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Prof. Emese Bordy

Associate Professor


Room 501
Department of Geological Sciences
Ph:  +27 (0)21 650 2901
Fax:  +27 (0)21 650 3783

Current CV 

Google Scholar




  • Clastic sedimentology (esp. fluvial deposits)
  • Stratigraphy, sedimentology and palaeo-ecosystems of the Karoo in southern Africa
  • Paleozoic and Mesozoic basin evolution in southern Africa
  • Continental ichnology
  • Sedimentology of Karoo coal-bearing strata (outside the main Karoo Basin)

Latest Publications

*denotes postgraduate students or postdoctoral researchers

Bordy, E.M. and Paiva*, F. 2021. Stratigraphic architecture of the Karoo river channels at the End-Capitanian. Frontiers in Earth Science 8: 521766.  (open-access article)

Bordy E. M., Abrahams* M., Sharman G. R., Viglietti P. A., Benson R. B. J., McPhee B. W., Barrett P. M., Sciscio* L., Condon D., Mundil R., Rademan* Z., Jinnah Z., Clark J. M., Suarez C. A., Chapelle K. E. J., Choiniere J. N. (2020). A chronostratigraphic framework for the upper Stromberg Group: implications for the Triassic-Jurassic boundary in southern Africa. Earth-Science Reviews 203: 103120.

Bordy, E.M., Rampersadh*, Abrahams*, M., Lockley, M.G., Head*, H. (2020). Tracking the Pliensbachian–Toarcian Karoo firewalkers: Trackways of quadruped and biped dinosaurs and mammaliaforms. PLoS ONE 15(1): e0226847. (open-access article)

Bordy, E.M. (2020). Depositional style changes during the Permo-Carboniferous – Early Jurassic evolution of the Central Kalahari Karoo Sub-basin, Botswana. Geology Journal 55:5514–5539.

Muir, R.*, Bordy, E.M., Mundil R., Frei, D. (2020). Recalibrating the breakup history of SW Gondwana: U-Pb radioisotopic age constraints from the southern Cape of South Africa. Gondwana Research 84:  177–193.

Viglietti P.A., McPhee B.W., Bordy E.M., Sciscio* L., Barrett P.M., Benson R. B. J., Wills S., Chapelle K. E. J., Dollman K. N., Mdekazi C., Choiniere J. N. (2020). Biostratigraphy of the Massospondylus Assemblage Zone (Stormberg Group, Karoo Supergroup), South Africa. South African Journal of Geology 123 (2), 249–262.

Viglietti P.A., McPhee B.W., Bordy E.M., Sciscio* L., Barrett P.M., Benson R. B. J., Wills S., Tolchard F., Choiniere J. N. (2020). Biostratigraphy of the Scalenodontoides Assemblage Zone (Stormberg Group, Karoo Supergroup), South Africa. South African Journal of Geology 123 (2), 239–248.

Abrahams*, M., Sciscio*, L., Reid*, M., Haupt*, T. & Bordy, E.M. (2020). Large tridactyl dinosaur tracks from the Early Jurassic of southern Gondwana - uppermost Elliot Formation, Upper Moyeni, Lesotho. Annales Societatis Geologorum Poloniae 90, 1–26. (open-access article)

Abrahams*, M., Bordy, E. M. & Knoll, F. (2020). Hidden for one hundred years: a diverse theropod ichnoassemblage and tracks preserved in cross-section from the historic Early Jurassic Tsikoane ichnosite (Clarens Formation, northern Lesotho, southern Africa). Historical Biology.

