Picture of Brian Pratt

Brian Pratt B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Professor

Faculty Member in Geological Sciences

Office
Geology 314

Research Area(s)

  • Depositional environments and diagenesis of shallow-marine limestones and mixed carbonate siliciclastic facies of all ages, and how these aspects varied through geological time
  • Understand the dynamics of ancient epeiric seas, that is, deciphering the limestones, dolomites and evaporites found in continental interiors which often differ from facies deposited on continental margins
  • Fossil groups of Ediacaran through Cambro-Ordovician age, as well as Burgess Shale type faunas, microbial microfossils, stromatolites, reefs, bioerosion, ichnofossils and Cambrian trilobites
  • Detecting evidence for ancient earthquakes and tsunamis recorded by distinctive sedimentary structures and anomalous beds in both carbonate and siliciclastic successions

About me

Graduate Student Opportunities:

1. Sedimentology of ancient carbonate platforms (especially Proterozoic and early Paleozoic)

2. Paleoecology of ancient reefs and mudmounds

3. Laboratory simulation of earthquake-induced deformation features (seismites)

4. Trilobite paleontology and biostratigraphy

5. Phosphatic brachiopod paleontology and biostratigraphy

6. Paleoecology and taphonomy of Burgess Shale-type Lagerstätten


Current Graduate Students:

Zhou K. Paleoecology of Upper Devonian mudmound reefs, Rocky Mountains, Alberta. M.Sc.
Rule, R. Mesoproterozoic carbonate plaftorm sedimentology and the pseudofossil Horodyskia, Belt Supergroup
 

Major Administrative Work:

Editor: Journal of Paleontology (ex)

Associate Editor: Geological Society of America Bulletin, Palaios, Journal of Paleontology, Journal of Marine and Petroleum Geology (ex), Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology, Carnets de Géologie/Notebooks in Geology, Geology (ex)

Geological Association of Canada, Vice-President, President, Past-President; Geological Society of America, Council (member, ex); International Commisssion on Stratigraphy: International Subcommission on Stratigraphic Classification (chair), Cambrian Subcommission (voting member); North American Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature (member); Geological Association of Canada, Canadian Sedimentology Division Research Group (western councillor); Canadian Geological Foundation (member, ex)International Union of Geological Sciences, Heritage Stone Task Group

University of Saskatchewan Faculty Association executive (ex)

 

Honours and Awards:

Geological Association of Canada W. W. Hutchinson Medal, 2002

Geological Society of America Exceptional Reviewer, 2006

Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Exceptional Reviewer, 2013

Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, Exceptional Reviewer, 2013

Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists Best MSc Thesis Award, 1980

Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists Volunteer and Service awards

Warburgella pratti Chatterton and Ludvigsen, 2004 (Early Silurian, Anticosti Island, Québec)

Publications

BOOKS AND MONOGRAPHS:

Robson, S.P. and Pratt, B.R., 2007, Late Marjuman (Cambrian) Linguliformean Brachiopods from the Deadwood Formation of South Dakota. Palaeontographica Canadiana No. 27, 95 p.

Pratt, B.R., 1992. Trilobites of the Marjuman and Steptoean Stages (Upper Cambrian), Rabbitkettle Formation, Southern Mackenzie Mountains, Northwest Canada. Palaeontographica Canadiana No. 9, 179 p.

 
EDITED BOOKS:
 
Pratt, B.R. and Holmden, C., eds., 2008. Dynamics of Epeiric Seas. Geological Association of Canada, Special Paper 48, 406 p.
Monty, C.L.V., Bosence, D., Bridges, P.H. and Pratt, B.R., eds., 1995. Carbonate Mud-mounds, Their Origin and Evolution. International Association of Sedimentologists, Special Publication 23, 537 p.
 

PAPERS REFEREED:

Kimmig, J., and Pratt, B.R., 2018. Coprolites in the Ravens Throat River Lagerstätte of northwestern Canada: implications for the middle Cambrian food web: Palaios, v. 33, p. 125–140.

Pratt, B.R., 2017, The Mesoproterozoic Belt Supergroup in Glacier and Waterton Lakes national parks, northwestern Montana and southwestern Alberta: Sedimentary facies and syndepositional deformation, in Hsieh, J.C.C., ed., Geologic Field Trips of the Canadian Rockies: 2017 Meeting of the GSA Rocky Mountain Section: Geological Society of America Field Guide 48, p. 123–135.

Head, M.J., Aubry, M.-P., Walker, M., Miller, K.G., and Pratt, B.R., 2017. A case for official recognition of subseries (subepochs) for the Cenozoic Era: Episodes, v. 40, p. 22–27.

