Benton Lab

Our big questions concern macroevolution and vertebrate evolution. We focus on understanding the impact of mass extinctions, the balance between biotic and abiotic drivers, and palaeobiology of dinosaurs and birds.

We work with numerical and computational tools to test hypotheses about past life. We nurture talent at all stages, encouraging students to engage in research at undergraduate, masters, doctoral, and postdoctoral levels.

The Benton Lab consists of a moving population of undergraduates, Masters and PhD students, postdocs and fellows. We meet regularly to discuss research in macroevolution and macroecology, and especially focus in state-of-the-art computational and instrumental methods. Over the years, several hundred undergraduates and Masters students have worked in the Benton Lab, and over 70 PhD students have graduated.

We use desktop computers, as well as our own dedicated Supercomputing cluster, for phylogenetic and macroevolutionary analyses, and have access to some excellent facilities. In the Tomography Lab we process 3D CT data on fossil reptilian anatomy. We use the SEM and geochemistry facilities for studies on exceptional preservation and especially the feathers of archosaurs and interpretations of original colour.

Research areas

Work in the group generally aligns with one of these themes:

Key projects

Contact Benton Lab

Professor Mike Benton
Tel: +44 (0)117 39 41208 | Internal 41208

Mike Benton publications.

Mike Benton's PhD students over the years.

Mike Benton: The Life Scientific (Jim Al Khalili; Radio 4)

TED talk: Mass extinctions and the future of life on Earth

At the Feet of the Dinosaurs

Our longest running undergraduate summer internship scheme, supervised by Professor Mike Benton.

Each student is assigned a site, does field work, works through the fossil collection, identifies specimens, and writes and illustrates the paper.

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