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George A. Brook

Merle C. Prunty, Jr. Emeritus Professor

Contact info

Geog-Geol Bldg, 210 Field Street, Athens, Georgia 30602, Room208
Phone Number:
Research Interests:

Geomorphology, Karst, Geoarcheology and Quaternary Studies

  • Ph.D (1976), McMaster University Geography
  • Master of Science (1970), University of the Witwatersrand Geography
  • Bachelor of Science (1967), Edinburgh University Geography
  • "Development of a Study Abroad Course "The Environment and Archaeology of Egypt" in Association with a Binational Fulbright Grant Between Ain Shams University, Cairo and the University of Georgia". University of Georgia International Program Development Fund ($2,400) and Dean, College of Arts and Sciences ($500), 2000-2001, $2,900.
  • "Doctoral Dissertation Research: High-Resolution Climate and Land-Use Records from Cave Stalagmites and County Gazetteers for China Over the Last 2000 Years," with Honglin Xiao, National Science Foundation, 2000-2001, $10,000.
  • "Environmental Change in Namibia During the Last 300 ka from Cave Speleothems, Tufas and Fluvial Sediments", National Science Foundation, 2000-2003, $328,938.
  • "Ain Shams-University of Georgia Geography Partnership Program," with N.S. Embabi, Binational Fulbright Commission, 2000-2002, $50,000.
  • "High-Resolution Climate Records for China for the Last 2,000 Years from Cave Stalagmites and Gazetteer Records." University of Georgia Research Foundation, 1999-2001, $12,850.
  • "High-resolution ENSO and other paleoenvironmental data for the last 20 ka from cave speleothems in Madagascar and Botswana," with L. B. Railsback, National Science Foundation, 1999-2002, $371,521.
  • "Doctoral Dissertation Research: Hydrologic and Geochemical Response of Conduit-Flow and Diffuse-Flow Karst Systems to Variability in Seasonal Climate and Individual Storm Characteristics", with Shaw -Wen Sheen, National Science Foundation, 1999-2000, $11,430.
  • "Doctoral Dissertation Research: Human-Environmental Relationships in Coastal Plain Georgia Based on High- Resolution Paleoenvironmental Records from Three Peat Deposits," with H. Lamoreaux, National Science Foundation, 1998-1999, $9,665.
  • "Exploration of Caves in the Koanaka and Aha Hills of Botswana for Plio-Pleistocene Fossils." Collaborator on National Geographic Grant to Callum Ross of SUNY, Stonybrook. Fieldwork in Summer 1997.
  • "Quaternary Environments at El-Garrah Cave, Western Desert of Egypt.University of Georgia Research Foundation, 1996-97, $6,000.
  • "Doctoral Dissertation Research: Late Quaternary Climate Variation Within the Maya Lowlands, Belize, Central America as Evidenced by Variations in Speleothem Deposition," with J.W. Webster, National Science Foundation, 1996-1997, $9,975.
  • "Archaeological Investigation and Paleoenvironmental Context of Mining at the Tsodilo Hills, Western Kalahari Desert," with L. H. Robbins. National Science Foundation, 1995-1997, $150,000.
  • "Protecting High-Risk Wetlands in Georgia's Coastal Plain from Anthropogenic Groundwater Perturbations," 1995-1997, U.S.Geological Survey, $21,000.
  • "A High-Resolution Environmental Record for Southern Africa from Annual Layers, Pollen and Microscopic Charcoal in Cave Speleothems" with L. B. Railsback, J-C. Thill and R. S. Meltzer. NOAA 1995-1997, ($60,000).
  • "Plio-Pleistocene Fossil Breccias in Caves of the Koanaka Hills, Botswana." Collaboration invited by Blythe Williams and Diane Waddle of the Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, Duke University Medical Center, and Callum Ross, Department of Anatomical Sciences, SUNY, Stonybrook. Approximately $1,000 was provided by grant from Duke University for fieldwork in Botswana, June 1995.
  • "Ethnoarchaeology, Prehistory and Paleoenvironment in the Western Kalahari." National Science Foundation REU Supplement 1993, $3,750.
  • "The Consequences of continued Global Warming on the Vegetation of the Southeastern U.S.A.: Evidence from the Last Interglacial," U.S. Department of Energy through the National Institute for Global Environmental Change, Southeast Regional Center, 1992-1993, $78,220.
  • "Ethnoarchaeology, Prehistory and Paleoenvironment in the Western Kalahari," with L. H. Robbins. National Science Foundation, 1991-1993, $123,909.
  • "Paleoenvironmental Data from Speleothems in Karain Cave, Turkey" (Invited research by Professor Isin Yalcinkaya, University of Ankara, Turkey), University of Georgia Research Foundation and College of Arts and Sciences($3,000), 1989.
  • "Long Paleoenvironmental Records from African Cave Sediments" with D. A. Burney and J. B. Cowart, National Science Foundation, 1989-1991 ($154,473).
  • "Excavations of the White Paintings Shelter: Tsodilo Hills, Botswana." Subcontract of $2,000 to undertake geomorphological studies of White Paintings Rock Shelter. National Geographic Society Grant #4097-89 to Larry H. Robbins of Michigan State University, 1989.
  • "Quaternary Paleoenvironmental Data for Tropical Africa from Cave Sediments." National Geographic Society, 1987-1989 ($19,600).
  • "Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene Subsistence and Settlement Patterns in Southern Somalia" with S. A. Brandt and H. T. Bunn. National Science Foundation, 1985-1986 ($89,599).
  • "Collaborative Research on the Okefenokee Swamp Ecosystem." With B. C. Patten, R. E. Hodson, and M. J. Duever, National Science Foundation, 1984-1985 ($246,946).
