Professor Michael J Benton

B.Sc.(Aberd.), Ph.D.(N'cle), OBE, FRS, FRSE

  • BS8 1TQ

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Research interests

My interests include the diversification of life through time, quality of the fossil record, shapes of phylogenies, age-clade congruence, mass extinctions, Triassic ecosystem evolution, basal diapsid phylogeny, basal archosaurs and the origin of the dinosaurs.

Current research projects focus on (1) Innovation in the phylogeny of tetrapods, assessed by modelling the evolution of all tetrapods living and extinct against Earth history and biological trait data using state-of-the art phylogenetic comparative and Bayesian methods; (2) The end-Permian mass extinction, the greatest mass extinction of all time, and especially its effects on terrestrial organisms and their recovery from devastation; this involves fieldwork in Russia and China; (3) Exceptionally preserved Mesozoic vertebrate faunas from various locations.

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