Lisa Greer Professor of Earth and Environmental Geoscience

Lisa Greer

Science Addition 123

Professor, Department of Geology, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA, 2015 to present

Associate Professor, Department of Geology, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA, 2009 to 2015

Assistant Professor, Department of Geology, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA, 2003 to 2009

Assistant Professor, Department of Geosciences, Penn State University, University Park, PA, 2001-2003

Research Assistant, University of Miami - Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, 1995-2001

Adjunct Faculty, Department of Geology, Florida International University, Miami, FL, 2000

Researcher (unpaid consultant) for The Nature Conservancy Latin American and Caribbean Division, 1996-2000

Teaching Assistant, Department of Math and Science, The Maritime and Science Technology Academy Magnate High School, Miami, FL, 1998

Teaching Assistant, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Miami, Miami, FL, 1994-1995



Ph.D., Marine Geology and Geophysics, University of Miami-RSMAS,  2001     

B.A., Geology, The Colorado College, 1993


My research interests include (but are not limited to!) the following:

  • Habitat assessment of current Acropora cervicornis refugia
  • Recent decline of the Caribbean coral Acropora cervicornis
  • Modern, Holocene, and Pleistocene paleoclimatology (high-resolution geochronology and geochemistry of carbonates)
  • Sedimentology, stratigraphy, and paleoecology of coral reefs (reef facies and composition variability with sea level and climate change)
  • The effects of storm events on coral reef communities (ancient and modern)
  • The structure, composition, and geochemistry of serpulid bioherms (as potential indicators of Caribbean climate change)
  • Anthropogenic controls on corals (effects of nutrient loading, climate change, and recreational use on coral ecology)
  • The use of student response technology in the geosciences classroom
  • Recent and current field locations include Florida Bay, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, and Belize.


GEOLOGY 100: General Geology with Field Emphasis

GEOLOGY 102/205: History and Evolution of the Earth

GEOLOGY 105: Earth Lab: Is the Earth Worth Saving?

GEOLOGY 105: Earth Lab: Coral Reefs: Past, Present and Future (Belize)

GEOLOGY 105: Earth Lab: Geology of the American Southwest

GEOLOGY 141: Global Climate Change

GEOLOGY 160: Field Geology

GEOLOGY 201/155: Oceanography

GEOLOGY 330: Sedimentation and Stratigraphy

GEOLOGY 373 and 376: Advanced Field Study

Selected Publications

* indicates undergraduate co-author

Nylander-Asplin, H.F., Hill, R.L., Doerr, J.C., Greer, L., and Fogarty, N.D., 2021, Population dynamics and genotypic richness of the threatened Acropora spp. and their hybrid in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Coral Reefs.

Greer, L., Clark, T., *Waggoner, T., *Busch, J., Guilderson, T.P., Wirth, K., Zhao, J.x., and Curran, H.A., 2020, Coral Gardens Reef, Belize: A refugium in the face of Caribbean-wide Acropora spp. decline. PLoS ONE 15(9): e0239267.

Greer, L., Wirth, K., and *Johnson, G., 2020, Resilience and decline: are we at a tipping point for endangered Acropora spp. corals in Belize? Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Keck Research Symposium.

*Irwin, A., Greer, L., Humston, R., Devlin-Durante, M., Baums, I., Lescinsky, H., Wirth, K., Cabe, P., and Curran, H.A., 2017, Age and intraspecific diversity of resilient Acropora communities in Belize. Coral Reefs, 36(4), 1111-1120, doi:10.1007/s00338-017-1602-9.

Devlin-Durante, M.K., Miller, M.M., Caribbean Acropora Research Group (Carne, L., Smith, T., Banaszak, A.T., Greer, L., *Irwin, A., Fogarty, N. Williams, D.), Precht, W.F., Baums, I.B., 2016, How old are you? Age estimates in a clonal animal. Molecular Ecology, v. 25, pp. 5628-5646.

*Busch, J., Greer, L., Harbor, D., Wirth, K., Lescinsky, H., and Curran, H.A., 2016, Quantifying exceptionally large populations of Acropora spp. corals in Belize using sub-meter satellite imagery classification. Bulletin of Marine Science, v.92, pp. 265-283.                             

Greer, L., Lescinsky, H., and Wirth, K., 2015, Multi-level characterization of acroporid coral populations at Coral Gardens, Belize: A refugia identified. Proceedings of the 28th Annual Keck Research Symposium. Schenectady, New York, USA. 6 p.

Stough, J., Greer, L., and *Benson W., 2012, Texture and color distribution-based classification for live coral detection, Proceedings of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, Cairns, Australia, 2012, 5 p.