  • "Estimating the Surface Water Resources of the Georgia Coastal Plain and Predicting the Effects of Changing Land-use Patterns." U.S. Geological Survey, Department of Interior, 1984-1985 ($12,000).
  • "Paleoenvironmental Analysis From Cores of Speleothems in Carlsbad Caverns," with B. B. Ellwood. National Geographic Society, 1983-1984 ($13,500).
  • "Geological Factors Influencing Ground Water Flow and Well Productivity on the Georgia Piedmont." Office of Water Policy, 1983-1984 ($10,750).
  • "Integrated Studies of the Okefenokee Swamp Ecosystem IV: Long Term Ecological Research in Freshwater Wetlands," with B. C. Patten, K. Porter, R. Hodson and J. Laerm. National Science Foundation LTER Program, 1982-1987 ($1,311,468).
  • "The Late Quaternary Paleoanthropology of Northeastern Somalia," with S. A. Brandt. University of Georgia Research Foundation, 1981-1983 ($12,000).
  • "Quaternary Paleoclimates of the Eastern Transvaal, South Africa: The Record Preserved in Caves." University of Georgia Research Foundation, 1981 ($3,500).
  • "Geohydrology and Paleohydrology of the Okefenokee Swamp, Georgia," with R. E. Carver and M. J. Duever. Funded through N.S.F. grant, "Integrated Studies of the Okefenokee Swamp Ecosystems," Principal Investigator B. C. Patten, 1979-1982 ($89,771).
  • "Paleoclimatic Reconstruction by Analysis of Cave Deposits." University of Georgia Research Foundation,1980($2,250).
  • "Comparative Analysis of Terrestrial and Martian Labyrinth Terrains." NASA Mars Data Analysis Program GrantNSG 7539, 1979-1982 ($50,900).
  • "Relationships Between Lineaments and Groundwater Flow in the Southwest Georgia Aquifer," with R. E. Carver. Department of the Interior, Office of Water Research and Technology, 1979-1981 ($17,160).
  • "Geoarchaeology of the Oconee Reservoir Site, Greene County", Georgia Power Co. subcontracted through the Dept. of Anthropology, University of Georgia, 1978 ($8,094).
  • "The Historical Development of Sinkholes in Southwest Georgia and Predictive Models for the Future." Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources, Geologic and Water Resources Division, 1978 ($800).
Of note:
  • 2001 Appointed Merle C. Prunty Jr. Professor of Geography, January, 2001.
  • 2001-2002 University Partnership Program, Binational Fulbright Commission Visiting Professor, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt, 3 weeks in March 2001 and 3 weeks in March 2002.
  • 1999 Awarded a prize of $500 by the Editorial Board of Physical Geography for "Cyclicity in precipitation and stream discharge in Georgia and relationships with the Southern Oscillation", judged as one of the four best papers presented at the Association of American Geographers ENSO symposium in Hawaii, March, 1999.
  • 1998 University System of Georgia Chancellor's Award ($1,500) for "China 1998 Faculty Development Seminar", Nanjing, China, July 1-July 30.
  • 1998 Visiting Professor, Department of Geography, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt, Feb. 28-March 16 ($2,000 travel).
  • 1997- Co-leader of the "Hydrological Dynamics" working group within the UNESCO IGCP 413 "Future Dryland Environmental Change from Past Dynamics."
  • 1996- One of 11 Full Members of International Geographical Union Commission 96.C21 "Sustainable Development and Management of Karst Terrains."
  • 1991 "Study in a Second Discipline," University Faculty Development Award, University of Georgia ($15,000 to Department of Geography).
  • 1990 Chairman of Working Group "Paleoenvironments of Presently Arid Karst Areas" within IGU Study Group "Anthropogenic Impact and Environmental Changes in Karst."
  • 1990 Chairman of the Working Group "Desert Paleoenvironments from Cave Sediments" within UNESCO's International Geological Correlation Program 252 "Past and Future Evolution of Deserts."
  • 1988 Resource advisor for countries in eastern and southern Africa, Fulbright Program for Africa, Pre-Departure Conference, June 28-July 1, 1988, Washington, D.C. ($700 honorarium from the U.S. Information Agency).
  • 1987-1988 Africa Regional Research Fulbright Senior Scholar Award to undertake 9 months of research in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Zaire, and Kenya. Cooperative research and affiliations were as follows: Botswana - Affiliation with the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Botswana, Gaborone; Zambia - Research Affiliate of the Department of Geography, University of Zambia, Lusaka; Zimbabwe - Fulbright Research Associate in the Department of Geology, University of Zimbabwe, Harare. Cooperative research with the Zimbabwe Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management; Zaire - Member of the Semliki Research Expedition headed by Noel T. Boaz, Director of the Virginia Museum of Natural History, Martinsville, VA. Cooperative research with the Institut Zairois Pour la Conservation de la Nature; Kenya - Affiliation with the National Museums of Kenya (Director R.E. Leakey). Cooperative research with the Caving Group of East Africa.
  • 1983 University of Georgia M.G. Michael Award for Excellence in Research ($2,000 cash award)
  • 1974 Distinction in Ph.D. Comprehensive Examinations
  • 1973-1975 National Research Council of Canada Postgraduate Scholarship
  • 1971 South African Geographical Society Medal for the outstanding Master's thesis of the year.
  • 1967 Leverhulme Award (for performance in B.Sc. final examinations).
  • 1967 Awarded First Class Honors B.Sc.
Courses Regularly Taught:
Selected Publications:


