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Nina Baghai-Riding

Math and Sciences

Professor of Biology and Environmental Science

Office: Walters 116A


  • Ph.D., University of Texas – botany/paleobotany (1996)
  • M.S., University of Rochester – geoscience (1989)
  • M.S., University of Idaho – geology/paleobotany (1983)
  • B.S., University of Wyoming – botany (1979)
  • B.S., University of Wyoming – geology (1978)

Research Interests

  • Upper Cretaceous and Tertiary palynomorphs, paleoecology, paleobotany, and vertebrate paleontology
  • Jurassic, Upper Cretaceous and Tertiary palynomorphs and paleoecology
  • Studied fossil Miocene and Cretaceous leaves
  • Interested in Late Pleistocene vertebrate fossils and marine ichthyosaurs

Professional Certification/Experiences

Courses taught

  • BIO 110. Biology and Human Concerns
  • BIO 123. Foundations of Environmental Science
  • BIO 314. Physical Geology for the Life Science
  • BIO 404/504. Economic Botany
  • BIO 410/510. Plant Anatomy
  • BIO 411/511. Elements of Plant Systematics
  • BIO 414/514. Environmental Geology
  • BIO 415. Materials and Methods in Environmental Science
  • BIO 459/559. Conservation Biology


  • Impact leader Award from the National Society of Leadership and Success – April 2022
  • Nominated as co-chair for the Division of Evolution, Entomology, and Ecology Section, Mississippi Academy of Sciences in Feb. 2023

Grants received

  • PI – Mississippi INBRE Outreach and Education Grant – $22,500 – received on November 16, 2020 INBRE Progress Report – completed Feb. 28, 2021
  • Paleontology Education and Outreach grant from the Paleontology Society: Improving Scientific Education in the Mississippi Delta Through Paleontology (2019-2020)
  • Mississippi Delta Natural Heritage Area – “A Sense of Place” (main pi ), 2018-2019
  • Scanning electron microscope NSF Major Research Instrumentation grant, 2013-2016
  • Herbarium NSF grant, 2012-2017
  • EPA DEEP Water grant, 2012-2013
  • OIT Technology Grant, 2009, 2016, 2018
  • Army Corps of Engineers funding for a Japanese knotweed study, 2006
  • Bryce Griffis Grant, 2005-2006, 2008-2022
  • 4-H Community Pride Grants, 2005-2009

Recent publications

  • Baghai-Riding, Nina, Collins, Larry and Kagumba, R. 2022. Improving scientific awareness in paleontology, outreach, and education. Activities led by Delta State University from August 2019 – May 2020. Submitted to Mississippi Academy of Sciences (accepted)
  • Baghai-Riding, Nina, Collins, Larry and Smithart, Chuck. 2021. Using Fruit Spreads to Aid Research in the Undergraduate Laboratory. NAGT In The Trenches, 11(3):8 – 13
  • Patterson, A., H. Brewer, K. Lambert, E, Blackwell, and N. Baghai-Riding, 2018. Prey remains found in 24 owl pellets from Carolina Biological Science, Fundamental and Applied Research in Biology and Ecology, Perm University, Russia, p. 13-16.
  • Bellamy, P., N. Baghai-Riding, and C. Smithhart. 2018. Locally grown fruit retains its soil signature: An elemental study of regional variation in noncommercial jams and jellies. Fundamental and Applied Research in Biology and Ecology, Perm University, Russia. p. 4-6.
  • Baghai-Riding, N. L., D. B. Husley, C. Beck, and E. Blackwell, 2017, Late Pleistocene megafauna from Mississippi alluvium plain gravel bars, Paludicola 11(3):124-147.
  • Nina L. Baghai-Riding, Julie R. Kelley, and Charles T. Swann (Dec. 2016), Palynological analysis of a sample from the Coon Creek Member, Union County, Mississippi, In the Paleontology of the Cretaceous Coon Creek Formation (eds. Dana Ehret, T. Lynn Harrell Jr. and Sandy Ebersole), Alabama Museum of Natural History, The University of Alabama, Bulletin 33, Volume 2, p. 106-117
  • Fitts, L., Baghai-Riding, N. L., Blackwell, E., Napier-Jameson, R., 2015, Place-based Environmental Science Training in the Rural Mississippi Delta, Delta Journal of Education, 5(2), ISSN 2160-9179
  • Olivi, B., Lemoine, J., Baghai-Riding, N. L. and Blackwell, E., 2015, Census of the Delta State University Woody Plant Community and Its Implications for Ecosystem Health, BIOS, 86(2): 74-90.
    DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1893/0005-3155-86.2.74
  • Hotton, C.L. and Baghai-Riding, N. 2010, Palynological evidence for conifer dominance within a heterogeneous landscape in the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation, U.S.A. In Gee, C.T. (Ed.). Plants in Mesozoic Time: Morphological Innovations, Phylogeny, Ecosystems. Chapter 13, p. 295-328, Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Baghai-Riding, N. L. and DiBenedetto, J. N. 2001, An unusual dinosaur coprolite from the Campanian Aguja Formation, Texas. Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions, 51: 9-20.
  • Baghai, N. and R. B. Jorstad, 1995, Paleontology, Paleoclimatology and Paleoecology of the Late-Middle Miocene Musselshell Creek flora, Clearwater County, Idaho. A preliminary study of a new fossil flora. Palaios. 10(5): 424-436.

Office Hours

  • Monday: 8:45 – 9:45 AM
  • Tuesday: 11 AM – 3 PM
  • Wednesday: 8:45 – 9:45 AM
  • Thursday: 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
  • Friday: 8:45 – 9:45 AM; 2-3 PM

Dr. Baghai-Riding joined Delta State in 1999

Division of Mathematics & Sciences