(John) David Bukry, PhD

Title: Geologist
Location: Menlo Park, California, United States

David Bukry, PhD, Geologist, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in climate change, silicoflagellates, and biostratigraphy with calcareous nannoplankton.

Dr. Bukry’s achievements include research in stratigraphy, paleoecology and taxonomy for 300 new species of marine nannoplankton, which have been used in ocean history studies. He has also contributed to the study of global climate change during the Holocene period showing Medieval Warm and the Little Ice Age in nannoplankton cored in the Gulf of California, Santa Barbara basin and Gulf of Alaska. These achievements, along with working for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography are just some of the contributions in his career. Dr. Bukry worked for more than three decades in the field and provided his services for the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Minerals Management Service, Mobil Oil Company and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He became scientist emeritus of the U.S. Geological Service in 1998 and retired from Scripps in 2003 after initially joining the institution in 1970. Furthermore, Dr. Bukry has consulted on deep sea drilling projects, lectured at Columbia University and the University of California, presented at international conferences and collaborated with various institutions to research and study various geological interests including ocean nannoplankton biostratigraphy.

When Dr. Bukry was a child he discovered horn corals in his grandfather’s field in South Jersey. These fossils were left over from the New York State glaciation. As he got older and learned more about fossils and the natural world, he pursued higher education at Johns Hopkins University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in 1963, and then at Princeton University. He earned a Master of Arts and a PhD at Princeton in 1965 and 1967, respectively. In his career, he focused on his scientific specialty of ocean nannoplankton biostratigraphy. He was involved the National Science Foundation (JOIDES) Deep Sea Drilling Project from 1968 to 1987 and was the onboard nannopaleontologist for 5 legs of the D/V Glomar Challenger (Legs 1, 6, 16, 32, & 63), publishing nannoplankton papers for more than 50 of the first 95 Legs around the world.  His biostratigraphic zonation and new species for Cretaceous and Tertiary ocean strata cores provided correlation and continuity between DSDP Legs. His descriptions of 300 new species of calcareous nannoplankton and silicoflagellates has improved the biostratigraphic precision for JOIDES ocean coring since 1968. This research was applied to coastal onshore biostratigraphy by providing geologic timescales for USGS mapping projects in California, Florida, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington from 1968 to 2014. These supported plate tectonic and stratigraphic interpretation papers.

During his work, he became a fellow of the Geological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was a member of such organizations as the American Chemical Society and American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Beginning in 1998, Dr. Bukry’s studies turned to paleoecology of silicoflagellates for USGS climate change studies along the Pacific Coast from the Gulf of Alaska to the Gulf of California. Cold and warm water species of fossil silicoflagellate floras identified climate events and trends from the late Quaternary and Holocene for comparison to modern climate change conditions.

For more information, please visit:

Lifetime Achievement 

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