Richard Mitterer

Richard Mitterer

Professor Emeritus - Geosciences
Tags: present and past carbon cycle of the Earth global changes throughout Earth's history high concentrations of methane and hydrogen sulfide in sediment cores off southern coast of Australia

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Geology
Florida State University - 1966
Franklin and Marshall College - 1960

Research Areas

Research Interests

My interests are the present and past carbon cycle of the Earth and global changes throughout Earth history.

More specific research interests within this field are the fate of organic compounds in the sedimentary environment, applications of organic geochemistry in petroleum exploration, role of organic compounds in calcium carbonate precipitation, invertebrate calcification, and perturbations of the carbon cycle over geologic time.

My current project is the origin of high concentrations of methane and hydrogen sulfide in cores off the southern coast of Australia collected during Leg 182 of the Ocean Drilling Program.


Mitterer, R.M. (2010) Methanogenesis and sulfate reduction in marine sediments: A new model. Earth & Planetary Science Letters 295, 358-366. 2010 - Publication
Mitterer, R.M., Malone, M.J., Goodfriend, G.A., Swart, P.K., Wortmann, U.G., Logan, G.A., Feary, D.A. and Hine, A.C. (2001) Co-Generation of hydrogen sulfide and methane in marine carbonate sediments. Geophysical Research Letters 28, 3931-3934. 2001 - Publication
Swart, P.K., Wortmann, U.G., Mitterer, R.M., Malone, M.J., Smart, P.L., Feary, D., Hine, A.C., and ODP Leg 182 Scientific Party (2000) Hydrogen sulphide-rich hydrates and saline fluids in the continental margin of South Australia. Geology 28, 1039-1042. 2000 - Publication
Mitterer, R.M. (2000) The Biosphere. In McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, N.Y. 2000 - Publication
Napitupulu, H., Ellis, L. and Mitterer, R.M. (2000) Post-generative alteration effects on petroleum in the onshore Northwest Java Basin, Indonesia. Organic Geochem. 31 , 295-315. 2000 - Publication
Napitupulu, H., Mitterer, R.M., and Morelos-Garcia, J. A. (1997) Differentiation of oils from NW Java Basin into three oil types based on biomarker composition. In Petroleum Systems in SW Asia and Australasia (J.V.C. Howes and FLA. Noble, eds.), Indonesian Petroleum Association, Jakarta, pp. 667-679. 1997 - Publication
Goodfriend, G. A. and Mitterer, R.M. (1993) A 45,000-year record of a tropical lowland biota: the land snail fauna from cave sediments at Coco Flee, Jamaica. Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer. 105, 18-29. 1993 - Publication
Mitterer, R.M. (1993) The early diagenesis of organic matter in fossil shells. In Organic Geochemistry (M. H. Engel and S. A. Macko, eds.), Plenum Press, pp. 739-753. 1993 - Publication


Summer Faculty Fellowship
NASA-Ames Research Center [1995–1995]
Department of Energy. Washington, D.C [1989–1992]
Summer Faculty Fellowships
NASA-Ames Research Center [1985–1986]
The University of Texas at Dallas [1975–1985]
Assistant Professor to Associate Professor to Professor
The University of Texas at Dallas [1967–Present]
Pre-doctoral and Post-doctoral Fellow
Carnegie Institution of Washington [1965–1967]

