The origin of animals was one of the most significant events in the evolutionary history of life, but the mechanism by which this occurred is unclear. Study of the fossil record of early animals, dating back over half a billion years, is key to uncovering the pattern and process underlying this fundamental episode. The student will be part of a group that is carrying out research on the anatomy, function and evolution of early animals, especially echinoderms (sea urchins, starfish and the like) and other marine invertebrates. The details of any DPhil project would be defined in discussion with the student, but are likely to entail study of fossil specimens in museum collections, and could also involve the application of novel computational methods (e.g. X-ray tomography, 3-D visualization, computer simulation) to extinct organisms.
Qualifications & Experience
MSci in Palaeobiology from University College London (2005). PhD in Palaeontology from Imperial College London (2009). MSc in Evolutionary Genetics & Genomics from the University of Manchester (2010).
10 years as a Research Fellow at the Universities of Birmingham (2011 to 2012), Bristol (2012 to 2015) and Oxford (2016 to present).