Pratt, B.R., and van Heerde, J., 2017. An arborescent lycopsid stem fragment from the Palliser Formation (Famennian) carbonate platform, southwestern Alberta, Canada, and its paleogeographic and paleoclimatic significance. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 54, p. 141–145.

Törő, B., and Pratt, B.R., 2016. Sedimentary record of seismic events in the Eocene Green River Formation and its implications for regional tectonics on lake evolution (Bridger Basin, Wyoming). Sedimentary Geology, v. 

Łabaj, M.A., and Pratt, B.R., 2016. Depositional dynamics in a mixed carbonate–siliciclastic system: middle–upper Cambrian Abrigo Formation, southeastern Arizona. Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 86, p. 11–37.

Törő, B., and Pratt, B.R., 2015. Characteristics and implications of sedimentary deformation features in the Green River Formation (Eocene) in Utah and ColoradoIn: Birgenheier, L., Ressetar, R., and Vanden Berg, M., eds., The Uinta Basin and Uinta Mountains: in Vanden Berg, M.D., Ressetar, R., and Birgenheier, L.P., editors, Geology of Utah’s Uinta Basin and Uinta Mountains: Utah Geological Association Publication 44, p. 371–422. 
Keighley, D., Törő, B., Vanden Berg, M.D., and Pratt, B.R., in press. Deformation within the Mahogany Oil Shale Zone of the Green River Formation at Sand Wash, Eastern Utah, USA. In: Birgenheier, L., Ressetar, R., and Vanden Berg, M., eds., The Uinta Basin and Uinta Mountains: Utah Geological Association Guidebook.
Kimmig, J., and Pratt, B.R., in press. Depositional environment and taphonomy of the middle Cambrian (Drumian) Ravens Throat River Lagerstätte, Northwest Territories, Canada. Lethaia, v. 48. [accepted 23 February 2015]
Törő, B., and Pratt, B.R., 2015. Eocene paleoseismic record of the Green River Formation, Fossil Basin, Wyoming, U.S.A.: Implications of synsedimentary deformation structures in lacustrine carbonate mudstones. Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 85, p. 855–884.
Törő, B., Pratt, B.R., and Renaut, R.W., 2015. Tectonically induced change in lake evolution recorded by seismites in the Eocene Green River Formation, Wyoming. Terra Nova, v. 27, p. 218–224.

Durbano, A., Pratt, B.R., Hadlari, T.H., and Dewing, K., 2015. Sedimentology of an early Cambrian tide-dominated embayment: Quyuk Formation, Victoria Island, Arctic Canada. Sedimentary Geology, v. 320, p. 1–18.

Kimmig, J., and Pratt, B.R., 2015. Soft-bodied biota from the middle Cambrian (Drumian) Rockslide Formation, Mackenzie Mountains, northwestern Canada. Journal of Paleontology, v. 89, p. 51–71.

