My research is focused on the relationship between evolution and embryology, integrating living and fossil organisms, developmental biology, and knowledge of their evolutionary relationships, to provide an holistic understanding of major episodes in evolutionary history.
I have particular interest in the evolutionary emergence of vertebrates, and of ecdysozoans, but also in the evolutionary emergence of animals and plants more generally. This entails classical palaeobiology, but also molecular genetics – to calibrate the Tree of Life to time using molecular clock theory, and to determine the role of genetic regulators of development in effecting organismal-level evolutionary change.
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I studied BSc Geology at Leicester University (1992), MSc Palynology at the Sheffield University (1993), and for a PhD in Geology at Leicester University (1997). My PhD concerned the palaeobiology of conodonts and was supervised by Professors Richard Aldridge and Mark Purnell. I was an 1851 Royal Commission, NERC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, and then Lecturer in Palaeobiology at the University of Birmingham before moving to Bristol in 2003. I currently serve as an editor for Journal of the Geological Society and Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B: Biological Sciences, as well as on the editorial boards of Evolution ...
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