Percy Strong


Full Name: Percy Strong

Position: Emeritus Scientist

Contact details

Email me here
Phone: +64-4-570 4808

Specialist Profile

I immigrated to New Zealand from the USA in 1975 to join the New Zealand Geological Survey as a micropaleontologist, continuing in that role when NZGS evolved to DSIR Geology and Geophysics in the late 1980s and to GNS Science, one of the Crown Research Institutes, in 1992. I retired from GNS in 2012, and have carried on as an Emeritus Scientist—the work is too interesting just to walk away! My speciality is Cretaceous-Paleogene foraminiferal micropaleontology and biostratigraphy, which have applications in geological mapping, basin studies, paleo- -environments, --oceanography, -climate and petroleum exploration. Over the years my work has become increasingly focused on the latest Cretaceous and early Paleogene sediments, especially on the excellent exposures in Marlborough. I especially enjoy working as part of a team, where my results contribute to a larger whole. A career highlight was pinpointing the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary at Woodside Creek in Marlborough. The iridium anomaly found here coincided with two boundary anomalies found earlier in Europe, showing its worldwide extent. This provided the critical evidence for the massive, terminal Cretaceous, meteorite impact. A second highlight is being part of the Mead Stream “team”. A 1995 paper by me, Chris Hollis and Graeme Wilson focused attention on what has proved to be a world-class, readily accessible, essentially complete, section of Late Cretaceous to Middle Eocene sediments. Over the years, many overseas scientists have come to NZ to sample the outcrops to study their important record of Southern Hemisphere paleoclimate and oceanographic events. Much of my work as an Emeritus Scientist has involved Mead Stream and related rock exposures in Marlborough.


1964: BA; 1967: MSc; 1969: PhD

Areas of expertise

Business Development: Well site biostratigraphy
Paleontology: Early Palogene biostratigraphy
Paleontology: Foraminiferal events
Paleontology: Late Cretaceous biostratigraphy
Paleontology: Paleoecology

Professional activities

Sigma Xi Society: Member
Geological Society of New Zealand: Member
International Commission on Paleogene Stratigraphy: Voting member
Micropaleontological Reference Centre: Ocean Drilling Programme: Curator

Major publications

Webb, P-N.; Strong, C.P. 2006 Foraminiferal biostratigraphy and palaeoecology in Upper Oligocene-Lower Miocene glacial marine sequences 9, 10, and 11, CRP-2/2A drill hole, Victoria Land Basin, Antarctica. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 231(1/2): 71-100; doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2005.07.036

Strong, C.P. 2000 Cretaceous-Tertiary foraminiferal succession at Flaxbourne River, Marlborough, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 43(1): 1-20; doi: 10.1080/00288306.2000.9514867

Strong, C.P.; Hollis, C.J.; Wilson, G.J. 1995 Foraminiferal, radiolarian, and dinoflagellate biostratigraphy of Late Cretaceous to Middle Eocene pelagic sediments (Muzzle Group), Mead Stream, Marlborough, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 38(2): 171-209; doi: 10.1080/00288306.1995.9514649

Hornibrook, N. de B.; Brazier, R.C.; Strong, C.P. 1989 Manual of New Zealand Permian to Pleistocene foraminiferal biostratigraphy. Lower Hutt: New Zealand Geological Survey. New Zealand Geological Survey paleontological bulletin 56. 175 p.

Strong, C.P.; Brooks, R.R.; Wilson, S.M.; Reeves, R.D.; Orth, C.J.; Mao, X.Y.; Quintana, L.R. 1987 A new Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary site at Flaxbourne River, New Zealand: biostratigraphy and geochemistry. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 51(10): 2769-2777; doi: 10.1016/0016-7037(87)90156-6

Strong, C.P. 1984 Triassic foraminifera from Southland Syncline, New Zealand. Wellington: DSIR. New Zealand Geological Survey paleontological bulletin 52. 63 p.

Strong, C.P. 1977 Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary at Woodside Creek, north-eastern Marlborough. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 20(4): 687-696; doi: 10.1080/00288306.1977.10430728

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