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Current PhD Students

Our PhD students are key to the success of the Bristol Palaeobiology Research Group. They address a broad range of topics, and we are delighted that so many produce theses of the very highest quality.

In the past several years, the Faculty of Science has singled out the best PhD submissions across the Faculty for commendation, and so far these include an unusually high number of palaeontologists - Dr Gai Zhikun, Dr James Rae, and Dr Jennie Bright in 2011-2, and of these Jennie Bright won the Faculty of Science Prize for the best PhD thesis in 2011-2. In 2012-3, Dr Alex Dunhill was selected for commendation. In 2013-4, Dr Rachel Warnock was selected for commendation, and in 2016-7 Dr David Button, Dr Mark Puttick, and Dr Colin Palmer. Of these, Mark Puttick won the Faculty of Science prize for best thesis across the faculty for 2016-7.


  • Monsuru Adebowale: Rate and amplitudes of climate change - are there tipping points in pelagic ecosystems?
  • Alan Beavan: Is genome evolution accelerated during radiations? (BBSRC)
  • Vicky Coules: Imaging dinosaurs through the years (Self). Vicky is a writer and film producer, part of the Hooded Crow company.
  • James Logan King: Brain and braincase evolution in dinosaurs (Self)
  • Ed Moody: The evolution of protein structural complexity before the last universal common ancestor (Royal Society URF)
  • Arsham Nejad Kourki: Origins and early radiation of the Eumetazoa (Self)
  • Morten Nielsen: Palaeoecology of the Sirius Passet lagerstätte, an early Cambrian exceptional fossil fauna
  • Marta Zaher: Macroevolution and function in parareptiles (Faculty of Science)
  • Gareth Coleman: Using molecular methods to reconstruct the nature of the earliest life (Royal Society)
  • Maryory Sarria Dulcey: The effect of climate change on Southern Ocean benthic calcifiers (Coliencias)
  • Emma Landon: On the eve of the Cambrian Explosion: Palaeobiology and preservation of the Ediacaran Weng'an Biota (NERC DTP)
  • Susana Gutarra Diaz: Evolutionary innovations and convergence in Mesozoic marine reptiles: locomotory adaptations to ocean ecosystems (NERC-CASE DTP)
  • Nuria Morales Garcia: The functional evolution of Mesozoic mammals: a biomechanical approach (Conacyt, Mexico)
  • Katherine Short: Life in the extreme: when did the water bears (Phylum Tardigrada) colonise Antarctica? (NERC DTP)
  • Suresh Singh: Understanding terrestrial ecological dynamics and evolution through the Mesozoic Era (University of Bristol)
  • Claire Bullar: Braincase anatomy, phylogeny, and the success of Ceratopsia (Self)
  • James Clark: Whole genome duplication and the evolution of the land plant body plan (BBSRC)
  • Armin Elsler: Early tetrapod evolution: Red Queen or Court Jester? (University of Bristol, DTP)
  • James Fleming: Molecular evolution of vision in the Ecdysozoa (NERC, DTP)
  • Jorge Herrera Flores: Macroevolution of Lepidosauria (Conicyt, Mexico)
  • Richard Kelly: Changes in the British insect fauna across the end Triassic mass extinction event (NERC-National Museum of Scotland CASE, DTP)
  • Dave Marshall: Investigations into the nature of early chelicerate cuticle (Self)

Thecodontosaurus illustration courtesy of Richard Deasey.
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