Meet Dr. Max Christie, New Lecturer in Geology

Posted on 06.30.2017
Max Field Photograph

Dr. Jackie Wittmer Malinowsky, our lecturer in Paleontology and Sedimentary Geology for the last three and a half years, will be moving on to a tenure-track position at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Geneseo.  We wish Jackie well as she embarks on the next phase of her career, and we are very grateful for her boundless energy and many contributions to our programs during her time here.

Thanks to the dedicated work of a search committee (Steve Altaner, chair; Jess Conroy, Bruce Fouke, and Michael Stewart) we found an excellent new lecturer.

The department is happy to welcome Max Christie, who has defended his dissertation at Penn State and will complete his PhD this summer.  Max is eager to join us in August, and wrote to us from his field area:  "I am really excited to start at UIUC in the fall! My background is in education and I'm passionate about teaching, so lecturing for the Geology department is a dream come true. Looking forward to meeting my new students and showing them how cool geology is!"  Max taught high school science before embarking on his graduate work, and has a great love for teaching, and engaging with students.

Max is a paleontologist interested in how extinction affects ecosystems.  He uses principles of stratigraphy, ecology, and statistics to figure out how communities of animals have changed through time. Right now, he is working on an extinction event that happened about 2.5 million years ago and affected marine animals up and down the southeastern coast of the United States.  He has also worked on Ordovician, Devonian, Mississippian, and Permian fossils around the country.  Max writes,  "My work has me collecting new samples all the time, so I'll see you in the field!"

Caption for the photo above:  "Hi from Last Chance Canyon in New Mexico. The cliffs in this picture are Permian sandstones and carbonates and I spent a week this summer helping collect paleoecological samples, measuring stratigraphy, and building a 3D model of the outcrop through aerial drone imagery. "