Additional Information

Dissertations and Theses Supervised
  • Linda S. S. Smith, PhD, 2004. Carbonate Diagenesis and Paleoclimate of the Desmoinesian Lower Ismay Zone, Paradox Basin, S.E. Utah.
  •  Lena Ella Boettcher, MS, 2002. Maturation Study of the Woodford Shale from Selected Rock Samples in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico.
  •  W. Dallam Masterson IV, PhD, 2001. Petroleum Filling History of Central Alaskan North Slope Field.
  •  Haposan Napitupulu, PhD, 1998. Organic Geochemistry and Thermal Maturity Modeling of Hydrocarbon Generation in the NW Java Basin, Indonesia.
  •  Chairul Syafri, MS, 1997. Geochemical Evaluation of the Oils and Source Rocks of the South Pallembang Sub-Basin, South Sumatra, Indonesia.
  •  Javier Alejandro Morelos, PhD, 1996. Geochemical evaluation of southern Tampico-Misantla Basin, Mexico : Oil-oil and oil source rock correlations.
  •  Nathaniel R. Miller, PhD, 1995. Lithostratigraphic signal evaluation of the Miocene Monterey Formation, South Elwood Offshore Field, California.
  •  James F. Reilly II, PhD, 1995. Geologic controls on the distribution of chemosynthetic communities in the Gulf of Mexico.
  •  Chia-Hsin "Charlie" Wu, PhD, 1991. Depositional environments and source rock investigations of the Oligocene to Middle Miocene deposits in the Ardjuna Basin, Offshore Northwest Java, Indonesia.
  •  Leon I. P. Dzou, PhD, 1990. Quantitative study of biomarkers in coals and vitrinite concentrates of different maturity and a geochemical study of oils and condensates from K Field, offshore Taiwan.
  •  Michael W. Ehlebracht, MS, 1990. Transfer of petroleum hydrocarbons to water: A laboratory study.
  •  Warren E. Neff, MS, 1989. Cyclic sequences in the Austin Chalk, south Texas.
  •  Roger M. Miranda, MS, 1988. Geochemical variations in sedimentary organic matter within a one hundred meter shale core of uniform lithology and thermal history (Middle Tuscaloosa, Upper Cretaceous).
  •  Charles Thomas Roberts, MS, 1988. Cyclic variation of the Woodford Formation of south central Oklahoma.
  •  Alan Anthony Parent, MS, 1987. The depositional environment and diagenetic history of the Pennsylvanian Pottsville Formation in the Black Warrior Basin.
  •  Glenn G. Hilton, MS, 1986. The depositional environment and diagenetic history of the "Palo Pinto Sandstone" in Callahan Co., Texas.
  •  James O. Crump, Jr., MS, 1985. Lithofacies analysis and paleoenvironmental history of the Early Ordovician Upper Kindblade Formation, Arbuckle Mountains, south-central Oklahoma.
  •  Iyh-Ping Dzou, MS, Fall 1985. In situ and pyrolytic hydrocarbons in carbonate sediments from Florida Bay.
  •  Robert P. Murphy, MS, 1985. Investigation of the potential source rocks for the granite wash hydrocarbons, Washita County Oklahoma.
  •  John R. Nutini, MS, 1985. A short-term trend analysis of recent coastal sedimentation subsequent to Hurricane Alicia on Galveston and Follets Island, Texas.
  •  Edward P. Rashak, MS, 1985. Organic geochemistry of Woodford and Green River Shales using hydrous pyrolysis.
  •  Anthony R. G. Sprague, PhD, 1985. Depositional environment and petrology of the lower member of the Pennsylvanian Atoka Formation, Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
  •  Harriet S. Cloft, MS, 1984. Stratigraphy and sedimentology of the Ledge Sandstone member, Ivashak Formation, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, northeastern Alaska.
  •  Beatrice I. Meyer, MS, 1984. Depositional environment and source rock potential (Jurassic) Smackover Formation, Van Zandt County, Texas.
  •  Renee C. Boyer, MS, 1983. Depositional environment and petrology of the Springer Formation, Ardmore Basin, Oklahoma.
  •  Michael E. Caughey, MS, 1982. A study of the dissolved organic matter in the pore waters of carbonate-rich sediment cores from Florida Bay.
  •  Robert Cunningham, Jr., PhD, 1980. Organic-inorganic interactions of marine humic substances from carbonate sediments: Metal binding and absorption studies.
  •  Nivat Kriausakul, PhD, 1979. Investigation of isoleucine epimerization in model peptides and fossil protein.
  •  Paul W. Carter, MS, 1976. Aspects of the biogeochemistry of organic matter in recent carbonate sediments.
  •  Morris Dale Key, PhD, 1976. Heavy metal concentrations and associated mobility parameters in the floodplain of the Dallas - Fort Worth region

News Articles

Founding Geosciences Faculty Member Reflects on Campus Journey
Founding Geosciences Faculty Member Reflects on Campus Journey UT Dallas has come a long way since its inception in 1969. No one knows that better than Dr. Richard Mitterer, professor emeritus of geosciences.
Mitterer was here when the research arm of the University was known as the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies (SCAS). One of the original members of the geosciences faculty, he started as an assistant professor and eventually became the head of the Department of Geosciences as well as a member of the board of directors at the Geological Information Library of Dallas.