*Winsor, K., Curran, H.A., Greer, L., and Glumac, B., 2012, Unusual Holocene Serpulid/Tufa Bioherms, Enriquillo Valley, Dominican Republic: Morphologies and Paleoenvironmental Implications, Palaios. v. 27, 693-706, DOI: 10.2110/palo.2011.p11-118r.

Swart, P.K., Greer, L., Rosenheim, B.E., Moses, C.,  Waite, A.J., Winter, A., Dodge, R. and Helmle, K., 2010, 13C Suess effect in scleractinian corals mirror changes in the anthropogenic CO2 inventory of the surface oceans, Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L05604, doi:10.1029/2009GL041397

Greer, L., *Jackson, J., Curran, H.A., Guilderson, T., and *Teneva, L., 2009, How vulnerable is Acropora cervicornis to environmental change? Lessons from the early to mid-Holocene. Geology, v. 37, p. 263-266.

*Medley, P., Tibert, N.T., Patterson, W.P., Curran, H.A., Greer, L., and Colin, J.P., 2007, Paleohydrology of middle Holocene lagoonal and lacustrine deposits in the Enriquillo Valley, Dominican Republic: Pore morphometrics and isotope geochemistry of ostracoda. Micropaleontology, v. 53, no. 5, p. 409-419.

Greer, L. and Swart, P.K., 2006, Decadal cyclicity of regional Mid-Holocene precipitation as driven by tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures: Evidence from Dominican coral proxies. Paleoceanography, v. 21, PA2020, doi: 10.1029/2005PA001166.

Knapp, E.P., Greer, L., Connors, C.D., and Harbor, D.J., 2006, Field-based instruction as part of a balanced Geoscience curriculum at Washington and Lee University. Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 54, p. 103-108.

McConnell, D.A., Steer, D.N., Owens, K.D., Borowski, W., Dick, J., Foos, A., Knott, J.R., Konigsberg, A.,  Malone, M., McGrew, H., Van Horn,   S., Greer, L., and Heaney, P.J., 2006, Using Conceptests to assess and improve student conceptual understanding in introductory Geoscience courses. Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 54, p. 61-68.

Greer, L. and Heaney, P.J., 2004, Real-time analysis of student comprehension: An assessment of electronic student response technology in an introductory Earth Science course. Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 52, p. 345-351.

Greer, L., 2004, Post-Seattle reflections on a different kind of GSA. GSA Today, v. 14, p. 16.

Furman, T. and Greer, L., 2004, Active learning in introductory geoscience courses. , published on the web via Project Kaleidoscope, 5 p.

Glumac, B., *Berrios, L., Greer, L., and Curran, H.A., 2004, Holocene tufa-coated serpulid mounds from the Dominican Republic:  Depositional and diagenetic history, with comparison to Modern serpulid aggregates from Baffin Bay, Texas., Texas. Proceedings of the 11th Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas and Other Carbonate Regions, p. 49-65.

*Guerard, G. M., Greer, L., and Curran, H. A., 2004, Environmental indicator proxies from a mid-Holocene coral reef, Enriquillo Valley, Dominican Republic.  Proceedings of the 11th Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas and Other Carbonate Regions, p. 35-48.

Swart, P.K., Price, R.M. and Greer, L., 2001, The relationship between stable isotopic variations (O, H, and C) and salinity in waters and corals from environments in South Florida: Implications for reading the paleoenvironmental record. Bulletins of American Paleontology, vol. 361, p.17-30.

Chiappone, M., Delgado, G.A., Geraldes, F.X., Greer, L., Pugibet, E., Rodriguez, Y., Sullivan, K.M., Swart, P.K., Torres, R.E., Tschirkey, J. and Vega, M., 2001, Water quality in Caribbean coastal areas: A case study of Parque Nacional del Este, Dominican Republic. The Nature Conservancy, America Verde Publishers, Arlington, Virginia, 149

Chiappone, M., Geraldes, F.X., Greer, L., Kiene, W., Pugibet, E., Rodriguez, Y., Sullivan, K.M., Swart, P., Torres, R.E., Tschirky, J. and Vega, M. 2001, Conservation of coral reefs in marine protected areas: A case study of Parque Nacional del Este, Dominican Republic. The Nature Conservancy, America Verde Publishers, Arlington, Virginia, 244

Swart, P.K., Healy, G., Greer, L., Lutz, M., Saied, A., Anderegg, D., Dodge, R.E., and Rudnick, D., 1999, The use of proxy chemical records in coral skeletons to ascertain past environmental conditions in Florida Bay. Estuaries, vol. 22, No. 2B, p. 384-397.

Curran, H.A., Smith, D.P., Meigs, L.C., Pufall, A.E., and Greer, M.L., 1993, The health and short-term changes of two coral patch reefs, Fernandez Bay, San Salvador Island, Bahamas, Colloquium and Forum on Global Aspects of Coral Reefs: Health, Hazards, and History, University of Miami, RSMAS.