CulverPic.jpg (110315 bytes)
Dr. Stephen J. Culver - Professor & Department Chairperson
Office Graham 101
Phone 252-328-6360
Ph.D.(honorary) University Malaysia Terengganu (2017), Oceanography
D.Sc. University of Wales (1997), Biological Sciences
Ph.D. University of Wales (1976), Oceanography
B.S. University of Wales (1973), Geology


Dr. Culver may be reached via Email :

Last Updated: 03/2021

Coring in the South China Sea off Malaysia

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Current Professional and Scholarly Interests

My research interests include the ecology, paleoecology, biogeography and paleobiogeography of benthic foraminifera, and the use of foraminiferal data to reconstruct past climates and environments. My research is currently located in the South China Sea, coastal Malaysia and coastal North Carolina.

Research Websites

Paleoclimate of Southeast Asia

NC CHaNGE: Coastal Hydrodynamic and Natural Geological Evolution


Recent Graduate Student M.S. Theses

Nur Sakinah Abd Razak, 2019. Benthic foraminifera of Kilim National Geopark, Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia. (Universiti Malaysia Terengganu)


B. Querry, 2018. Geology and origin of sand ridges in a back-barrier estuary, Pamlico Sound, North Carolina.


M.R. Twarog, 2018. Holocene paleoenvironmental reconstruction of depositional environments on the Sunda Shelf, southwest South China Sea, using a multidisciplinary approach.


N. Shmorhun, 2018. Characterizing coastal subenvironments with modern foraminiferal assemblages: Bear Island and Bogue Banks, North Carolina.



C.J. Whitley, 2017. Regional correlation of the Holocene sedimentary record, Sunda Shelf, South China Sea (non-thesis research paper)


B. Donovan, 2017. A multiproxy paleoenvironmental reconstruction of late Quaternary marine sediments: Sunda Shelf, southern South China Sea.


E. Harrison, 2017. Holocene paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the Sunda Shelf, off northeastern peninsular Malaysia.


Rokiah Binti Suriada, 2016. Distribution patterns of modern benthic Foraminifera and late Quaternary geologic history of the inner shelf of the South China Sea, Peninsular Malaysia. (Universiti Malaysia Terengganu). (PhD dissertation)


Fatin Izzati Minhat, 2016. Application of benthic foraminifera as indicators of former sea level, peninsular Malaysia. (Universiti Malaysia Terengganu). (PhD dissertation)


S. Martin, 2016. Distribution and taxonomy of modern benthic foraminifera of the western Sunda Shelf (South China Sea) off peninsular Malaysia.


H. Hindes, 2016. Holocene Sedimentary Record from the Sunda Shelf off Peninsular Malaysia: Insights from Elemental, Isotopic and Bulk Sediment Magnetic Susceptibility Analyses.


D. Reed, 2016. Mid- to Late Holocene Environmental Change on the Sunda Shelf off NE Peninsular Malaysia (non-thesis research paper).


J. Kegel, 2015. Extension of the late Holocene sea-level record in North Carolina.


A. Dietsche, 2015. The late Quaternary evolution of north Core Sound, North Carolina.


C.F. Smith, 2015. Holocene evolution of the Ocracoke Inlet flood-tide delta region, Outer Banks, North Carolina.


A. L. Woodson, 2014. A record of Holocene climate change from the Sunda Shelf, South China Sea.


Recent Publications (underlining indicates student author)


Culver, S.J., Mallinson, D.J., Buzas, M.A., Twarog, M., Shazili, N.A.M. 2019, Rapid change of foraminiferal distribution in the Setiu Estuary, Terengganu, Malaysia: natural and anthropogenic drivers. Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 49: 206-228.


Suriadi, R., Shaari, H., Culver, S.J., Husain, M.L., Rajan, V.V.V., Parham, P.R., Sapon, N.A. 2019. Inner shelf benthic foraminifera of the South China Sea, east coast peninsular Malaysia. Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 49: 11-28.