Mallinson, D, Burdette, K., Mahon, S., Brook, G.A. , 2008. Optically stimulated luminescence age controls on Late Pleistocene and Holocene coastal lithosomes, North Carolina, USA. Quaternary Research 69 (1): 97-109.

Moyes, H., Awe, J., Brook, G.A., Webster, J. , 2008. (2008). The ancient Maya drought cult: Late Classic cave use in Belize. Latin American Antiquity(in press)

Brook, G.A., Srivastava, P., Brook, F.Z., Robbins, L.H., Campbell, A.C., Murphy, M.L., 2008. OSL chronology from sediments and MSA artefacts at the Toteng quarry, Kalahari Desert, Botswana. South African Archaeological Bulletin(in press).

Robbins, L.H., Campbell, A.C., Murphy, M.L., Brook, G.A., Liang, F., Skaggs, S.A., Srivastava, P., Mabuse, A.A., Badenhorst, S., 2008. Recent archaeological research at Toteng, Botswana: Early domesticated livestock in the Kalahari.Journal of African Archaeology (in press).

Gil-Romera, G., Scott, L., Marais, E., Brook, G.A., 2007. Late Holocene environmental change in the North-western Namib Desert margin: new fossil pollen evidence from hyrax middens. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 249: 1-17.

Webster, J.W., Brook, G.A., Railsback, L.B., Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., Alexander, C., Reeder, P.P. , 2007. Stalagmite Evidence from Belize indicating significant droughts at the time of Preclassic Abandonment, the Maya Hiatus, and the Classic Maya Collapse. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 250:1-17.

