Biography of Dr. Henryk Bronislaw Stenzel

Dr. Henryk Bronislaw Stenzel, born on February 7, 1899 in Pabianice, Poland, was a paleontologist and stratigrapher whose area of specialty was in studying the Early Cenozoic rocks of the Gulf Coast. In 1918, he attended Schlesische Freidrich Wilhelms University in Breslau, where he majored in paleontology and geology with a minor in physics and mathematics. In 1922, Dr. Stenzel then received his doctorate and was the first student to study the subject of petrofabrics under the supervision of Hans Cloos.

In 1925, Dr. Stenzel took a teaching position at the A & M College of Texas (now known as Texas A & M), where he taught Cenozoic paleontology and stratigraphy. In 1934 he joined the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas and in 1948, Dr. Stenzel became a Professor of Geology at the University.

Dr. Stenzel became the Chairman of Geology at the University of Houston in 1954. In the 1960s, he was a visiting lecturer at Rice University and a visiting professor of geology at Louisiana State University.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Stenzel had 92 works published on petrology, paleontology and stratigraphy of the Lower Tertiary of the Gulf Coast. His most well known publications include the 1949 work Successful speciation in paleontology: The case of the oysters of the Sellaeformis stock (adaptations of species) and the 1971 work: Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology (Oysters).

Dr. Stenzel corresponded with many people in his profession, as well as students, and those he mentored. His collection of letters and exchanges have been digitized and stored for viewing on Texas ScholarWorks. Each file has a PDF view of the original letter as well as metadata, including keywords and dates of the original correspondence, if noted.

Dr. Stenzel also held positions in several professional organizations. He was a fellow of the Geological Society of America, President of the Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists (1949-1950), President of the Paleontological Society (1955-1956), and Delegate of the United States to the International Geological Congress (1956).

Dr. Stenzel passed away on September 5, 1980 in Houston, Texas.

Resources used:

  • Harry, H. (1981). Henryk Bronislaw Stenzel, The Nautilus.
  • Roux, W., Jr. (1965). Dedication to Dr. Henryk B. Stenzel, Transactions of the GCAGS, 15.
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