Faculty Profile

Stanley Awramik


Earth Science

Stanley Awramik


Department of Earth Science
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106

tel: (805) 893-3830

Personal web site

Research Description

Awramiks interests center on understanding the early history of life on Earth. His major focus is on the fossil record during the Archean and Proterozoic, specifically on microbial fossils and stromatolites.


Early on, Awramik was torn between music and geology for college. He chose geology (it seemed easier) and went to Boston University. Although a geology major, he played French horn in the orchestra. As the passion for fossils and the history of life developed, Awramik had to abandon the horn (it's still in my closet). He went on to Harvard for his PhD where his passion for ancient life developed further. It was while he was a graduate student that he was given the opportunity to travel to remote regions, such as southern and western Australia, NW Kenya, and South Africa. Travel and field work have been loves of Awramik's ever since. He came to UCSB right after Harvard, 32 years ago. The travel bug is shared by his wife and daughter, and they've added SCUBA diving to our travels.


  • Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Selected Publications

  • Stromatolites: Biogenicity, biosignatures, and bioconfusion, Proceedings of SPIE, 2005, 5906:59906P1-59906P19, Awramik, S.M. and Grey, K.
  • A complex microbiota from snowball Earth times: Microfossils from the Neoproterozoic Kingston Peak Formation, Death Valley, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 100(8), 2003, 4399-4404, Corsetti, F.A., Awramik, S.M., and Pierce, D.
  • The Gaoyuzhuang Paleobiology, Acta Botanica Sinica, 44(5), 2002, 617-627, Xu, Z.L. and Awramik, S.M.
  • New microorganisms from the Gaoyuzhuang Formation of northern Taihang Mountains, China, Acta Botanica Sinica, 43(3), 2001, 295-311, Xu, Z.L. and Awramik, S.M.
  • Evidence for initial calcite-aragonite composition of Lower Algal Chert Member ooids and stromatolites, Paleoproterozoic Gunflint Formation, Ontario, Canada, Canadian Journal Earth Sciences, 37(9), 2000, 1229-1243, Sommers, M.G., Awramik, S.M., and Woo, K.S.
  • Microbial Sediments, 2000, 331, Riding, R.E. and Awramik, S.M.
  • Microbialite morphostratigraphy as a tool for correlating Late Cambrian-Early Ordovician sequences, Journal of Geology, 108(2), 2000, 171-180, Shapiro, R.S. and Awramik, S.M.
  • Oncoids of the Late Pleistocene Manix Formation, Mojave Desert region, California, San Bernardino County Museum Association Quarterly, 47(2), 2000, 25-31, Awramik, S.M., Buchheim, H.P., Leggitt, L., and Woo, K.S.
  • Using chemostratigraphy to correlate and calibrate unconformities in Neoproterozoic strata from the southern Great Basin, USA, International Geology Review, 42(6), 2000, 516-533, Corsetti, F.A., Awramik, S.M., Pierce, D., and Kaufman, A.J.
  • The evolution and diversification of life, Planets and Life: The Emerging Field of Astrobiology, Awramik, S.M. and McNamara, K.J.