Martin, S.Q., Culver, S.J., Leorri, E., Mallinson, D.J., Buzas, M.A.., Hayek, L.-A., Shazili, N.A.M., 2018. Distribution and taxonomy of modern benthic foraminifera of the western Sunda shelf (South China Sea) off peninsular Malaysia. Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research, Special Publication no. 47, 112 p.


Mallinson, D.J., Culver, S.J., Leorri, E., Mitra, S., Mulligan, R., Riggs, S.R. 2018. Barrier island and estuary co-evolution in response to Holocene climate and sea-level change. In: Moore, L.J. and Murray, A.B., Barrier Island Dynamics and Response to Changing Climate, Springer International Publishing, p. 91-120.


Kemp, A.C., Horton, B.P., Nikitina, D., Vane, C.H., Potapova, M., Weber-Bruya, E., Culver, S.J., Repkina, T., Hill, D.F. 2017.The distribution and utility of sea-level indicators in sub-Arctic Eurasian salt marshes (White Sea, Russia). Boreas, 46: 562-584.


Woodson, A. L., Leorri, E., Culver, S.J., Mallinson, D.J., Parham, P., Thunell, R.C., Vijayan, V.R., Curtis, S. 2017. Sea-surface temperatures for the last 7200 years from the eastern Sunda Shelf, South China Sea: climatic inferences from planktonic foraminiferal Mg/Ca ratios. Quaternary Science Reviews, 165: 13-24.


Kemp, A.C., Kegel, J.J., Culver, S.J., Barber, D.C., Mallinson, D.J., Leorri, E., Bernhardt, C.E., Cahill, N., Riggs, S.R., Woodson, A.L., Mulligan, R.P., Horton, B.P. 2017. Extended late Holocene relative sea-level histories for North Carolina, USA. Quaternary Science Reviews, 160, 13-30.


Culver, S.J., Farrell, K., Mallinson, D.J., Willard, D.A., Horton, B.P., Riggs, S.R., Thieler, E.R., Wehmiller, J.F., Parham, P., Pierson Moore, J., Snyder, S.W., and Hillier, C. 2016. Micropaleontologic record of Pliocene and Quaternary paleoenvironments in the southern Albemarle Embayment, North Carolina, U.S.A. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 457, 360-379.


Zaremba, N., Mallinson, D.J., Leorri, E., Culver. S.J., Riggs, S.R., Mulligan, R., Horsman, E. 2016. Controls on the stratigraphic record and paleoenvironmental change within a Holocene estuarine system: Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, USA. Marine Geology, 379, 109-123.


Lazar, K.M., Mallinson, D.J., Culver, S.J. 2016. Foraminifera and Quaternary evolution of the Croatan Beach-ridge complex, Bogue Sound, and Bogue Banks, NC, USA and implications for coastal evolution. Journal of Coastal Research, 174, 49-64.


Tichenor, H.R., Culver, S.J., Buzas, M.A., Corbett, D.R., Walsh, J.P. 2016. Foraminifera as indicators of hypoxia off Southwest Pass, Mississippi Delta, Gulf of Mexico? Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 46, 48-60.


Moran, K.L., Mallinson, D.J., Culver, S.J., Leorri, E., Mulligan, R. 2015. Late Holocene evolution of Currituck Sound, North Carolina, USA: environmental change driven by sea-level rise, storms and barrier island morphology. Journal of Coastal Research, 31, 827-841.


Brain, M.J., Kemp, A.C., Horton, B.P., Culver, S.J., Parnell, A.C., and Cahill, N. 2015. Quantifying the contribution of sediment compaction to late Holocene salt-marsh sea-level reconstructions, North Carolina, USA. Quaternary Research, 83, 41-51.


Culver, S.J., Leorri, E., Corbett, D.R., Mallinson, D.J., Shazili, N.A.M. 2015. Recent coastal evolution and sea- level rise, Setiu wetland, peninsular Malaysia. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 417, 406-421.