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Christy Visaggi

Sr. Lecturer    Senior Lecturer and Undergraduate Program Director

PhD, Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 2012
MS, Geology, Syracuse University, 2004
BA, Geology, Colgate University, 2002


Paleobiology, Paleontology, Marine Biology, and Geoscience Education


Dr. Visaggi is passionate about sharing her love of science as an educator, paleontologist, and mentor to students pursuing careers in geosciences, biology, and K-12 education at Georgia State University. Her experiences over the years have included work in collections at the Paleontological Research Institution and Calvert Marine Museum, education and outreach via Marine Quest and as an instructor for high school earth science, and field research in the Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, and Argentina, as well as for the National Park Service and across the U.S.


Her research in the fossil record and modern marine habitats emphasizes study of community dynamics, evolution of ecological interactions, predator-prey relationships, latitudinal patterns, and approaches in conservation paleobiology with a focus on molluscan assemblages. Other interests include examining coastal marine debris, pedagogical approaches (especially place-based learning), and advocating for diversity in STEM. Teaching at GSU has included introductory geosciences, paleontology, life and earth sciences in early childhood education, field school in Georgia, study abroad programs in Belize and the Bahamas, and a freshman seminar for the Honors College.


Dr. Visaggi has received recognition at GSU and beyond as an educator, mentor, and early career researcher. Highlights include a GSU Center for Effective Teaching and Learning Fellowship (2015), GSU College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Undergraduate Mentoring Award (2016), and GSU Signature Experience Teaching Award (2017). She has led or participated in collaborative grants provided by the Georgia Department of Education and University System of Georgia STEM Initiatives. External support for her efforts include awards from Paleontological Society, Geological Society of America, Association for Women Geoscientists, Ford Foundation, National Geographic, and National Science Foundation.


Much of her joy comes from mentoring students such as through work as a Co-PI for the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in Citizen Science GIS. Furthermore, Dr. Visaggi is the Director of Education and Outreach for the Georgia Geographic Alliance, state leader for the National Geographic Educator Certification, an educator for Project WET, and is actively involved in leadership roles for a variety of organizations in the region and nationwide including the Atlanta Science Festival and National Association for Geoscience Teachers. You can learn more about her life as a paleontologist, science educator, and mom via Episode #1 for Female of the Species: A Podcast for the Sisterhood of Science, an exhibit from Fernbank Science Center, and an interview for Meet a Paleontologist for National Fossil Day.




Featured Students:


Ashley Little (MS Geosciences, Water Sciences, In Progress)

Katherine Connell (MS Geosciences, Geology, 2018)
→ National Science Foundation

Danielle Perez (BS Biology, 2017)
Navy Marine Mammal Program

Adam Acker (MS Geosciences, Geology, 2016)

Laura Streib (BS Geosciences, Geology, 2016)
University of Kentucky (MS – In Progress)

Jessica Martinez (BS Early Childhood Education, 2016)
University of South Carolina (MS – In Progress)

Jeremy Dunham (BS Geosciences, Geology, 2014)
University of Tennessee (MS – In Progress)


Kelley, P.H., Dietl, G.P., and Visaggi, C.C., 2018, Training tomorrow’s conservation paleobiologists, in Tyler, C.L. and Schneider, C.L., editors, Topics in Geobiology: Marine Conservation Paleobiology.


Bennett-Martin, P., Visaggi, C.C., and Hawthorne, T.L., 2016, Mapping marine debris across coastal communities in Belize: developing a baseline for understanding the distribution of litter on beaches using Geographic Information Systems, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, v. 88, no. 10. doi: 10.1007/s10661-016-5544-4


Visaggi, C.C. and Kelley, P.H., 2015, Equatorward increase in naticid gastropod drilling predation on infaunal bivalves from Brazil, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 438, p. 285-299.


Visaggi, C.C., Dietl, G.P., and Kelley, P.H., 2013, Testing the influence of sediment depth and prey health on drilling behaviour of Neverita duplicata (Gastropoda: Naticidae) with a review of alternative modes of predation by naticids, Journal of Molluscan Studies, v. 79, no. 4, p. 310-322. doi: 10.1093/mollus/eyt023


Kelley, P.H. and Visaggi, C.C., 2012, Learning paleontology through doing: integrating an authentic research project into an invertebrate paleontology course, in Lockwood, R. and Yacobucci, M.M., editors, Teaching Paleontology in the 21st Century, Paleontological Society Special Publication, v. 12, p. 181-197.


Durham, S.R., Dietl, G.P., and Visaggi, C.C., 2012, The mismeasure of behavior: a natural history revision of prey preference in the banded tulip snail, Journal of Shellfish Research, v. 31, no. 1, p. 101-109.


Visaggi, C.C. and Ivany, L.C., 2010, The influence of data type and selection on interpretations of stability in Oligocene faunas of Mississippi, Palaios, v. 25, no. 12, p. 769-779.


Visaggi, C.C. and Godfrey, S.J., 2010, Variation in composition and abundance of Miocene shark teeth from Calvert Cliffs, Maryland, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, v. 30, no. 1, p. 26-35.


Visaggi, C.C., Johnson, J.G., Johnson, A.S., Kenworthy, J.P., and Santucci, V.L., 2009, Paleontological Resource Survey – Amistad National Recreation Area, Natural Resource Report NPS/NRPC/GRD/NRR—2009/133, National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO, 69 p.


Alroy, J., Aberhan, M., Bottjer, D.J., Foote, M., Fürsich, F.T., Harries, P.J., Hendy, A.J.W., Holland, S.M., Ivany, L.C., Kiessling, W., Kosnik, M.A., Marshall, C.R., McGowan, A.J., Miller, A.I., Olszewski, T.D., Patzkowsky, M.E., Peters, S.E., Villier, L., Wagner, P.J., Bonuso, N., Borkow, P.S., Brenneis, B., Clapham, M.E., Fall, L.M., Ferguson, C.A., Hanson, V.L., Krug, A.Z., Layou, K.M., Leckey, E.H., Nürnberg, S., Powers, C.M., Sessa, J.A., Simpson, C., Tomašových, A., and Visaggi, C.C., 2008, Phanerozoic trends in the global diversity of marine invertebrates, Science, v. 321, no. 5885, p. 97-100.