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The David Dineley Prize

Launched in 2010, the David Dineley Prize is awarded by the staff who teach the programme, and it recognises the project that best represents the ideals of the Bristol palaeobiology programme - innovative, well planned, and well presented. The prize winner will be identified by the staff, and with recommendations from the external examiner of the programme.

D.L. Dineley - prize certificate

The prize honours Professor David Dineley (right), distinguished Bristol palaeontologist, who was a member of staff in the Department of Earth Sciences (= Department of Geology then) from 1968 to 1989, and was Chaning Wills Professor and Head of Department from 1968 to 1989. David Dineley is best known for his fundamental work on early fossil fishes and on Devonian stratigraphy, on which he wrote many scientific papers ands books. After he retired in 1990, Professor Dineley has continued his researches on the Devonian and its fishes, as well as writing and editing a number of geological books.

The first prize was awarded in early 2011, to the best project from the 2009-2010 cohort, and it has been presented annually thereafter.


D.L. Dineley - prize certificate

  • 2016-2017: Neil Adams for his project on "Anatomy and function of a multituberculate skull", supervised by Emily Rayfield, Phil Cox (York), Sam Cobb (York), and Ian Corfe (Helsinki).
  • 2015-2016: Karina Vanadzina for her project on "The complex interplay of ontogeny and environmental factors during a transition in Globorotalia plesiotumida - tumida lineage of planktic foraminifera", supervised by Dani Schmidt.
  • 2014-2015: Robert Brocklehurst for his project on "Comparative biomechanics of biting versus suction-feeding fish", supervised by Emily Rayfield and Laura Porro.
  • 2013-2014: Elis Newham, for his project on "Can Morganucodon offer a window onto early mammalian physiology", supervised by Pam Gill and Emily Rayfield.
  • 2012-2013: Caitlin Colleary, for her project on "Statistical and mass spectrometric approaches to melanin taphonomy", supervised by Jakob Vinther.
  • 2011-2012: Mark Puttick, for his project on "Comparative phylogenetics of Anseriformes", supervised by Mike Benton and Gavin Thomas (Sheffield).
  • 2010-2011: Thomas Halliday, for his project on "A re-evaluation of goniopholidid material from Central Asia: biogeographic and phylogenetic implications," supervised by Mike Benton and Marco Andrade (São Paulo).
  • 2009-2010: John Clarke, for his project on "Establishing a timescale for plant evolution: palaeontological evidence and calibration consistency," supervised by Phil Donoghue and Rachel Warnock.

Other awards to MSc students

Bristol MSc graduates have won many prizes before, often awarded by national and international bodies, and it seems appropriate to recognise their excellence in their home university.

  • Geologists' Association MSc Thesis Prize (2016) to Karina Vanadzina, for her thesis on "The complex interplay of ontogeny and environmental factors during a transition in Globorotalia plesiotumida - tumida lineage of planktic foraminifera", supervised by Dani Schmidt. Read more...
  • Symposium on Vertebrate Palaeontology and Comparative Anatomy (2016): MSc student Melisa Morales Garcia won the prize for best poster on 'Savannahs from the past and present: an analysis on the morphospace occupation of ungulates', based on her Masters research project supervised by Professor Christine Janis in Bristol and Laura Säilä in Helsinki.
  • European Geosciences Union (2015): MSc student Rachael Moore won the EGU poster prize for her poster on 'Morphotype disparity in the Precambrian,' showing results from her MSc research at the University of Bristol where she examined the microfossils found within Precambrian stromatolites supervised by Dr. Bettina Schirrmeister.
  • Palaeontological Association Annual Meeting (2014): Ex-MSc students Edine Pape and Jen Hoyal Cuthill both won prizes for the best posters, and ex-MSci student Tom Fletcher received a commendation in the President's Prize. Edine and Tom are completing their PhDs at Leeds, and Jen is a postdoc at Cambridge.
  • Progressive Palaeontology (2014): Amongst other prizes awarded to Bristol students, Nidia Alvárez Armada won the 'fan choice' prize for the best poster, showing her MSc project work on early echinoderm evolution. She is now doing a PhD at the University of Cork.
  • Fulbright Award (2012) to Rachel Frigot to enable her to study at Johns Hopkins University in the US, one of the most prestigious and selective scholarship programmes operating world-wide. Read more.
  • Geologists' Association MSc Thesis Prize (2010) to Nick Crumpton, for his thesis on adaptation and morphometrics of the teeth of tiny Triassic and Jurassic mammals. Read more...
  • Palaeontological Association Progressive Palaeontology Conference, Best Paper Prize (2009): awarded to Nick Crumpton for his presentation on fossil mammals. Read more...
  • University of Bristol Alumni Association award (2009): awarded to Kelly Richards for CT scanning of the skeleton of the early mammal Morganucodon. Read more...
  • Geological Society of America Farouk El-Baz Student Research Grant (2009): awarded to MSc student Sarah Keenan to fund her field work in Montana and Texas. Read more...
  • Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Estes Memorial Award (2005): awarded to PhD student Laura Säilä, for a three-week visit to Moscow to study the Permian Russian procolophonoids. Read more...
  • Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Student Poster Prize (2005): awarded to PhD student Laura Säilä, for her poster on British sphenodontids, the topic of her MSc research in Bristol. Read more...

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