Sciscio*, L., Bordy, E.M., Head*, H. (2020). A Late Triassic aquatic community: Undichna-like and related swimming traces from a freshwater pond in the lower Elliot Formation of South Africa. Journal of African Earth Sciences

Mukaddam*, R., Bordy, E.M., Lockley, M.G., Chapelle K.E.J. (2020). Reviving Kalosauropus, an Early Jurassic sauropodomorph track from southern Africa (Lesotho).  Historical Biology

Bordy, E.M., O Sztanó, A Rampersadh*, J Almond, JN Choiniere, 2019.  Vertebrate scratch traces from the Middle Triassic Burgersdorp Formation of the main Karoo Basin, South Africa: Sedimentological and ichnological assessment. Journal of African Earth Sciences 160, 103594

Runds*, M.J., Bordy, E.M., Pether, J. 2019. Late Quaternary sedimentological history of a submerged gravel barrier beach complex, southern Namibia. Geo-Marine Letters,

Reid. M.*, Taylor, W., Brett C.E., Hunter, A.W.  Bordy, E.M., 2019. Taphonomy and paleoecology of an ophiuroid-stylophoran obrution deposit from the Lower Devonian Bokkeveld Group, South Africa. PALAIOS 34: 212-228

Reid, M.*, Hunter, A. W., Taylor, W., Bordy, E.M. 2019. A new genus of Protasteridae (Ophiuridea) from the Lower Devonian Bokkeveld Group of South Africa. Palaeontologia africana  53: 66–74 — ISSN 2410-4418

Bordy, E.M., Bowen, D.*, Moore, J., Garnett, M., Tsikos, H. 2018. A Holocene “frozen accident”: Wildfire-related flood and megaflood sediments in the bedrock-confined Huis River, Western Cape, South Africa. Journal of Sedimentary Research 88: 696–716 • doi:10.2110/jsr.2018.29

Bordy, E.M. 2018. Introduction and a brief history of ichnological research in southern Africa. In Bordy, EM (ed.) Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference of Continental Ichnology (ICCI 2017), Nuy Valley (Western Cape Winelands), 1-8 October 2017. Palaeontologia africana vol 52, p. 131-133. — ISSN 2410-4418

Bordy, E. M., Meyer, Ch. A; Belvedere, M. 2018. Foreword to the Special Volume on Continental Ichnology ICCI 2017; Annales Societatis Geologorum Poloniae 88: 87 – 90. doi: 10.14241/asgp. 2018.016

Rampersadh*, A., Bordy, E. M., Sciscio,* L., Abrahams,* M., 2018. Dinosaur behaviour in an Early Jurassic palaeoecosystem - uppermost Elliot Formation, Ha Nohana, Lesotho. Annales Societatis Geologorum Poloniae 88: 163 – 179. doi:

McPhee, B.W., Benson, R.B., Botha-Brink, J., Bordy, E.M., Choiniere, J.N. 2018. A giant dinosaur from the earliest Jurassic of South Africa and the transition to quadrupedality in early sauropodomorphs. Current Biology.

Reid. M.*, Bordy, E.M., Taylor, W., le Roux, S.G., du Plessis, A. 2018. A micro X-ray computed tomography dataset of fossil echinoderms in an ancient obrution bed: a robust method for taphonomic and palaeoecologic analyses. GigaScience, giy156, (Published: 07 December 2018)

Chukwuma*, K. Bordy, E.M., Coetzer, A. 2018. Evolution of porosity and pore geometry in the Permian Whitehill Formation of South Africa – A FE-SEM image analysis study. Marine and Petroleum Geology 91: 262-278 • doi: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2017.12.026

Bordy, E.M. 2018. Lithostratigraphy of the Tshidzi Formation (Dwyka Group, Karoo Supergroup), South Africa. South African Journal of Geology 121.1: 109-118 •

Bordy, E.M., Head, H.* 2018. Lithostratigraphy of the Clarens Formation (Stormberg Group, Karoo Supergroup), South Africa. South African Journal of Geology 121.1: 119-130 •