Pushie, M.J., Pratt, B.R., Pickering, I.J., George, G.N., and MacDonald, T.C., 2014. Evidence for biogenic copper (hemocyanin) in the Middle Cambrian arthropod Marrella from the Burgess Shale. Palaios, v. 29, p. 512–524.
Pratt, B.R., and Bordonaro, O.L., 2014. Early Middle Cambrian trilobites from La Laja Formation, Cerro El Molle, Precordillera of western Argentina. Journal of Paleontology, v. 88, p. 906–924.
Zhang, X.-g., and Pratt, B.R., 2014. Possible algal origin and life cycle of Ediacaran Doushantuo microfossils with dextral spiral. Journal of Paleontology, v. 88, p. 92–98.
Shen, C., Pratt, B.R., and Zhang X.-g., 2014. Phosphatized coprolites from the middle Cambrian (Stage 5) Duyun fauna of China. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 410, p. 104–112.
Shen, C., Pratt, B.R., Lan,T., Hou, J.-b., Chen, L., Hao, B.-q. and Zhang, X.-g., 2013. The search for Orsten-type fossils in southern China. Palaeoworld, v. 22, p. 1–9.
MacNaughton, R.B., Pratt, B.R., and Fallas, K.M., 2013. Observations on Cambrian stratigraphy in the eastern Mackenzie Mountains, Northwest Territories. Geological Survey of Canada, Current Research 2013-10, 7 pp.
Dewing, K., Pratt, B.R., Hadlari, T., Brent, T., Bédard, J., and Rainbird, R.H., 2013. Newly identified “Tunnunik” impact structure, Prince Albert Peninsula, northwestern Victoria Island, Arctic Canada. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, v. 28, p. 211–223.
Zalasiewicz, J., Cita, M.B., Hilgen, F., Pratt, B.R., Strasser, A., Thierry, J., and Weissert, H., 2013. Chronostratigraphy and geochronology: A proposed realignment. GSA Today, v. 23, no. 3, p. 4–8.
Bordonaro, O.L., Pratt, B.R. and Robledo, V., 2013Systematic, morphometric and paleobiogeographic study of Blainia gregaria Walcott, 1916 (Trilobita, Ptychopariida), Middle Cambrian of the Precordillera of western Argentina. Geological Journal, v. 47, p. 126–141.
Desjardins, P.R., Buatois, L.A., Pratt, B.R., and Mángano, M.G., 2012. Subtidal sandbody architecture and ichnology in the Early Cambrian Gog Group of western Canada: Implications for an integrated sedimentologic–ichnologic model of tide-dominated shelf settings. Sedimentology. (accepted 17 October 2011) 
El Taki, H., and Pratt, B.R., 2012. Syndepositional tectonic activity in an epicontinental basin revealed by deformation of subaqueous carbonate laminites and evaporites: Red River strata (Upper Ordovician) of southern Saskatchewan, Canada. Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology. (accepted 27 April 2012) 
Desjardins, P.R., Buatois, L.A., Pratt, B.R., and Mángano, M.G., 2012. Forced-regressive tidal flats: Response to falling sea level in tide-dominated settings. Journal of Sedimentary Research. v. 82, p. 149–162. [Current Ripple article]
Hadlari, T., Davis, W.J., Dewing, K., Heaman, L.M., Lemieux, Y., Ootes, L., Pratt, B.R. and Pyle, L.J., 2012. Two detrital zircon signatures for the Cambrian passive margin of Laurentia highlighted by new U-Pb results from northern Canada: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 124, p. 1155–1168.
Pratt, B.R., Raviolo, M.M. and Bordonaro, O.L., 2012. Carbonate platform dominated by peloidal sands: Lower Ordovician La Silla Formation of the eastern Precordillera, San Juan, Argentina. Sedimentology, v. 59, p. 843–866.
Zhang, X.-G., Pratt, B.R. and Shen, C., 2011. Embryonicdevelopment of a Middle Cambrian (500 Myr old)scalidophoran worm. Journal of Paleontology, v. 85, p. 898–903
Pratt, B.R., 2011. Molar-tooth structure, in Reitner, J., Thiel, V. eds., Encyclopedia of Geobiology. Springer, Dordrecht, p. 662–666. [invited]
Desjardins, P.R., Buatois, L.A., Mángano, M.G., and Pratt, B.R., 2010. Skolithos pipe rock and associated ichnofabrics in the St. Piran Formation, Gog Group, southern Rocky Mountains, Canada: Colonisation trends and environmental controls in an Early Cambrian sand-sheet complex: Lethaia, v. 43, p. 507–528.
Raviolo, M.M., Bordonaro, B.L., and Pratt, B.R., 2010. Trombolitos (arrecifes microbiales) del morfogénero Favosamaceria en el Cámbrico Superior de la Precordillera Oriental, San Juan, Argentina: Ameghiniana, v. 47, p. 331–341. 
Pratt, B.R., 2010. 16. Peritidal carbonates. In James, N.P., and Dalrymple, R.W., eds., Facies Models 4, p. 401–420. GEOtext 4. Geological Association of Canada, St. John’s. [invited]
Desjardins, P.R., Pratt, B.R., Buatois, L.A., and Mángano, M.G., 2010. Stratigraphy and sedimentary environments of the Lower Cambrian Gog Group in the southern Rocky Mountains of western Canada: transgressive sandstones on a broad continental margin. Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology, v. 58, p. 403–439. 
