Donoghue Lab

We infer evolutionary history from fossils and their living relatives. We combine morphological and molecular evidence, to explain the timing and tempo of major evolutionary transitions.

We look at the origin of vertebrates, animals and plants.

We try to better understand major events in evolutionary history. We research the origin of multicellularity in groups such as animals, plants and fungi. We look at the emergence of organismal bodyplans within the kingdoms. We study the development of the major clades such as vertebrate and ecdysozoan animals, and vascular plants.

A lot our work is empirical. We establish the timing and sequence of molecular and anatomical innovations that underpin the assembly of bodyplans. We also have a strong focus on research. We explore ways in which we can use palaeontological data to restore fossils to the Tree of Life. We look at how we can use them to establish accurate evolutionary timescales, using the molecular clock.

Research areas

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

Key projects

Our key collaborators

  • Prof Stefan Bengtson (Swedish Museum of Natural History, Sweden)
  • Dr Dan Condon (British Geological Survey, UK)
  • Prof Dianne Edwards FRS (Cardiff University, UK)
  • Dr Joseph Keating (University of Manchester, UK)
  • Dr Paul Kenrick (Natural History Museum, UK)
  • Prof Tim Lenton (Exeter University, UK)
  • Prof Davide Pisani (University of Bristol, UK)
  • Dr Silvia Pressel (Natural History Museum, UK)
  • Dr Mark Puttick (University of Bath, UK)
  • Prof Emily Rayfield (University of Bristol, UK)
  • Dr Martin Rücklin (Naturalis, The Netherlands)
  • Prof Harald Schneider (Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanic Garden, China)
  • Prof Graham Shields (University College London, UK)
  • Prof Ziheng Yang FRS (University College London, UK)
  • Dr Zongjun Yin (Nanjing Institute of Geology, Palaeontology, and Stratigraphy, China)

Our research

Find out more about the work and publications of the Donoghue Lab on our website.

Contact Donoghue Lab

Professor Phil Donoghue
Tel: +44 (0)117 39 41209 | Internal 41209

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