Bennett Slibeck

Bennett Slibeck is a PhD candidate at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), where he studies dinosaur footprints, the End Triassic Extinction, and global environmental change through the Mesozoic. Bennett works with Dr. Paul Olsen and was awarded the NSF graduate research fellowship in 2023, to aid in the completion of his degree. In 2021, he designed and implemented the creation of the Quantitative Morphometrics Computing Facility at LDEO, enabling his research into high resolution digital modeling, with a special focus on ichnofssil photogrammetry. His master’s research focused on The End Triassic Extinction and The Rise of Dinosaur Dominated Ecosystems in the Newark Basin, with a special focus on the use of “ichnocladistics” as a conceptual framework for interpreting the trace fossil record.

As an indigenous scientist, Bennett is also keenly focused on environmental justice, and is a part of ongoing collaboration between Columbia University and the Navajo Nation to understand the distribution of geogenic groundwater contaminants in the nations water supply. CLEANN (the Collaboration to Lower Arsenic Exposure on the Navajo Nation) sits at the intersection of public health, hard rock geology, and environmental justice. He firmly believes that it is incumbent upon all of us to repair the damaged relationships between scientists and indigenous communities and hopes that his own continued efforts in this field will enrich the world around him.

Bennett considers himself a storyteller above all else, and notes that paleontology provides our best framework for navigating an increasingly volatile future. Through his career as a scientist and educator, Bennett hopes to inspire people to see the deeply intrinsic sense of wonder gained through careful observation of any natural system, such that they carry that wonder with them into a more beautiful world.


MA in Earth Science: Columbia University (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)

BA in Earth Science: Columbia University (Columbia College)

Honors & Awards

Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning - CIRTL Fellow - 2023-2024

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship - Awardee - 2023

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship - Honorable Mention - 2023

Provost's Diversity Fellowship - Columbia University - 2021

Moussallam, Y., Lee, H., Ding, S., DeLessio, M., Everard, J., Spittle, E., Lu, G., Baur, J., Glazer, E., Peccia, A., Zaman, M., Alper, N., & Slibeck, B., 2023, Temperature of the Villarrica lava lake from 1963 to 2015 constrained by phase-equilibrium. Journal of Petrology.

Olsen, P., Fang, Y., Chang, C., Sues, H.-D., Slibeck, B., Fu, Q., & Yu, C., 2022, Late Triassic-Early Jurassic continental vertebrates and their environmental context from the Junggar Basin, Xinjiang, NW China, for Sha, J., Vajda, V., Olsen, P. E., Zhang, H., & Slater, S. (eds.), The Late Triassic and Jurassic of the Junggar Basin, China - Advances in Paleontology.  and Environments, Special Publications, Geological Society of London.