Scott Starratt


I am a micropaleontologist who uses diatoms, chrysophytes, testate amoebae, and foraminifera to reconstruct the past environments of lakes, estuaries, and the ocean. In addition to these biological proxies, I use sediment geochemistry (biogenic silica, inorganic geochemistry, grain size) data to provide a more complete picture of paleoenvironmental conditions.




2004 - Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley (Geography)


1989 - M.A. University of California, Berkeley (Paleontology)


1981 - B.A. Whitman College (Geology-Chemistry)


1981 - B.A. Whitman College (Biology)



Professional Experience


2009 - Present       Research Geologist, Volcano Science Center


2002 - 2009            Geologist, Volcano Science Center


1996 - 2010            Adjunct Professor, University of California, San Francisco State University, Berkeley City College, College of San Mateo, and Canada College


1996 - 2002            Physical Science Technician, Volcano Science Center


1990 - 1995            Geologist, Technical Reports Unit


1989 - 1990            Field Technician, Utah Geological and Mineral Survey


1983 - 1987            Senior Museum Preparator, University of California Museum of Paleontology


1981 - 1983,           Geologist, Bechtel Civil and Minerals



Selected Publications


Research Papers


STARRATT, S.W., 1993, Late Quaternary paleoceanography of the Pervenets Canyon area of the Bering Sea: Evidence from the diatom flora: Diatom Research, v. 8, no. 1, p. 159-170.


Grantz, Art, Phillips, R.L., Mullen, M.W., STARRATT, S.W., Jones, G.A., Naidu, Sathy, and Finney, B.P., 1996, Character, paleoenvironment, and rate of Holocene sedimentation on the Canada abyssal plain, Amerasia Basin, Arctic Ocean:  Marine Geology, v. 133, p. 51-73. 


STARRATT, S.W., 1995, Latest Quaternary foraminifers and sediment transport in Pervenets Canyon, Bering Sea: Marine Micropaleontology, v. 26, p. 233-243.


Byrne, Roger, Ingram, B.L., STARRATT, SCOTT, Malamud-Roam, Frances, Collins, J.N., and Conrad, M.E., 2001, Carbon-isotope, diatom, and pollen evidence for late Holocene salinity change in a brackish marsh in northern California: Quaternary Research, v. 55, p. 66-76. 


STARRATT, S.W., 2002, Diatoms as indicators of freshwater flow variation in central California: in West, G.J., and Buffaloe, L.D., eds. Proceedings of the Eighteenth Annual Pacific Climate Workshop, Technical Report 58 of the Interagency Ecological Program for the San Francisco Estuary, p. 129-143.


STARRATT, S.W., Barron, John A., Kneeshaw, Tara,, Phillips, R. Larry, Bischoff, James L., Lowenstern, Jacob B., and James A. Wanket, 2003, A Holocene record from Medicine Lake, Siskiyou County, California: Preliminary diatom, pollen, geochemical, and sedimentological data: in West, G.J., and Blomquist, N.L., eds. Proceedings of the Nineteenth Annual Pacific Climate Workshop, Technical Report 71 of the Interagency Ecological Program for the San Francisco Estuary, p. 131-148. 


STARRATT, S.W., 2004, Diatoms as indicators of late Holocene freshwater flow variation in the San Francisco Bay estuary, central California, U.S.A.: in Poulin, Michel, ed., Proceedings of the Seventeenth International Diatom Symposium, Bristol, Biopress Limited, p. 371-397.


STARRATT, S.W., 2007, Diatoms in estuaries and tidal marshes: The Paleontological Society Papers, v. 13, p. 85-110.


STARRATT, S.W., 2007, Long-term records of continental diatoms: Paleolimnology and biochronology: The Paleontological Society Papers, v. 13, p. 111-120.


STARRATT, S.W., 2009, Holocene climate on the Modoc Plateau, northern California, USA: The view from Medicine Lake: Hydrobiologia, v. 631, p. 197-211.


Anderson, R.S., STARRATT, S.W., Brunner, R.M., and Pinter, N., 2009, Fire and vegetation history of Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands, and the long-term environmental change in southern California: Journal of Quaternary Science, DOI: 10.1002/jqs.1358 


Hackley, P.C., SanFilipo, J.R., Azizi, G.P., Davis, P.A., and STARRATT, S.W., 2010, Organic petrology of subbituminous carbonaceous shale samples from Chalaw, Kabul Province, Afghanistan: Considerations for paleoenvironment and energy resource potential: International Journal of Coal Geology, v. 81, p. 269-280.


STARRATT, S.W., 2012, Holocene Diatom Flora and Climate History of Medicine Lake, Northern California, USA: Nova Hedwigia, v. 141, p. 485-504.


STARRATT, S.W. and, Anderson, R.S., 2013, Preliminary Report on the Late Pleistocene and Holocene Diatoms of Swamp Lake, Yosemite National Park, California, USA: Proceedings of the 21st International Diatom Symposium. 


Mensing, S.A., Sharpe, S.E., Tunno, I., Thomas, J.M., STARRATT, S.W., and Smith, J., 2013, The late Holocene dry period: Multiproxy evidence for an extended drought between 2800 and 1850 cal yr BP across the central Great Basin: Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 78, p. 266-282. 


STARRATT, S.W., 2014, Preliminary analysis of the role of lake basin morphology on the modern diatom flora in the Ruby Mountains and East Humboldt Range, Nevada, USA, Mountain Views, v. 8, no. 1, p. 8-13.


Miller, D.M., Reynolds, R.E., Bright, J.E., and STARRATT, S.W., 2014, Bouse Formation in the Bristol basin near Amboy, California, USA, Geosphere; June 2014; v. 10; no. 3; p. 462–475; doi:10.1130/GES00934.1


Maier, K.L., Gatti, E., Wan, E., Ponti, D.J., Pagenkopp, M., STARRATT, S.W., Olson, H.A., and Tinsley, 2015, Quaternary Research, v. 83, p. 378-393.


Edited Volumes


STARRATT, S. W. and Blomquist, Nikki L., eds., 2004, Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual Pacific Climate Workshop, Technical Report 72 of the Interagency Ecological Program for the San Francisco Estuary, 156 p.


STARRATT, S.W., Cornelius, P., and Joelson, Jr., J.G., 2007, Proceedings of the Twenty-First Annual Pacific Climate Workshop, Technical Report 77 of the Interagency Ecological Program for the San Francisco Estuary, 146 p.


STARRATT, S.W., ed., 2007, Pond Scum to Carbon Sink: Geological and Environmental Applications of the Diatoms: The Paleontological Society Papers, v. 13, 193 p.


STARRATT, S.W. and MacDonald, G., eds., 2008, Proceedings of the Twenty-Second Pacific Climate Workshop: Quaternary International, v. 188, p. 1-184.


Buczko, K., Korponai, J., Padisak, J., and STARRATT, S.W., eds., 2009, Paleolimnological proxies as tools of environmental reconstruction in fresh water: Hydrobiologia, v. 631, p. 1-327.


STARRATT, S.W., 2010, ed., 23rd Pacific Climate Workshop (PACLIM): Quaternary International, v. 215, p. 1-105.


STARRATT, S.W., 2011, ed., PACLIM: Proceedings of the 24th Pacific Climate Workshop, 2009: Quaternary International, v. 235, p. 1-127.


STARRATT, S.W., 2013, ed., PACLIM: Proceedings of the 25th Pacific Climate Workshop, 2011: Quaternary International, v. 310, p. 1-198, 227-246.