PhD, Geology, Harvard University – 1983
My research is motivated by a desire to understand the evolutionary processes that have formed the world in which we live and that have given shape to its history. Graptolites are the fossils on which I specialize. The particular segment of Earth history in which I work is the Ordovician Period. My work employs the principles of comparative morphological analysis, phylogenetic systematics, taphonomy, and quantitative stratigraphy. I am also engaged in studies of the geologic and stratigraphic history (basin analysis) of the regions in which my favorite fossils occur. My approach in all of these is to test specific hypotheses by quantitative means when ever possible but also to keep sight of the unique properties of biological and geological phenomena.
Chen, X., Chen, Z.Y., Mitchell, C.E., Chen, Q., Zhang, L.N. 2019. A restudy of the Sandbian to Katian (Upper Ordovician) graptolites from the East Qilianshan (Chilianshan), Northwest China. Journal of Paleontology, 93(6), 1175-1209. https://doi.org/10.1017/jpa.2019.55.
Melchin, M.J., Sheets, H.D., Mitchell, C.E., and Fan, J., 2017, A new approach to quantifying stratigraphical resolution: application to global stratotypes: Lethaia, v. 50, no. 3, p. 407-423, doi.org/10.1111/let.12193.
Boyle, J.T., Sheets, H.D., Wu, S-U. Goldman, D., Melchin, M.J., Cooper, R.A. Sadler P.M., and Mitchell, C.E., 2017, The Impact of Geographic Range, Sampling, Ecology, and Time on Extinction Risk in the Volatile Clade Graptoloida, Paleobiology, 43(1), 2017, pp. 85–113; DOI: 10.1017/pab.2016.33.
Boyer, D. L., and Mitchell, C. E., 2017, Aligned trace fossils from the Utica Shale: implications for mode of life and feeding in the trilobite Triarthrus beckii: Lethaia, v. 50, no. 1, p. 69-78. DOI 10.1111/let.12177
Sheets, H. David, Mitchell, Charles E., Melchin, Michael, J., Loxton, Jason, Štorch, Peter, Carlucci, Kristi L., and Hawkins, Andrew D., 2016, Graptolite community responses to global climate change and the Late Ordovician mass extinction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(30): 8380–8385, doi:10.1073/pnas.1602102113.
Boyer, D. and Mitchell, Charles E., 2016, Aligned trace fossils from the Utica Shale: implications for mode of life and feeding in the trilobite Triarthrus beckii. Lethaia, Early view: doi/10.1111/let.12177.
Sell, K. Bryan, Samson, Scott D., Mitchell, Charles E., McLaughlin, Patrick I., Koenig, Alan E., and Leslie, Stephen A., 2015. Stratigraphic correlations using trace elements in apatite from Late Ordovician (Sandbian-Katian) K-bentonites of eastern North America. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 127(9/10): 1259–1274; doi: 10.1130/B31194.1.
Kraft, P., Štorch, P., and Mitchell, C.E., 2015, Graptolites of the late Katian Králův Dvůr Formation (Ordovician; Prague Basin, Czech Republic), Bulletin of Geosciences, 90(1), 195–225, http://www.geology.cz/bulletin/contents/art1435.
Boyle, J. T., Sheets, H. D., Wu, S.-Y., Goldman, D., Melchin, M. J., Cooper, R. A., Sadler, P. M., and Mitchell, C. E., 2014. A re-examination of the contributions of biofacies and geographic range to extinction risk in Ordovician graptolites. GFF, 136(1): 38–41, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/11035897.2013.861864
Fan Jun-xuan, Chen Qing, Hou Xu-dong, Miller, A.I., Melchin, M.J., Shen Shu-zhong, Wu Shuang-ye, Goldman, D., Mitchell, C.E., Yang Qun, Zhang Yuan-dong, Zhan Ren-bin, Wang Jun, Leng Qin, Zhang Hua, and Zhang Linna, 2013. Geobiodiversity Database: a comprehensive section-based integration of stratigraphic and paleontological data. Newsletters on Stratigraphy, Vol. 46/2 (2013), 111–136.
Holmden, C., Mitchell, C. E., LaPorte, D. F., Patterson, W. P., Melchin, M. J., and Finney, S. C., 2013, Nd isotope records of late Ordovician sea-level change—implications for glaciation frequency and global stratigraphic correlation: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 386:131-144.
*Melchin, M. J., Mitchell, C. E., Holmden, C., and Štorch, P., 2013 Environmental changes in the Late Ordovician-early Silurian: review and new insights from black shales and nitrogen isotopes. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 125(11/12):1635-1670. *invited paper in special series to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the publication of the GSA Bulletin.
Mitchell, Charles E., Melchin, Michael J., Cameron, Chris B., and Maletz, Jörg, 2013. Phylogenetic Analysis Reveals that Rhabdopleura is an Extant Graptolite. Lethaia, 46(1): 34-56. DOI: 10.1111/j.1502-3931.2012.00319.x
Sheets, H. D., Mitchell, C. E., Izard, Z. T., Willis, J. M., Melchin, M. J. and Holmden, C., 2012. Horizon annealing: a collection-based approach to automated sequencing of the fossil record. Lethaia 45(4): 532-547
Bapst, D. W., Bullock, P. C., Melchin, M. J., Sheets, H. D. & Mitchell, C. E., 2012: Graptoloid diversity and disparity became decoupled during the Ordovician mass extinction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109: 3428-3433.
Goldman, Daniel, Mitchell, Charles E., Melchin, Michael J., Fan Junxuan, Wu Shuang-Ye and Sheets, H. David. 2011, Biogeography and Mass Extinction: Extirpation and re-invasion of Normalograptus species (Graptolithina) in the Late Ordovician Palaeotropics, Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, 58: 227-246.
Loxton, J., Melchin, M.J., Mitchell, C.E., and Senior, S.J.H. 2011. Ontogeny and astogeny of the graptolite genus Appendispinograptus (Li and Li, 1985), Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, 58: 253-260.
Melchin, M. J., Mitchell, C. E., Naczk-Cameron, A., Fan J. X. and Loxton, J. 2011, Phylogeny and Adaptive Radiation of the Neograptina (Graptoloida) During the Hirnantian Mass Extinction and Silurian Recovery, Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, 58: 281-309.