El Taki, H., and Pratt, B.R., 2009. Synsedimentary deformation in laminated dolomites and evaporites of the Herald Formation (Red River Group): signature of Late Ordovician tectonic activity in southern Saskatchewan, in Summary of Investigations 2009, Volume 1, Saskatchewan Geological Survey, Saskatchewan Ministry of Energy and Resources, Miscellaneous Report 2009-4.1, Paper A-3, 10 pp. 
Catuneanu, O., J.P. Bhattacharya, M.D. Blum, R.W. Dalrymple, P.G. Eriksson, C.R. Fielding, W.L. Fisher, W.E. Galloway, P. Gianolla, M.R. Gibling, K.A. Giles, J.M. Holbrook, R. Jordan, C.G.St.C. Kendall, B. Macurda, O.J. Martinsen, A.D. Miall, D. Nummedal, H.W. Posamentier, B.R. Pratt, K.W. Shanley, R.J. Steel, A. Strasser, M.E. Tucker, 2010. Sequence stratigraphy: common ground after three decades of development. First Break, v. 28, p. 21–34.
Aubry, M.-P., Van Couvering, J.A., Christie-Blick, N., Landing, E., Pratt, B.R., Owen, D.E., and Ferrusquía-Villafranca, I., 2009. Terminology of geological time: Establishment of a community standard: Stratigraphy, v. 6, p. 100–105.
Catuneanu, O., V. Abreu, J.P. Bhattacharya, M.D. Blum, R.W. Dalrymple, P.G. Eriksson, C.R. Fielding, W.L. Fisher, W.E. Galloway, M.R. Gibling, K.A. Giles, J.M. Holbrook, R. Jordan, C.G.St.C. Kendall, B. Macurda, O.J. Martinsen, A.D. Miall, J.E. Neal, D. Nummedal, L. Pomar, H.W. Posamentier, B.R. Pratt, J.F. Sarg, K.W. Shanley, R.J. Steel, A. Strasser, M.E. Tucker, C. Winker, 2009. Reply to comments of W. Helland-Hansen on “Towards the standardization of sequence stratigraphy.” by Catuneanu et al. Earth-Science Reviews, v. 94, p. 98–100. 
Catuneanu, O., V. Abreu, J.P. Bhattacharya, M.D. Blum, R.W. Dalrymple, P.G. Eriksson, C.R. Fielding, W.L. Fisher, W.E. Galloway, M.R. Gibling, K.A. Giles, J.M. Holbrook, R. Jordan, C.G.St.C. Kendall, B. Macurda, O.J. Martinsen, A.D. Miall, J.E. Neal, D. Nummedal, L. Pomar, H.W. Posamentier, B.R. Pratt, J.F. Sarg, K.W. Shanley, R.J. Steel, A. Strasser, M.E. Tucker, C. Winker, 2009. Toward the standardization of sequence stratigraphy. Earth-Science Reviews, v. 92, p. 1–33. 
Pratt, B.R. and Holmden, C., 2008, Introduction. In: Pratt, B.R. and Holmden, C., eds., The Dynamics of Epeiric Seas. Geological Association of Canada, Special Paper 48, p. 1–5.
Pratt, B.R. and Haidl, F.M., 2008, Microbial patch reefs in Upper Ordovician Red River strata, Williston Basin, Saskatchewan: signal of heating in a deteriorating epeiric sea. In: Pratt, B.R. and Holmden, C., eds., The Dynamics of Epeiric Seas. Geological Association of Canada, Special Paper 48, p. 303–340.
Peterhänsel, A. and Pratt, B.R., 2008, The Famennian (Upper Devonian) Palliser platform of western Canada—architecture and depositional dynamics of a post-extinction giant. In: Pratt, B.R. and Holmden, C., eds., The Dynamics of Epeiric Seas. Geological Association of Canada, Special Paper 48, p. 247–281. 
Zhang, X.-g., and Pratt, B.R., 2008, Microborings in Early Cambrian phosphatic and phosphatized fossils. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 267, p. 185–195.
Bordonaro, O.L., Banchig, A.L., Pratt, B.R., and Raviolo, M.M., 2008, Trilobite-based biostratigraphic model (biofacies and biozonation) for the Middle Cambrian carbonate platform of the Argentine Precordillera. Geologica Acta, v. 6, p. 115–129.
Raviolo, M.M., Bordonaro, O.L. and Pratt, B.R., 2007, Revisión estratigráfica y litofacial de la Formación La Silla (Ordovícico Inferior) en la Precordillera Oriental de San Juan, Argentina. Latin American Journal of Sedimentology and Basin Analysis, v. 14, p. 117–128.
Robson, S.P. and Pratt, B.R., 2007, Predation of late Marjuman (Cambrian) linguliformean brachiopods from the Deadwood Formation of South Dakota. Lethaia, v. 40, p. 19–32.
Pratt, B.R. and Bordonaro, O.L., 2007, Tsunamis in a stormy sea: Middle Cambrian inner shelf limestones of western Argentina. Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 77, p. 256–262 [Current Ripple article]
Pratt, B. R., 2007. Middle and Upper Cambrian Girvanella reefs—Microbial tufas. In: Facies from Palaeozoic Reefs and Bioaccumulations, Álvaro, J.J., Vennin, E., Munnecke, A., Boulvain, F., Vachard, D. and Aretz, M. (coords.). Publications of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris (distributed by Springer-Verlag, Berlin), p. 65–67.
Pratt, B. R., 2007. Shallow-water Ordovician reefs from Canada. In: Facies from Palaeozoic Reefs and Bioaccumulations, Álvaro, J.J., Vennin, E., Munnecke, A., Boulvain, F., Vachard, D. and Aretz, M. (coords.). Publications of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris (distributed by Springer-Verlag, Berlin), p. 83–85.