Falkingham, P.L., Bates, K. T., Avanzini, M., Bennett, M., Bordy, E.M., Breithaupt, B. H., Castanera, D., Citton, P., Díaz-Martínez, I., Farlow, J. O., Fiorillo, A. R., Gatesy, S. M., Getty, P., Hatala, K. G., Hornung, J. J., Hyatt, J. A., Klein, H., Lallensack, J. N., Martin, A. J., Marty, D., Matthews, N. A., Meyer, Ch. A., Milàn, J., Minter, N. J., Razzolini, N.L., Romilio, A., Salisbury, S.W., Sciscio*, L., Tanaka, I., Wiseman, A.L.A., Xing, L. D., Belvedere, M. 2018. A standard protocol for documenting modern and fossil ichnological data. Palaeontology 61: 469–480 • doi: 10.1111/pala.12373

Backwell, L.R., d’Errico, F., Banks, W.E., de la Peña, P., Sievers, C., Stratford, D., Lennox, S.J., Wojcieszak, M., Bordy, E.M., Bradfield, J., Wadley, L. 2018. New excavations at Border Cave, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Journal of Field Archaeology 43: 417-436. doi:10.1080/00934690.2018.1504544

Bordy, E.M., Abrahams*, M., Sciscio*, L. 2017.  The Subeng vertebrate tracks: stratigraphy, sedimentology and a digital archive of a historic Upper Triassic palaeosurface (lower Elliot Formation), Leribe, Lesotho (southern Africa). Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana 56: 181-198. doi:10.4435/BSPI.2017.12.

Sciscio* L, Bordy EM, Abrahams* M, Knoll F, McPhee* BW. 2017. The first megatheropod tracks from the Lower Jurassic upper Elliot Formation, Karoo Basin, Lesotho. PLoS ONE12(10): e0185941.

McPhee*, B.W.; Bordy, E.M.; Sciscio*, L.; Choiniere, J.N., 2017. The sauropodomorph (Dinosauria) biostratigraphy of the Elliot Formation of southern Africa: tracking the evolution of Sauropodomorpha across the Triassic–Jurassic boundary. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 63: 441-465. doi: 10.4202/app.00377.2017

Sciscio*, L., de Kock, M., Bordy, E.M. and Knoll, F. 2017. Magnetostratigraphy across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary in the main Karoo Basin. Gondwana Research 51: 177-192. doi: 10.1016/

Abrahams*, M., Bordy, E.M., Sciscio*, L., Knoll, F. 2017. Scampering, trotting, walking tridactyl bipedal dinosaurs in southern Africa: ichnological account of a Lower Jurassic palaeosurface (upper Elliot Formation, Roma Valley). Historical Biology. 1-18. DOI: doi:10.1080/08912963.2016.1267164

Krummeck*, D.W., Bordy, E.M. 2017.  Reniformichnus katikatii (new ichnogenus and ichnospecies): continental vertebrate burrows from the Lower Triassic, main Karoo Basin, South Africa. Ichnos  DOI - doi: 10.1080/10420940.2017.1292909

Sciscio*, L.; Knoll, F.; Bordy, E.M.; de Kock, M.; Redelstorff, R. 2017. Digital reconstruction of the mandible of an adult Lesothosaurus diagnosticus with insight into the tooth replacement process and diet. PeerJ 5:e3054; doi: 10.7717/peerj.3054

Bordy E.M., Spelman* S., Cole D.I., Mthembi P. 2017. Lithostratigraphy of the Pietermaritzburg Formation (Ecca Group, Karoo Supergroup), South Africa. South African Journal of Geology 120.2: 293-302 • doi:10.2113/gssajg.120.2.293

Muir, R.*, Bordy, E.M., Reddering, J.S.V.; Viljoen, J.H.A. 2017. Lithostratigraphy of the Kirkwood Formation (Uitenhage Group), including the Bethelsdorp, Colchester and Swartkops Members, South Africa. South African Journal of Geology 120.2: 281-293 • doi:10.2113/gssajg.120.2.281

Muir, R.*, Bordy, E.M., Reddering, J.S.V.; Viljoen, J.H.A. 2017. Lithostratigraphy of the Enon Formation (Uitenhage Group), South Africa. South African Journal of Geology 120.2: 273-280 • doi:10.2113/gssajg.120.2.273