Brook, G.A., Marais, E., Srivastava, P., Jordan, T., 2007. Timing of lake level changes in Etosha Pan, Namibia, since the middle Holocene from OSL ages of relict shorelines in the Okondeka region. Quaternary International 175: 29-40

Brook, G.A., Srivastava, P., Marais, E. , 2006. Characteristics and OSL minimum ages of relict fluvial deposits near Sossus Vlei, Tsauchab River, Namibia, and a regional climate record for the last 30 ka. Journal of Quaternary Science 21: 347-362.

Srivastava, P, Brook, G.A., Marais, E. Morthekai, P., Singhvi, A.K. , 2006. Depositional environment and OSL chronology of the Homeb Silt deposits, Kuiseb River, Namibia. Quaternary Research 65: 478-491.

Brook, G.A., Ellwood, B.B., Railsback, L.B., Cowart, J.B. , 2006. A 164 ka record of environmental change in the American Southwest from a Carlsbad Cavern speleothem. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 237: 483-507.

Gil-Romero, G., Scott, L., Marais, E., Brook, G.A., 2006. Middle- to late-Holocene moisture changes in the desert of northwest Namibia derived from fossil hyrax dung pollen. The Holocene 16: 1079-1090.

Hodgins, G., Brook, G.A., Marais, E., 2006. Bomb-spike dating of a mummified baboon in Ludwig Cave, Namibia.International Journal of Speleology 36 (1): 31-38.

Srivastava, P., Brook, G.A., Marais, E. , 2005. Depositional environment and luminescence chronology of the Hoarusib River Clay Castles sediments, northern Namib Desert, Namibia. Catena 59: 187-204.

Robbins, L.R., Campbell, A.C., Murphy, M.L., Brook, G.A., Srivastava, P., Badenhorst, S. , 2005. The advent of herding in southern Africa: Early AMS dates on domestic livestock from the Kalahari Desert, Botswana. Current Anthropology 46 (4): 671-677.

Srivastava, P., Brook, G.A., Marais, E., 2004. A record of fluvial aggradation in the northern Namib Desert during the Late Quaternary. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie N.F., Suppl.-Vol. 133: 1-18.

Scott, L., Marais, E., Brook, G.A., 2004. Fossil hyrax dung and evidence of Late Pleistocene and Holocene Vegetation types in the Namib Desert. Journal of Quaternary Science 19: 4p.

Thomas, D., Brook, G., Shaw, P., Bateman, M., Haberyan, K., Appleton, C., Nash, D., Mclaren, S., Davies, F. , 2003. Late Pleistocene wetting and drying in the NW Kalahari: An integrated study from the Tsodilo Hills, Botswana. Quaternary International 104: 53-67.

Brook, G.A., Embabi, N. S., Ashour, M. M., Edwards, R. L., Cheng, H., Cowart, J. B., Dabous, A. A. , 2003. Quaternary environmental change in the Western Desert of Egypt: Evidence from cave speleothems, spring tufas, and playa sediments. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie Suppl.-Vol. 131: 59-87

Brook, G.A., Robbins, L.H., Campbell, A.C., 2003. Forty thousand years of environmental change in the Kalahari as evidenced by sediments in the Depression Rock Shelter, Tsodilo Hills, Botswana. Nyame Akume 59: 2-10.

Xiao, H., Brook, G.A., Lo, C.P., 2003. Evidence from satellite images of human-related environmental change in Guizhou Province, China, 1991-1998. Asian Geographer 22(1-2): 93-108.

Thomas, D., Brook, G., Shaw, P., Bateman, M., Haberyan, K., Appleton, C., Nash, D., Mclaren, S., Davies, F. , 2003. Late Pleistocene Wetting and Drying in the NW Kalahari: An Integrated Study from the Tsodilo Hills, Botswana. Quaternary International 104: 53-67.

Brook, G. A. , 2002. in ancient, reddened aeolian sands south of Mogadishu, Somalia. The Arab World Geographer 5(3): 141-155.

Brook, G.A., Embabi, N. S., Ashour, M. M., Edwards, R. L., Cheng, H., Cowart, J. B., Dabous, A. A. , 2002. Djara Cave in the Western Desert of Egypt: Morphology and evidence of Quaternary climatic change. Cave and Karst Science 29 (2): 57-66.

Robbins, L.H., Murphy, M.L., Brook, G.A., Campbell, A.C., Melear, N., Downey, W.S., 2001. Late Quaternary archaeological and paleoenvironmental data from sediments at Rhino Cave, Tsodilo Hills, South African Field Archaeology 9: 17-31

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