Pratt, B. R., 2005. Neoproterozoic predator-prey dynamics. McGraw-Hill 2005 Yearbook of Science & Technology, McGraw-Hill, New York, pp. 229-232. [invited entry]
Dewing, K., J. C. Harrison, B. R. Pratt, and U. Mayr, 2004. A probable Late Neoproterozoic age for the Kennedy Channel and Ella Bay formations, northeastern Ellesmere Island, and its implications for passive margin history of the Canadian Arctic. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 41, pp. 1013-1025.
Coniglio, M., R. Frizzell, and B. R. Pratt, 2004. Reef-capping laminites in the Upper Silurian carbonate-to-evaporite transition in the Michigan Basin, southwestern Ontario. Sedimentology, v. 51, pp. 653-668.
Hua H., B. R. Pratt, and Zhang L.-Y., 2003. Borings in Cloudina shells: Complex predator-prey dynamics in the terminal Neoproterozoic. Palaios, v. 18, pp. 453-458.
Pratt, B. R., 2003. Stromatolites, in G. V. Middleton (ed.), Enclyclopedia of Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks. Encyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series, Fairbridge, R.W., and Rampino, M. (series eds.). Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, pp. 688-690. [invited entry].
Robson, S.P., G.S. Nowlan, and B.R. Pratt, 2003. Upper Cambrian linguliformean brachiopods from the Deadwood Formation of subsurface Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada. Journal of Paleontology, v. 77, pp. 201-211.
Pratt, B. R., 2002d. Tepees in peritidal carbonates: origin via earthquake-induced deformation, with example from the Middle Cambrian of western Canada. Sedimentary Geology, v. 153, pp. 57-64. [ExpresSed article]
Pratt, B. R., 2002c. Calcification of cyanobacterial filaments: Girvanella and the origin of lower Paleozoic lime mud: Comment and Reply—Reply. Geology, v. 30, p. 580.
Pratt, B. R., 2002b. Storms versus tsunamis: Dynamic interplay of sedimentary, diagenetic, and tectonic processes in the Cambrian of Montana. Geology, v. 30, pp. 423-426.
Pratt, B. R., 2002a. Occurrence of the siliceous sponge spicule Konyrium (Hexactinellida) in the Upper Cambrian of the Mackenzie Mountains, northwestern Canada. Journal of Paleontology, v. 76, pp. 565-569.
Peterhänsel, A., and B. R. Pratt, 2001. Nutrient-triggered bioerosion on a giant carbonate platform masking the Famennian post-extinction benthic community. Geology, v. 29, pp. 1079-1082.
Pratt, B. R., 2001c. Calcification of cyanobacterial filaments: Girvanella and the origin of lower Paleozoic lime mud. Geology, v. 29, pp. 763-766.
Pratt, B.R., B.R. Spincer, R.A. Wood and A. Yu. Zhuravlev, 2001. Ecology and evolution of Cambrian reefs. In A. Yu. Zhuravlev and R. Riding (eds.), Ecology of the Cambrian Radiation. Princeton University Press, Princeton, pp. 254-274. 
Pratt, B. R., 2001b. Oceanography, bathymetry and syndepositional tectonics of a Precambrian intracratonic basin: integrating sediments, storms, earthquakes and tsunamis in the Belt Supergroup (Helena Formation, c. 1.45 Ga), western North America. Sedimentary Geology, v. 141-142, pp. 371-394.
Pratt, B. R., 2001a. Septarian concretions: internal cracking caused by synsedimentary earthquakes. Sedimentology, v. 48, pp. 189-213.
Robson, S.P. and B.R. Pratt, 2001. Cambrian and Ordovician linguliform brachiopods from the Shallow Bay Formation (Cow Head Group), western Newfoundland. Journal of Paleontology, v. 75, pp. 241-260.
Lee, J.G., D.K. Choi and B.R. Pratt, 2001. A teratological pygidium of the Upper Cambrian trilobite Eugonocare (Pseudeugonocare) bispinata from the Machari Formation, Korea. Journal of Paleontology, v. 75, pp. 216-218.
Zhang, X.-G., and B.R. Pratt, 2000. A varied Middle Ordovician sponge spicule assemblange from western Newfoundland. Journal of Paleontology, v. 74, pp. 386-393.
Pratt, B.R., 2000. Microbial contribution to reefal mud-mounds in ancient deep-water settings: evidence from the Cambrian. In R. Riding (ed.), Microbial Sediments. Springer, Berlin, pp. 282-288.
Pratt, B.R., 1999. Gas bubble and expansion crack origin of “molar-tooth” calcite structures in the middle Proterozoic Belt Supergroup, western Montana—Discussion. Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 68, pp. 1136-1140.
Pratt, B.R., 1998a. Molar-tooth structure in Proterozoic carbonate rocks: Origin from synsedimentary earthquakes, and implications for the nature and evolution of basins and marine sediment. Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 110, pp. 1028-1045.
Zhang, X.-G. and B.R. Pratt, 1998. Early Cambrian trilobite larvae and ontogency of Ichangia ichangensis (Protolenidae) from Henan, China. Journal of Paleontology, v. 73, pp. 117-128.
