Professor Gastaldo was named as the Whipple-Coddington Professor of Geology when he was appointed as Chair of the Department in 1999. He continued to serve as Departmental Chair until the end of the 2011/2012 academic year, completing 13 years in this administrative position. His appointment as Whipple-Coddington Professor continues.
The Energy Division of the Geological Society of America has recognized Professor Gastaldo’s contributions to Coal Geology. He is the 2016 recipient of the Gilbert H. Cady award, given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field of coal geology.
In 1990, Professor Gastaldo was named a Forschungspreisträger by the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, Bonn, Germany, during which time he collaborated with Dr. Walter Riegel at the Georg-August-Universität. Göttingen. In 2012. 2016, and 2019, he was invited back to Germany by Dr. Carole Gee at the Steinmann Institute at the Universität Bonn, as a short-term visiting scientist.
Professor Gastaldo is the recipient of two Fulbright Awards. His first, in 1982, allowed him to undertake research at the Department of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Utrecht University, The Netherlands, where he worked with Dr. Miente Boersma. His second is at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, where he was in 2013 on a teaching and research fellowship. There, he collaborated with Dr. Rose Prevec and Dr. Johann Neveling, Council for Geoscience, Pretoria.
In 2008, Professor Gastaldo was named an inaugural, Centennial Fellow of the Paleontological Society. He served as a Councilor-at-Large from 2002–2004, a distinguished Lecturer, and President of the Southeastern Section of the Society. He has organized several Paleontological Society Short Courses, and is responsible for the development of the Society’s first Special Publication on the Evolution-Creation Controversy in 1983.
The Society of Sedimentary Geology name Professor Gastaldo their Distinguished Service Award recipient in 2008 for the editorial contributions he provided, along with Dr. Charles Savrda, Auburn University, to the society as a Co-editor of PALAIOS. He served a six-year term as a member of SEPM’s Council, and was nominated and ran for the office of President in 2010.
Elected as a Fellow to the Geological Society of America in 1994, Professor Gastaldo has served as the Chairman of GSA’s Coal Division and one of its Distinguished Lecturers, and serves on the Grant-in-Aid of Research Committee, among other duties.
Professor Gastaldo continues to serve as an external reviewer, committee-and-workshop participant, and a member of various research funding panels at the National Science Foundation, where he has been awarded research support since 1984.
Professor Gastaldo continues in a Visiting Scientist and Research Collaborator position with the Department of Paleobiology, United States National Museum, Smithsonian Institute, where he collaborates with Dr. William A. DiMichele, Dr. Conrad Labandeira, and has been a member of the ETE (Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems) Group since its inception.
While a faculty member in the Department of Geology, Auburn University, Professor Gastaldo was named to an Alumni Professorship. He also was elected to two terms as City Councilman during which time he represented District 1.