Bordy, E.M., Head, H.*, Runds, M.J.* 2016. Palaeoenvironment and provenance in the early Cape Basin of southwest Gondwana: sedimentology of the Lower Ordovician Piekenierskloof Formation, Cape Supergroup, South Africa. South African Journal of Geology 119.2: 399-414. DOI:

Bordy, E.M., Sciscio*, L., Abdala, F., McPhee*, B., Choniere, J. 2016. First Lower Jurassic vertebrate burrow from southern Africa (upper Elliot Formation, Karoo Basin, South Africa). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 468, pp.362-372 DOI: 

Bordy, E.M., Abrahams*, M. 2016. Geochemistry of the Pronksberg bentonite in the upper Elliot Formation (Early Jurassic), Eastern Cape, South Africa. In: Linol B and de Wit M (eds) Origin and Evolution of the Cape Mountains and Karoo Basin: Geo-biohistory in a terrain with shale gas resources and need for conservation. Part of the series Regional Geology Reviews 8643: pp. 119-127.Springer Verlag.  DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-40859-0_12

Bordy, E.M., America*, T. 2016. Sedimentology of granite boulder conglomerates and associated clastics in the onshore section of the Late Mesozoic Pletmos Basin (Western Cape, South Africa). Journal of African Earth Sciences 119: 67-77. DOI:

Bordy, E.M., Krummeck*, DW. 2016. Enigmatic continental burrows from the Early Triassic transition of the Katberg and Burgersdorp formations in the main Karoo Basin, South Africa. PALAIOS 31, 389–403. DOI:

Sciscio*, L. Bordy, E.M., 2016. Palaeoclimatic conditions in the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic of southern Africa: a geochemical assessment of the Elliot Formation. Journal of African Earth Sciences 119: 102-119.

Sciscio*, L., Bordy, E.M., Reid*, M., Abrahams*, M. 2016. Sedimentology and ichnology of the Mafube dinosaur track site (Lower Jurassic, eastern Free State, South Africa): a report on footprint preservation and palaeoenvironment. PeerJ 4:e2285; DOI 10.7717/peerj.2285

Chukwuma*, K. Bordy, E.M., 2016. Spatiotemporal sedimentary facies variations in the Permian Whitehill Formation, main Karoo Basin. In: Linol B and de Wit M (eds) Origin and Evolution of the Cape Mountains and Karoo Basin: Geo-biohistory in a terrain with shale gas resources and need for conservation. Part of the series Regional Geology Reviews 8643: pp.101-110 Springer Verlag. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-40859-0_10


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  • PhD, Rhodes University, South Africa, 2001
  • PGD in Higher Education (with distinction), Rhodes University, South Africa, 2006
  • MSc, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary, 1998

Scholarships, Fellowships and Sponsorships Awarded

  • Merit award of the Faculty of Science: 2017
  • NRF - Competitive Program for Rated Researchers:  2012, 2015, 2018
  • NRF-DST Centre of Excellence in Palaeosciences: 2014-2021
  • NRF - African Origins Platform: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016
  • NRF Incentive Funding for Rated Scientists: since 2009
  • University of Cape Town, Faculty of Science (various grants): 2013, 2014
  • University of Cape Town Research Council: 2011
  • Rhodes University, Deputy VC (Research and Development) and Dean of Science discretionary grants: 2010
  • NRF South African-Hungarian Science and Technology Cooperation: 2007, 2008
  • Rhodes University, Joint Research Committee: 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011
  • NRF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship: 01-01-2002 - 29-02-2004
  • De Beers Doctoral Scholarship (fully funded): 1998, 1999, 2000
  • Scholarship of the Hungarian Republic: 1995, 1996
  • TEMPUS Scholarship (visiting student at the University of Reading, Postgraduate Research  Institute for Sedimentology, UK); 1996-97
  • CEPUS Scholarship (visiting student at the Jagellonian University of Krakow, Poland); 1995

Last Update: Feb 2021

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