Pratt, B.R., 1998b. Syneresis cracks: subaqueous shrinkage in argillaceous sediments caused by earthquake-induced dewatering. Sedimentary Geology, v. 117, pp. 1-10. [ExpresSed article]
Pratt, B.R., 1998c. Probable predation of Upper Cambrian trilobites and its relevance for the extinction of soft-bodied Burgess Shale-type animals. Lethaia, v. 31, pp. 73-88.
Zhang, X.-G. and B.R. Pratt, 1996. Early Cambrian worm cuticles from Shaanxi, China. Journal of Paleontology, v. 70, pp. 275-279. 
Pratt, B.R., L. M. Bernstein, A.C. Kendall and F.M. Haidl, 1996. Occurrence of reefal facies in Red River strata (Upper Ordovician), subsurface Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Geological Survey, Summary of Investigations, pp. 147-152.
Pratt, B.R. 1995. The origin, biota and evolution of deep-water mud-mounds. In C.L.V. Monty, D. Bosence, P.H. Bridges and B.R. Pratt (eds.), Carbonate Mud-mounds, Their Origin and Evolution, International Association of Sedimentologists, Special Publication 23, pp. 49-123.
Pratt, B.R., 1994. Seismites in the Mesoproterozoic Altyn Formation (Belt Supergroup), Montana: A test for tectonic control of peritidal carbonate cyclicity. Geology, v. 22, pp. 1091-1094.
Zhang, X.-G. and B.R. Pratt, 1994. Middle Cambrian arthropod embryos with blastomeres. Science, v. 266, pp. 637-639. 
Thompson, C.E. and B.R. Pratt, 1994. Preliminary stratigraphy of Lower and Middle Cambrian rocks, east-central Ellesmere Island, Canadian Arctic Islands. Geological Survey of Canada, Current Research 1994-E, pp. 165-168.
Zhang, X.-G. and B.R. Pratt, 1993. A new and extraordinary Early Cambrian sponge spicule assemblage from China. Geology, v. 22, pp. 43-46.
Zhang, X.-G. and B.R. Pratt, 1993. Early Cambrian ostracode larvae with univalved carapace. Science, v. 262, pp. 93-94.
Pratt, B.R. and J.D. Smewing, 1993b. Early Cretaceous platform margin, Oman, eastern Arabian Peninsula. In J.A.T. Simo, R.W. Scott and J.-P. Masse (eds.), Cretaceous Carbonate Platforms. American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Memoir 56, pp. 201-212.
Pratt, B.R. and A.D. Miall, 1993. Anatomy of a bioclastic grainstone mega-shoal (middle Silurian, southern Ontario) revealed by ground-penetrating radar. Geology, v. 21, pp. 223-226.
Pratt, B.R. and J.D. Smewing, 1993a. Early Cretaceous platform margin configuration and evolution in the central Oman Mountains, Arabian Peninsula. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 76, pp. 225-244.
Pratt, B.R., N.P. James and C.A. Cowan, 1992. Peritidal carbonates. In R.G. Walker and N.P. James (eds.), Facies Models, Response to Sea Level Change, Geological Association of Canada, pp. 303-322.
Pratt, B.R. and J.W.F. Waldron, 1991. A Middle Cambrian trilobite faunulae from the Meguma Group of Nova Scotia. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 28, pp. 1843-1853.
Pratt, B.R. 1991. Asteroid impact on brachiopods? Lethaia, v. 24, pp. 457-459.
Pratt, B.R. and J.D. Smewing, 1990. Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous platform margin facies and evolution, central Oman Mountains. In A.H.F. Robertson, M.P. Searle and A.C. Ries (eds.), The Geology and Tectonics of the Oman Region. Geological Society of London, Special Publication No. 49, pp. 69-88. 
Pratt, B.R. 1990. Preliminary biostratigraphic determinations for Middle Cambrian strata in the Dezaiko Range, east-central British Columbia. Geological Survey of Canada, Paper 90-1E, pp. 369-373.
Rees, M.N., B.R. Pratt and A.J. Rowell, 1989. Early Cambrian reefs and associated lithofacies of the Shackleton Limestone, Transantarctic Mountains. Sedimentology, v. 36, pp. 341-361.
Pratt, B.R. 1989a. The only known Precambrian reef in the Canadian Appalachians: Proterozoic stromatolites at Saint John, New Brunswick. In H.H.J. Geldsetzer, N.P. James and G.E. Tebbutt (eds.), Reefs, Canada and Adjacent Areas. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Memoir 13, pp. 110-112.
Pratt, B.R. 1989b. Deep-water Girvanella-Epiphyton reef on a mid-Cambrian continental slope, Rockslide Formation, Mackenzie Mountains, Northwest Territories. In H.H.J. Geldsetzer, N.P. James and G.E. Tebbutt (eds.), Reefs, Canada and Adjacent Areas. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Memoir 13, pp. 161-164.
Pratt, B.R. 1989c. Continental margin reef tract of Early Ordovician age, Broken Skull Formation, Mackenzie Mountains, Northwest Canada. In H.H.J. Geldsetzer, N.P. James and G.E. Tebbutt (eds.), Reefs, Canada and Adjacent Areas. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Memoir 13, pp. 208-212.
