Paul R. Renne was born in 1957 in San Antonio, Texas. He received his A.B. with Highest Honors in Geology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1982. He received his Ph.D. in Geology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1987. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Princeton University, he returned to Berkeley in 1990 as a Research Associate at the Institute of Human Origins and became Director of Geochronology in 1991. He was the founding Director of the Berkeley Geochronology Center in 1994, and has served in that role (and as Board President) since then with a hiatus from 2000 to 2003. In 1995 Renne was appointed Adjunct Professor in the Earth and Planetary Science Department at U.C. Berkeley, where he teaches courses in petrology, geochronology and field geology, and serves as formal research advisor to graduate students and postdocs. Renne specializes in 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and paleomagnetism applied to broad topics in the evolution of Earth’s biosphere and lithosphere, and to the relationships between these and extraterrestrial processes such as meteoroid impacts in the inner solar system. He is also heavily engaged in refinement of methodologies for these techniques. Renne’s contributions to his field were recognized by the American Geophysical Union in 2005 with the Bowen Award "…for innovations in high-precision Ar-Ar dating and for application of these techniques to refining the geologic and paleomagnetic timescales, to paleoanthropology, and, most notably, to ages and durations of LIP volcanism and their relationship to mass extinctions and global environmental crises". Renne serves as a Corresponding Editor for Eos, and as Editor for Quaternary Geochronology.
Renne, P.R., Feinberg, J.M., Waters, M.R., Arroyo-Cabrales , J., Ochoa-Castillo, P., Perez-Campa, M., and Knight, K.B., 2005, Geochronology: Age of Mexican ash with alleged ‘footprints’: Nature 438, E7-E8, doi:10.1038/nature04425.
Renne, P.R., Knight, K.B., Nomade, S., Leung, K.-N., and Lou, T.-P., 2005, Application of deuteron-deuteron (D-D) fusion neutrons to 40Ar/39Ar geochronology: Applied Radiation and Isotopes 62: 25-32.
Knight, K.B., Nomade, S., Renne, P.R., Marzoli, A., Bertrand, H., and Youbi, N., 2004, The Central Atlantic Magmatic Province at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary: Paleomagnetic and 40Ar/39Ar evidence from Morocco for brief, episodic volcanism: Earth and Planetary Science Letters 228: 143-160.
Renne, P.R., Scott, G.R., Glen, J.M.G., and Feinberg, J., 2002, Oriented inclusions of single domain magnetite in clinopyroxene: Source of stable remanent magnetization in gabbros of the Messum Complex, Namibia: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 3: 10.1029/2002GC000319.
Renne, P.R., Farley, K.A., Becker, T.A., and Sharp, W.D., 2001, Terrestrial Cosmogenic Argon: Earth and Planetary Science Letters 188 (3-4): 435-440.