Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Richard Barclay

Research Geologist

I am a paleobotanist who uses fossil plants to solve geological problems. I study deep-time fossil plant records, integrate those with high-resolution geochemical records, and work within temporally well-constrained sections to maximize the results of my efforts. My research interests focus on 4 main areas: 1) global carbon cycle perturbations; 2) paleoclimate change; 3) mass extinction events; and 4) species evolution and radiation.

Department / Division
  • Ph.D. Northwestern University, 2011
  • M.S. University of Florida, 2002
  • B.S. Western Washington University, 1996
Additional Resources

Personal Research Web Site:

  • Milligan, Joseph N., Flynn, Andrew G., Kowalczyk, Jennifer B., Barclay, Richard S., Geng, Jie, Royer, Dana L., and Peppe, Daniel J. 2022. "Moderate to Elevated Atmospheric CO2 During the Early Paleocene Recorded by Platanites Leaves of the San Juan Basin, New Mexico." Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 37, (4).
  • Milligan, Joseph N., Flynn, Andrew G., Wagner, Jennifer D., Kouwenberg, Lenny L. R., Barclay, Richard S., Byars, Bruce W., Dunn, Regan E., White, Joseph D., Zechmann, Bernd, and Peppe, Daniel J. 2021. "Quantifying the effect of shade on cuticle morphology and carbon isotopes of sycamores: present and past." American Journal of Botany, 108, (12) 2435–2451.
  • Baker, Sarah J., Belcher, Claire M., Barclay, Richard S., Hesselbo, Stephen P., Laurin, Jiri, and Sageman, Bradley B. 2020. "CO2-induced climate forcing on the fire record during the initiation of Cretaceous oceanic anoxic event 2." Geological Society of America Bulletin, 132, (1-2) 321–333.
  • Fetter, Karl C., Eberhardt, Sven, Barclay, Rich S., Wing, Scott L., and Keller, Stephen R. 2019. "StomataCounter: a neural network for automatic stomata identification and counting." New Phytologist, 223, (3) 1671–1681.
  • Laurin, Jiri, Barclay, Richard S., Sageman, Bradley B., Dawson, Robin R., Pagani, Mark, Schmitz, Mark, Eaton, Jeffrey, McInerney, Francesca A., and McElwain, Jennifer C. 2019. "Terrestrial and marginal-marine record of the mid-Cretaceous Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE 2): High-resolution framework, carbon isotopes, CO2 and sea-level change." Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 524 118–136.
  • Lyson, T. R., Miller, I. M., Bercovici, A. D., Weissenburger, K., Fuentes, A. J., Clyde, W. C., Hagadorn, J. W., Butrim, M. J., Johnson, K. R., Fleming, R. F., Barclay, R. S., Maccracken, S. A., Lloyd, B., Wilson, G. P., Krause, D. W., and Chester, S. G. B. 2019. "Exceptional continental record of biotic recovery after the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction." Science, 366, (6468) 977–+.
  • Soul, Laura C., Barclay, Richard S., Bolton, Amy, and Wing, Scott L. 2019. "Fossil Atmospheres: a case study of citizen science in question-driven palaeontological research." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 374, (1763) 20170388.
  • Percival, Lawrence M. E., Jenkyns, Hugh C., Mather, Tamsin A., Dickson, Alexander J., Batenburg, Sietske J., Ruhl, Micha, Hesselbo, Stephen P., Barclay, Richard, Jarvis, Ian, Robinson, Stuart A., and Woelders, Lineke. 2018. "Does Large Igneous Province Volcanism always Perturb the Mercury Cycle? Comparing the Records of Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 and the End-Cretaceous to Other Mesozoic Events." American Journal of Science, 318, (8) 799–860.
  • Urban, Michael A., Barclay, Richard S., Sivaguru, Mayandi, and Punyasena, Surangi W. 2018. "Cuticle and subsurface ornamentation of intact plant leaf epidermis under confocal and superresolution microscopy." Microscopy research and technique, 81, (2) 129–140.
  • Tesfamichael, Tekie, Jacobs, Bonnie, Tabor, Neil, Michel, Lauren, Currano, Ellen, Feseha, Mulugeta, Barclay, Richard, Kappelman, John, and Schmitz, Mark. 2017. "Settling the issue of "decoupling" between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature: [CO2](atm) reconstructions across the warming Paleogene-Neogene divide." Geology, 45, (11) 999–1002.

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