3) Shuijingtuo Formation, Hubei Province, South China. Journal of Paleontology 88: 385–394.

32. Meyer, M., Elliot, D., Schiffbauer, J.D., Hall, M., Hoffman, K.H., Schneider, G., Vickers-Rich, P., and Xiao, S. 2014. Taphonomy of the Ediacaran fossil Pteridinium simplex preserved three-dimensionally in mass flow deposits, Nama Group, Namibia. Journal of Paleontology 88: 240–252.

31. Cai, Y., Hua, H., Schiffbauer, J.D., Sun, B, and Yuan, X. 2014. Tube growth patterns and microbial mat-related lifestyles in the Ediacaran fossil Cloudina, Gaojiashan Lagerstätte, South China. Gondwana Research 25: 1008–1018.

30. Meyer, M., Xiao, S., Gill, B.C., Schiffbauer, J.D., Chen, Z., Zhou, C., and Yuan, X. 2014. Interactions between Ediacaran animals and microbial mats: Insights from Lamonte trevallis, a new trace fossil from the Dengying Formation of South China. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 396: 62–74.

2013

29. Vitek, N., Vinther, J., Schiffbauer, J.D., Briggs, D.E.G., and Prum, R. 2013. Preservation of structural coloration in a fossil feather.Paläontologische Zeitschrift 87: 493–503.

28. Pang, K., Tang, Q., Schiffbauer, J.D., Yao, J., Yuan, X., Wan, B., Chen, L., Ou, Z., and Xiao, S. 2013. The nature and origin of nucleus-like intracellular inclusions in Paleoproterozoic eukaryote microfossils. Geobiology 11: 499–510.

27. Laha, B., Bowman, D., and Schiffbauer, J.D. 2013. Validation of the MR simulation approach for evaluating the effects of immersion on visual analysis of volume data. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 19: 529–538.

26. Chen, Z., Zhou, C., Meyer, M., Xiang, K., Schiffbauer, J.D., Yuan, X., and Xiao, S. 2013. Reply to Comment on “Trace fossil evidence for Ediacaran bilaterian animals with complex behaviors”. Precambrian Research 231: 386–387.

25. Chen, Z., Zhou, C., Meyer, M., Xiang, K., Schiffbauer, J.D., Yuan, X., and Xiao, S. 2013. Trace fossil evidence for Ediacaran bilaterian animals with complex behaviors. Precambrian Research 224: 690–701.

2012

24. Tyler, C.L., and Schiffbauer, J.D. 2012. The fidelity of microstructural drilling predation traces to gastropod radula morphology: Paleoecological applications. Palaios 27: 658–666.

23. Schiffbauer, J.D., Wallace, A.F., Hunter, J.L., Kowalewski, M., Bodnar, R.J., and Xiao, S. 2012. Thermally-induced structural and chemical alteration of organic-walled microfossils: An experimental approach to understanding fossil preservation in metasediments. Geobiology 10: 402–423.

22. Darroch, S.A.F., Laflamme, M., Schiffbauer, J.D., and Briggs, D.E.G. 2012. Experimental formation of a microbial death mask. Palaios 27: 293–303.

21. Meyer, M., Schiffbauer, J.D., Xiao, S., Cai, Y., and Hua, H. 2012. Taphonomy of the late Ediacaran enigmatic ribbon-like fossilShaanxilithesPalaios 27: 354–372.

20. Cai, Y., Schiffbauer, J.D., Hua, H., and Xiao, S. 2012. Preservational modes in the Ediacaran Gaojiashan Lagerstätte: Pyritization, aluminosilicification, and carbonaceous compression. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 326–328: 109–117.

19. Zabini, C., Schiffbauer, J.D., Xiao, S., and Kowalewski, M. 2012. Biomineralization, taphonomy, and diagenesis of Paleozoic lingulid brachiopod shells preserved in silicified mudstone concretions. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 326–328: 118–127.

18. Laha, B., Sen Sharma, K., Schiffbauer, J.D., and Bowman, D. 2012. Effects of immersion on visual analysis of volume data. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 18: 597–606.

17. Xiao, S., Knoll, A.H., Schiffbauer, J.D., Zhou, C., and Yuan, X. 2012. Comment on “Fossilized nuclei and germination structures identify Ediacaran ‘animal embryos’ as encysting protists”. Science 335: 1169.

16. Schiffbauer, J.D., Xiao, S., Sen Sharma, K., and Wang, G. 2012. The origin of intracellular structures in Ediacaran metazoan embryos.Geology [Cover article] 40: 223–226.

15. Schiffbauer, J.D., and Laflamme, M. 2012. Lagerstätten through time: A collection of exceptional preservational pathways from the terminal Proterozoic through today. Palaios [Introduction article] 27: 275–278.

2011

14. Laflamme, M., Schiffbauer, J.D., and Narbonne, G.M. (2011) Deep-water microbially induced sedimentary structures (MISS) in deep time: The Ediacaran fossil Ivesheadia. In Noffke, N. and Chafetz, H. (eds.). Microbial mats in siliciclastic depositional systems through time; Series: SEPM Special Publications, no. 101, pgs. 111–123. 

13. Schiffbauer, J.D., and Xiao, S. 2011. Paleobiological applications of focused ion beam electron microscopy (FIB-EM): An ultrastructural approach to the (micro)fossil record. In Laflamme, M., Schiffbauer, J.D., and Dornbos, S.Q. (eds.). Quantifying the Evolution of Early Life: Numerical approaches to the evaluation of fossils and ancient ecosystems; Series: Topics in Geobiology. v. 36, ch. 13, pgs. 321–354, Springer.

