Dr. O'Keefe came to Marshall in the fall of 2006, and has been an associate professor since 2010. Since joining the faculty, he has published 10 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals, many co-authored with graduate and undergraduate students.
Dr. O'Keefe is known internationally for his work as a paleobiologist and most recently for a discovery that earned him publication in the esteemed journal Science. He is an acknowledged world expert on Mesozoic marine reptile paleontology and also has published research on primitive reptiles, Pleistocene mammals and extinction and evolutionary theory.
In August 2011, Dr. O'Keefe was the lead author on a paper on plesiosaur reproductive biology published in Science. His work with co-author Luis Chiappe of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is a significant advance in the understanding of these animals. Headlined “Sea Monster Had a Bun in the Oven,” the article about his research received widespread coverage in the popular press. A multitude of media outlets interviewed Dr. O'Keefe about his research, which was on display at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in California in August 2011. The BBC, CNN, local and statewide news organizations, National Geographic and U.S. News & World Report, as well as various international press, covered the publication of his research.