Current Members

Philip Donoghue, Professor in Palaeobiology



Postdoctoral Associates

  • John Cunningham (2008-2017; NERC IRF) Decoding the fossil record of embryology at the dawn of animal evolution
  • Jenny Morris (2016-; NERC) Early land plant evolution
  • Mark Puttick (2016-; NERC) Early land plant evolution
  • Kelly Vargas (2015-; Science without Borders) Early animal evolution
  • David Wacey (2014-2016; EU Marie Curie IEF) Proterozoic palaeobiology
  • Monique Welten (2014-2016; EU Marie Curie IEF) Evolution of jaws and teeth

Graduate Students: PhD
  • Emma Landon (2016-; NERC) Decoding the Doushantuo
  • Holly Betts (2015-; NERC) Divergence time estimation (with Davide Pisani)
  • James Clark (2014-; BBSRC) The role of whole genome duplication in plant evolution
  • Frances Dunn (2015-; NERC) Ediacarans (with Alex Liu)
  • Joseph O’Reilly (2013-; NERC) Integrating palaeontological and molecular methods of telling evolutionary time
  • JJ Hill (2012-; self) Evolution of the gnathostome jaw
  • Richard Taylor (2012-; EPSRC) The evolution of plants and their miRNAs

Visiting Research Fellows



Lab Alumni

Visiting Faculty


Postdoctoral Researchers:


    Graduate Students: PhD
    • Joe Keating (2012-2016; NERC) Evolution of the vertebrate skeleton
    • Anthony Hancy (2011-2016; NERC) Ecology and evolution of the Ediacara Biota
    • Rachel Warnock (2009-2014; NERC) Integrating palaeontological and molecular methods of telling evolutionary time
    • Fleur Noailles (2009-) the evolutionary relationship of carpoids
    • Jennifer Greenwood (2008-2013; UoB Scholarship) Developmental evolution of neural crest and the emergence of vertebrate complexity
    • Duncan Murdock (2008-2012; NERC) Decoding the small shelly faunas and the origin of phyla
    • Gai Zhi-kun (2006- 2011: Tomographic analysis of the galeaspid cranium) Researcher, IVPP Beijing, China
    • Ceri Thomas (2006-2011: Decoding the fossil record of embryonic development) now with IOP Bristol
    • James Tarver (2005-2009: Growth of systematic knwoledge) Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Bristol
    • Graeme Lloyd (2004-2008: Rates of character evolution) Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Oxford
    • Robert Sansom (2004-2008: Palaeobiology of extinct armoured vertebrates) NERC Research Fellow, University of Bath
    • Rosie Jassi (2001-2008: Palaeobiology of complex conodonts) Canadian Geological Survey
    • Jason Downs (2003-2005: Skeletal histology of placoderms) Postdoctoral Researcher at the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences
    • Colin Barras (2002-2005: The origin and diversification of irregular echinoids) Freelance science journalist
    • Linda Wickström (2000-2005: Life and death in the Lower Palaeozoic) Swedish Geological Survey

    Graduate Students: MSc
    • Edine Pape (2011-2012: Evolution of the actinopterygian dermal skeleton) currently undertaking a PhD at Leeds University
    • Wendy der Boer (2011-2012: Placoderm feeding and functional analysis) currently undertaking a PhD at Uppsala University
    • Giannis Kesidis (2011-2012: Evolutionary origins of the vertebrate skeleton)
    • Peter Adamson (2011-2012: Origin of animal biomineralization) currently undertaking a PhD at Cambridge University
    • Sandy Hetherington (2011-2012: Independent origins of multicellularity and the exploration of organismal disparity) currently undertaking a PhD at Oxford University
    • Sam Giles (2010-2011: Evolution of the placoderm dermal skeleton) currently undertaking a PhD at Oxford University
    • Andrew Pierce (2010-2011: Calibrating and constraining the molecular clock)
    • John Clarke (2009-2010: Establishing a timescale for plant evolution) currently undertaking a PhD at Oxford University
    • Nancy Scott (2009-2010: Dating whole genome duplication events in vertebrate evolutionary history) currently undertaking a PhD at Dartmouth College
    • Aodhán Butler (2008-2009: Experimental taphonomy of Artemia: analysing microbial controls on the preservation of soft tissue) subsequently a researcher at NHM, London, currently undertaking a PhD at Uppsala University, Sweden
    • Chloe Marquart (2007-2008: The nature of aspidin, the earliest vertebrate skeletonising tissue) currently undertaking a PhD at Cambridge University
    • Jenny Greenwood (2006-2007: Patterns of morphospace occupation in early vertebrates) currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Bristol
    • Kieran Hardman (2006-2007: Patterns of morphospace occupation in early vertebrates)
    • Jen Hoyal Cuthill (2005-2006: Patterns in the distribution of homoplasy) PhD at the University of Cambridge, currently a postdoc at the University of Sydney, Australia
    • Ceri-Wyn Thomas (2005-2006: Decoding the fossil record of embryology at the dawn of animal evolution) PhD at the University of Bristol, currently working with IOP Bristol
    • Sarah Vinnell (2005-2006: Histology, apparatus architecture and homologies of Coelocerodontus: implications for conodont intrarelationships)
    • Andrew Gillis (2004-2005: Evolution of chondrichthyan tooth enameloid microstructure) PhD at the University of Chicago, Newton Research Fellow, University of Cambridge, now post doc at Dalhousie University, Canada.
    • Isla Gladstone (2003-2005: Testing hypotheses the hypothesis of a eurypterid influence on vertebrate evolutionary history) Curator, York Museum.
    • Tom Harvey (2003-2004: The cuticle structure and phylogenetic affinities of palaeoscolecids) PhD at the University of Cambridge, currently a postdoctoral research fellow, Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge.

    Undergraduate Interns