Pratt, B.R. 1989d. Early Ordovician cryptalgal-sponge reefs, Survey Peak Formation, Rocky Mountains, Alberta, In H.H.J. Geldsetzer, N.P. James and G.E. Tebbutt (eds.), Reefs, Canada and Adjacent Areas. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Memoir 13, pp. 213-217.
Pratt, B.R. 1989e. Early Middle Ordovician patch reefs, Laval Formation (Chazy Group), Caughnawaga, Montreal, Quebec. In H.H.J. Geldsetzer, N.P. James and G.E. Tebbutt (eds.), Reefs, Canada and Adjacent Areas. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Memoir 13, pp. 218-223.
Pratt, B.R. 1989f. Early Devonian stromatoporoid reefs, Formosa Reef Limestone (Detroit River Group) of southwestern Ontario. In H.H.J. Geldsetzer, N.P. James and G.E. Tebbutt (eds.), Reefs, Canada and Adjacent Areas. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Memoir 13, pp. 506-509.
Pratt, B.R. and N.P. James, 1989a. Coral-Renalcis-thrombolite reef complex of Early Ordovician age, St. George Group, western Newfoundland. In H.H.J. Geldsetzer, N.P. James and G.E. Tebbutt (eds.), Reefs, Canada and Adjacent Areas. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Memoir 13, pp. 224-230.
Pratt, B.R. and N.P. James, 1989b. Early Ordovician thrombolite reefs, St. George Group, western Newfoundland. In H.H.J. Geldsetzer, N.P. James and G.E. Tebbutt (eds.), Reefs, Canada and Adjacent Areas. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Memoir 13, pp. 231-240.
Pratt, B.R. and J. Weissenberger, 1989. Fore-slope receptaculitid mounds from the Frasnian of the Rocky Mountains. In H.H.J. Geldsetzer, N.P. James and G.E. Tebbutt (eds.), Reefs, Canada and Adjacent Areas. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Memoir 13, pp. 510-513.
Pratt, B.R. and L.F. Jansa, 1989. Upper Jurassic shallow-water reefs of offshore Nova Scotia. In H.H.J. Geldsetzer, N.P. James and G.E. Tebbutt (eds.), Reefs, Canada and Adjacent Areas. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Memoir 13, pp. 741-747.
Jansa, L.F., B.R. Pratt and G. Dromart, 1989. Deep-water thrombolite reefs from the Upper Jurassic of offshore Nova Scotia. In H.H.J. Geldsetzer, N.P. James and G.E. Tebbutt (eds.), Reefs, Canada and Adjacent Areas. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Memoir 13, pp. 725-735.
Ludvigsen, R., B.R. Pratt and S.R. Westrop, 1988. The myth of a eustatic sea level drop near the base of the Ibexian Series. New York State Museum, Bulletin No. 462, pp. 65-70.
Rowell, A.J., M.N. Rees, R.A. Cooper and B.R. Pratt, 1988. Early Palaeozoic history of the central Transantarctic Mountains: evidence from the Holyoake Range, Antarctica. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, v. 31, pp. 397-404.
Pratt, B.R. 1988. Early Ordovician (Ibexian) trilobite faunule from the type section of the Rabbitkettle Formation, southern Mackenzie Mountains, Northwest Territories. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 25, pp. 1595-1607.
Pratt, B.R. 1987. The phyllocarid crustacean Montecaris from the Devonian of northwestern Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 24, pp. 1267-1269.
Pratt, B.R. and N.P. James, 1986. The St. George Group (lower Ordovician) of western Newfoundland: tidal flat island model for carbonate sedimentation in epeiric seas. Sedimentology, v. 33, pp. 313-343.
Pratt, B.R. 1986. Sponge-constructed stromatactis mud mounds—Discussion. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 56, pp. 459-460.
Ludvigsen, R., S.R. Westrop, B.R. Pratt, P.A. Tuffnell and G.A. Young, 1986. Dual biostratigraphy: zones and biofacies. Geoscience Canada, v. 13, pp. 139-154.
Pratt, B.R. 1984. Epiphyton and Renalcis: diagenetic microfossils from calcification of coccoid blue-green algae. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 54, pp. 948-971.
Pratt, B.R. 1982a. Limestone response to stress: pressure solution and dolomitization—Discussion and examples of compaction in carbonate sediments. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 52, pp. 323-328.
Pratt, B.R. 1982b. Stromatolite decline—A reconsideration. Geology, v. 10, pp. 512-515.
Pratt, B.R. 1982c. Stromatolitic framework of carbonate mud-mounds. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 52, pp. 1203-1227.
Pratt, B.R. and N.P. James, 1982. Cryptalgal-metazoan bioherms of early Ordovician age in the St. George Group, western Newfoundland. Sedimentology, v. 29, pp. 543-569.
Pratt, B.R. 1979. Early cementation and lithification in intertidal cryptalgal structures, Boca Jewfish, Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 49, pp. 379-386.

