I have been carrying out research on graptolites since my graduate studies more than 35 years ago. My projects have included taxonomy, morphology, paleoecology, extinction, paleobiogeography, and biostratigraphy of graptolites primarily from Ordovician strata in the Great Basin, the Appalachians from Alabama to Newfoundland, the Arbuckle and Ouachita Mountains of Oklahoma and Arkansas, Sweden, China, Bolivia, and Argentina.


In projects in the Appalachian and Ouachita mountains and the Great Basin, I have used graptolites to address geologic problems, which has become the focus of my research in recent years (e.g., see other projects on Late Ordovician mass extinction and Argentina).


The following is a sample of my publications on graptolites:

  • Finney, S.C., 1978. Mode of life of planktonic graptolites: a flotation structure in the Ordovician Dicellograptus sp., Paleobiology 5(1): 31-39.
  • Finney, S.C., 1984. Biogeography of Ordovician graptolites in Southern Appalachians, pp. 161 170 in Bruton, D.L. (ed.), Aspects of the Ordovician System. Palaeontological Contributions from the University of Oslo. Norsk Universitetsforlaget.
  • Finney, S.C., and Branisa, L., 1984. Two new Ordovician graptolites from Bolivia, Geological Magazine 121(4): 357-366.
  • Finney, S.C., 1985. Nemagraptid graptolites from Middle Ordovician Athens Shale, Alabama, Journal of Paleontology 59(5): 1100-1137.
  • Finney, S.C., and Bergstrom, S.M., 1986. Biostratigraphy of the Ordovician Nemagraptus gracilis Zone, pp 47-59 in Hughes, C.P. and Rickards, R.B., (eds.), Palaeoecology and Biostratigraphy of Graptolites, Geological Society Special Publication No. 20.
  • Finney, S.C., 1986. Heterochrony, punctuated equilibrium, and graptolite zonal boundaries, pp. 103-113 in Hughes, C.P. and Rickards, R.B., (eds.), Palaeoecology and Biostratigraphy of Graptolites, Geological Society Special Publication No. 20.
  • Finney, S.C., 1986. Graptolite biofacies and correlation of eustatic, subsidence, and tectonic events in Middle to Upper Ordovician of North America, Palaios 1(5): 435-461.
  • Grubb, B. J., and Finney, S. C., 1995. Graphic correlation of Middle Ordovician graptolite-rich shales, southern Appalachians: successful application of the technique to apparently inadequate stratigraphic sections, Graphic Correlation, SEPM Special Publication No. 53, p. 151-158.
  • Finney, S.C., Grubb, B., and Hatcher, R.D., Jr., 1996. Graphic Correlation of Middle Ordovician shales, southern Appalachians: rate of migration of Taconic foreland basin, Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 108, p. 355-371.
  • Finney, S.C., and Berry, W.B.N., 1997. New perspectives on graptolite distributions and their use as indicators of platform margin dynamics, Geology, v. 25, no. 10, p. 919-922.
  • Gleason, J.D., Finney, S.C., and Gehrels, G.G., 2002. Paleotectonic implications of a mid- to late-Ordovician provenance shift, as recorded in sedimentary strata of the Ouachita and southern Appalachian Mountains, The Journal of Geology, v. 110, p. 291- 304.
  • Finney, S.C., Berry, W.B.N., and Cooper, J.D., 2007, The influence of dentrifying sea water on the extinction and diversification of graptolites during the Hirnantian (latest Ordovician) mass extinction event. Lethaia, v. 40, p. 281-291.
  • Mitchell, C.E., Xu, Chen, and Finney, S.C., 2007, The structure and possible function of 'basal membranes' in the spinose climacograptid gratolite Appendisinograptus Li and Li 1985, Journal of Paleontology, v. 81, no. 5, p. 1122-1127.