Organization profile

Organisation profile

The Palaeobiology Research Group uses the fossil record to study the history of life and how ancient organisms lived.

A key focus is on the tree of life, establishing its shape and calibration against geological time scales. We also work on mass extinctions, diversifications, and the links between taxic, morphological, and functional evolution in a range of organisms, from foraminifera to fishes, pteridosperms to pterosaurs.

Establishing links between the shape of the history of life and climatic and environmental change is another key field.

The group has pioneered many research and educational initiatives. The Bristol Dinosaur Project focuses research on the Late Triassic prosauropod dinosaur Thecodontosaurus, the oldest plant-eating dinosaur.

The work is yielding new information on the early evolution of dinosaurs, and it is the subject of a major open-access educational initiative.

A further key focus is on the origin of major animal groups in the Precambrian and Cambrian - to determine the interaction of palaeontological with molecular and developmental data.

Several students and staff work on trace fossils, ancient tracks and burrows, as evidence of ancient behaviour.

Others work on the history of biodiversity, the tree of life, mass extinctions, and the relationship between evolution and animal development.

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  • Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

    Research Output

    3D hindlimb joint mobility of the stem-archosaur Euparkeria capensis with implications for postural evolution within Archosauria

    Demuth, O., Rayfield, E. J. & Hutchinson, J. R., 21 Sep 2020, In : Scientific Reports. 10, 15357.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)

    A Cambrian crown annelid reconciles phylogenomics and the fossil record

    Chen, H., Parry, L. A., Vinther, J., Zhai, D., Hou, X. & Ma, X., Jul 2020, In : Nature. 583, 7815, p. 249-252 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • A Cambrian–Ordovician terrestrialization of arachnids

    Lozano-Fernandez, J., Tanner, A., Puttick, M. N., Vinther, J., Edgecombe, GD. & Pisani, D., 11 Mar 2020, In : Frontiers in Genetics.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    Open Access
    File
    60 Downloads (Pure)

    Projects

    1851 Fellowship - Imran Rahman

    Rahman, I. A., Donoghue , P. C. J., Phillips, J. C. & Rayfield, E. J.

    1/01/141/01/17

    Project: Research

  • Student theses

    Assessing past oxygen in the ocean using Cr isotopes as a palaeo-proxy

    Author: Remmelzwaal, S., 19 Jun 2018

    Supervisor: Parkinson, I. (Supervisor), Schmidt, D. (Supervisor) & Monteiro, F. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)

    File

    Effects of environmental perturbation during the Late Triassic on the taxic diversity of British insects

    Author: Kelly, R., 19 Mar 2019

    Supervisor: Benton, M. (Supervisor) & Ross, A. (External person) (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)

    File

    Growth and Development in the Ediacaran Macrobiota

    Author: Dunn, F., 25 Jun 2019

    Supervisor: Liu, A. G. S. C. (Supervisor), Donoghue, P. C. J. (Supervisor) & Wilby, P. R. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)

    File

    Prizes

    3rd year prize for Academic Excellence

    David J Button (Recipient), Aug 2010

    Prize: Prizes, Medals, Awards and Grants

    Arnold Berliner Award for the best paper published in the Journal Naturwissenschaften in 2012.

    David J Button (Recipient), 1 Jan 2013

    Prize: Prizes, Medals, Awards and Grants

  • Best First Year Student Prize

    David J Button (Recipient), Aug 2008

    Prize: Prizes, Medals, Awards and Grants

  • Activities

    Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (Journal)

    Benjamin C Moon (Peer reviewer)

    2017 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review

    Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Meeting 2017

    Benjamin C Moon (Participant)

    26 Aug 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Journal of Systematic Palaeontology (Journal)

    Benjamin C Moon (Peer reviewer)

    2016 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication peer-review