Teaching & Supervision

introductory geology (earth history, physical geology)

paleontology

sedimentology

sedimentary petrology

field school

Research

earthquakes fossils paleontology sedimentology stratigraphy

I was born in Hamilton and grew up in nearby Dundas, a town nestled against the Niagara Escarpment of southern Ontario. I became a faculty member in the Department of Geological Sciences in 1989, after studying at McMaster, McGill, Memorial and Toronto, along with spending several years in the oil industry in Calgary, Alberta.
 
My scientific activities fall broadly within stratigraphy, with one foot planted in paleontology and the other in sedimentology. With the former, my taxonomic expertise is mainly in Cambrian trilobites, but I also study other fossil groups of Ediacaran through Cambro-Ordovician age, as well as Burgess Shale type faunas, microbial microfossils, stromatolites, reefs, bioerosion, ichnofossils and so on. These all lead me to appreciate the the larger context of paleoecology, paleobiology, taphonomy and biostratigraphy. My sedimentological interests overlap and include depositional environments and diagenesis of shallow-marine limestones and mixed carbonate–siliciclastic facies of all ages, and how these aspects varied through geological time. Lately I have been trying to understand the dynamics of ancient epeiric seas, that is, deciphering the limestones, dolomites and evaporites found in continental interiors which often differ from facies deposited on continental margins. I also dabble a little with ground-penetrating radar as part of my work on Silurian grainstone shoals which are analogues for some petroleum reservoirs. In recent years I have become particularly interested in detecting evidence for ancient earthquakes and tsunamis recorded by distinctive sedimentary structures and anomalous beds in both carbonate and siliciclastic successions. These deformation features, called seismites, open a window on the nature and rheology of sediments before lithification. Seismites and tsunamites tell us about tectonic architecture and behaviour of sedimentary basins.
 
I conduct my research activities mostly in the mountains of western and northwestern Canada, but I also work on rocks in the high Arctic, Saskatchewan subsurface, southern Ontario, U.S.A., western Argentina, China and so on. Although some of it can be related to petroleum geology, it is fundamentally curiosity-driven. My approach aims to be multi-disciplinary and combines discovery, description, testing and integration to tell a story—answering what I call the interrogative trinity: what? how? and why?
 

Education & Training

BSc, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, 1976

MSc, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland, 1979

PhD, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, 1989