12. Laflamme, M., Schiffbauer, J.D., and Dornbos, S.Q. 2011. Quantifying the evolution of early life. In Laflamme, M., Schiffbauer, J.D., and Dornbos, S.Q. (eds.). Quantifying the Evolution of Early Life: Numerical approaches to the evaluation of fossils and ancient ecosystems; Series: Topics in Geobiology [Introduction article] v. 36, pgs. xi–xiv, Springer. 

11. Cai, Y., Schiffbauer, J.D., Hua, H., and Xiao, S. 2011. Morphology and paleoecology of the late Ediacaran tubular fossil Conotubus hemiannulatus from the Gaojiashan Lagerstätte of southern Shaanxi Province, South China. Precambrian Research 191: 46–57.

10. Anderson, E.P., Schiffbauer, J.D., and Xiao, S. 2011. Taphonomic study of organic-walled microfossils confirms the importance of clay minerals and pyrite in Burgess Shale-type preservation. Geology 39: 643–646.

9. Laflamme, M., Schiffbauer, J.D., Briggs, D.E.G., and Narbonne, G.M. 2011. Microbial biofilms and the preservation of the Ediacara biota.Lethaia 44: 203–213.

8. Meng, F., Ni, P., Schiffbauer, J.D., Yuan, X., and Zhou, C. 2011. Ediacaran seawater temperature: Evidence from fluid inclusions in Sinian halite. Precambrian Research 184: 63­–69.

2010

7. Xiao, S., Schiffbauer, J.D., McFadden, K.A., and Hunter, J.L. 2010. Petrographic and SIMS pyrite sulfur isotope analyses of Ediacaran chert nodules: Implications for microbial processes in pyrite rim formation, silicification, and exceptional fossil preservation. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 297: 481–495.

6. Cai, Y., Hua, H., Xiao, S., Schiffbauer, J.D., and Li, P. 2010. Biostratinomy of the late Ediacaran pyritized Gaojiashan Lagerstätte from southern Shaanxi, South China: Importance of event deposits. Palaios [Cover article] 25: 487–506.

2009

5. Xiao, S., and Schiffbauer, J.D. 2009. Fossil Preservation through Phosphatization and Its Astrobiological Implications. In Seckbach, J., and Walsh, M. (eds.). From Fossils to Astrobiology; Series: Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology. v. 12, ch. 5, pgs. 89–118, Springer.

4. Schiffbauer, J.D. and Xiao, S. 2009. Novel application of focused ion beam electron microscopy (FIB-EM) in preparation and analysis of microfossil ultrastructures: A new view of complexity in early eukaryotic organisms. Palaios 24: 616–626.

2008

3. Schiffbauer, J.D., Yanes, Y., Tyler, C.L., Kowalewski, M., and Leighton, L.R. 2008. The microstructural record of predation: A new approach for identifying predatory drill holes. Palaios 23: 810–820.

2. Ji, L., Meng, F., Schiffbauer, J.D., Xu, J., Yan, K., and Shu, J. 2008. Correlation between highly abundant oil-prone leiosphaerid acritarchs and hydrocarbon source rocks from the Triassic Yanchang Formation, eastern Gansu Province, Northwestern China. Gondwana Research 14(3): 554-560.

2007

1. Schiffbauer, J.D., Yin, L., Bodnar, R.J., Kaufman, A.J., Meng, F., Hu, J., Shen, B., Yuan, X., Bao, H., and Xiao, S. 2007. Ultrastructural and geochemical characterization of Archean–Paleoproterozoic graphite particles: Implications for recognizing traces of life in highly metamorphosed rocks. Astrobiology 7(4): 684-704.

Edited Books

Laflamme, M., Schiffbauer, J.D., and Dornbos, S.Q. (eds.) 2011. Quantifying the Evolution of Early Life: Numerical approaches to the evaluation of fossils and ancient ecosystems; Series: Topics in Geobiology, Springer.
Reviewed by Donoghue, P.C.J. (2012) Geological Magazine 149, 557–558.

Edited Thematic Journal Issues

3. Laflamme, M., Schiffbauer, J.D., and Darroch, S.A.F. (eds.) October 2014. Reading and writing of the fossil record: Preservational pathways to exceptional fossilization. The Paleontological Society Papers.

2. Schiffbauer, J.D., and Xiao, S. (eds.) March 2014. An examination of life history and behavioral evolution across the Ediacaran–Cambrian transition. Journal of Paleontology.

1. Schiffbauer, J.D., and Laflamme, M. (eds.) May 2012. Lagerstätten through time: A collection of exceptional preservational pathways from the terminal Proterozoic through today. Palaios.

Professional Organizations and Service

Geological Society of America
GSA Geobiology & Geomicrobiology Division

Past Chair (2014–2016)
Chair (2012–2014)
Vice-Chair (2010–2012)
Secretary (2008–2010)

Paleontological Society

Microscopy Society of America

International Commission on Stratigraphy, Subcommission on Ediacaran Stratigraphy

Corresponding member (2005–present)
Ediacaran Stage 2 working group, International Commission on Stratigraphy Subcommission on Ediacaran Stratigraphy (2014–present)

NASA Astrobiology Institute Early Earth Focus Group

Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)

Certifications: Open-water, Advanced open-water, Scientific diving, Rescue diving, and SCUBA equipment technician