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Joseph Mohan

PhD Student

Joseph Mohan

Contact Information


I am a PhD student working with Dr. Jasmine Saros on the diatom record from Herd Lake, Idaho. My research interests involve using fossils to interpret paleoenvironments and paleoclimate change.


As an undergraduate at Central Michigan University I participated in research projects in petrology, structural geology, petroleum geology, and most of all paleontology. Under the advisement of Dr. Reed Wicander, I completed a project using fossil polychaete jaws (scolecodonts) from the Devonian Gravel Point Formation of NW Michigan to aid in identifying a late Devonian extinction event that was likely caused by anoxic conditions of in the Michigan Basin when it was cut off from the rest of the Rheic Ocean. After Graduating with a B.S. in Geology I work at Pace Analytical, an environmental laboratory, for one year before starting graduate school.


I completed an M.S. in Earth Science from Indiana State University. There, Dr. Jeffery Stone introduced me to the wonderful world of diatoms. My research was centered around the Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) which is an international effort of over 40 senior scientist and laboratories investigating the climate history of human and early hominin evolution in East Africa. My project was a diatom based paleoenvironmental reconstruction of Paleolake Hadar from the Pliocene Hadar Formation. I also described three new species of diatom from this formation.


Now I aim to use novel tactics to reconstruct drought and other climate variability of Idaho for the past ~2000 years.



In Press

  • Mohan, J., Stone, J. R., Nicholson, K., Neumann, K., Dowling, C., & Sharma, S. Lindavia biswashanti, a new Bacillariophyta (diatom) from the highest elevation
    lakes in the world, Himalayan Range, Nepal.
  • Brindel, M., Mohan, J., Beck, C., & Stone, J. R.
    Three novel species of Bacillariophyta (Diatoms) in the genera Surirella and
    Thalassiosira from Pleistocene Paleolake Lorenyang (~2 - 1.6 Ma)
    Turkana Basin, Kenya.

Additional Publications

  • Mohan, J.,
    Taxonomy and Paleolimnology of the Bacillariophyceae (Diatoms) from
    lacustrine sequences in the Pliocene Hadar Formation,
    Afar Regional State, Ethiopia
    Thesis: Indiana State University
  • Mohan, J., Stone, J. R., & Campisano, C. J.
    Three novel species of Bacillariophyta (Diatoms) Belonging to Aulacoseira and
    Lindavia from the Pliocene Hadar Formation, Afar Depression of Ethiopia
    Phytotaxa 272 (4): 235–247

    For more information: Read abstract or Download file (PDF)

  • Mohan, J.,
    A Paleoenvironmental Analysis of the Middle Devonian Gravel Point
    Formation, Western Michigan
    The Professional Geologist 50(6) p.12-16

    For more information: Download file (PDF)


Indiana State University

“Night at the museum” family friendly open house of laboratories: 2015-2017

Diatoms of the United States

Taxon Contributor, 2016-

Geological Society of America

   North Central Section Meeting undergraduate poster session judge: 2016


  • 2015 to 2016 — $300.00 — Graduate Student Research Fund from Indiana State University


M.S. Indiana State University, 2017; B.S. Central Michigan University, 2014

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