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Professor Mike Benton

Macroevolution of vertebrates

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 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. I am also working on large-scale aspects of dating the tree of life, the use of phylogenetic means to assess the quality of the rock and fossil records, and studying macroevolution using phylogenetic comparative approaches and morphometrics.

Research keywords

  • fossils
  • fossil record
  • diapsid phylogeny
  • basal archosaurs
  • macroevolution

Research projects