NERC Advanced Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer as from Jan 2014, University of Lincoln

School of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Lincoln, Riseholme Park Campus, Lincoln LN2 2LG, UK
tel: +44 (0)1522 895 470; e-mail:

Current Post
NERC Advanced Research Fellow, School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, UK, leading to Senior Lectureship in Jan 2014

May 1998 PhD (Palaeontology, Distinction): Birkbeck College, University of London and Palaeontology Department, The Natural History Museum, London.
July 1992 BSc (Zoology, Honours): University of Bari, Italy.

Employment Record
Jan 2014 onward: Senior Lecturer, School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, UK.
Sep 2012 – Dec 2013: NERC Advanced Research Fellow; School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, UK.
Jan 2009 – Aug 2012: NERC Advanced Research Fellow; School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, UK.
Apr 2006 – Dec 2008: Research Fellow; School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, UK.
Oct 2004 – Mar 2006: John Caldwell Meeker Research Fellow; Department of Geology, Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, USA.
Aug 2001 – Sep 2004: Research Associate; Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, University of Chicago, USA.
Sep 1999 – July 2001: Research Assistant; Department of Biology, University College London, UK.
Nov 1998 – Jan 1999: Short-term Curator; Palaeontology Department, The Natural History Museum, London, UK.

Research History
2010 – 2012: BBSRC Standard Grant (£ 235,927.20) – PI; Project: Multidisciplinary approaches to the evolutionary history of felids: phylogeny, disparity, and biomechanics in living and fossil cats; School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, UK.
2009 – 2013: NERC Advanced Research Fellowship (£ 415,972) – PI; Project: Global catastrophe or random decline? Evolutionary perspectives on the fall and rise of tetrapods across the Permo-Triassic boundary; School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol; transferred to School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln in Sep 2012.
2004 – 2006: John Caldwell Meeker Postdoctoral Fellowship ($ 30,000); Project: Interrelationships of Permo-Carboniferous temnospondyls; Department of Geology, Field Museum, Chicago.
1996 to 1998: Training And Mobility Of Researchers Grant (£ 50,000) [Marie Curie Fellowship, European Community, IV Framework Programme]; Project: Palaeontological studies on the evolutionary origin of the vertebrates; Department of Palaeontology, The Natural History Museum, London.
Postdoctoral Research Associate
2010 – 2012: Dr Manabu Sakamoto (Bristol; BBSRC funding to Marcello Ruta)
Research students
2 completed PhD; 4 currently supervised or co-supervised PhD; 21 completed MSc.

2006 – 2010: Systematics Methods, 7 one-hour lectures, 2 three-hour practicals each year; 20 MSc students; Analytical Palaeobiology, 3 one-hour lectures, 2 three-hour practicals each year; 20 MSc students; Vertebrate Palaeobiology and Evolution, 7 one-hour lectures, 2 three-hour practicals each year; 20 MSc students [ Course Organizer for 2010 ].
2006 – 2009: Current Controversies, 1 one-hour lecture each year; 20 MSc students
1 external (York) and 4 internal (Bristol) PhD theses examined.

Laura Säilä (Bristol; Academic Year 2007-2008)
Title: Leptopleuron lacertinum and the interrelationships of the Procolophonoidea
Manabu Sakamoto (Bristol; Academic Year 2007-2008)
Title: Phylogeny and biomechanics in theropod dinosaurs
Ian Corfe (Bristol; Academic Year 2006-2007)
Title: Character weighting and competing hypotheses in palaeontological phylogenetics
Stephanie Pierce (Bristol; Academic Year 2006-2007)
Title: Morphospace occupation and mechanical performance in extant and extinct crocodiles: a combined geometric morphometric and finite element modelling approach
Rob Davies (University of York; Academic Year 2008-2009)
Title: A supertree of insect families

General Contribution
Editorial Responsibilities
Jan 2008 to date: Associate Editor for Palaeontology (journal of The Palaeontological Association, London).
Jan 2012 to date: Associate Editor for Comptes Rendus Palevol (journal of the Académie des Sciences, Paris).
Peer reviewer for national and international government agencies
National Science Foundation, USA (Mar 2006; Sep 2006); Natural Environment Research Council, UK (Apr 2006); National Research Foundation, South Africa (Apr 2008); Grant Agency, Ministry of Education and Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia (Aug 2008; July 2011); Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, UK (Sep 2009); Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Canada (Jan 2011).
Invited Lectures and Talks
25 invited talks at international meetings, schools, and popular venues.

60 peer-reviewed papers; 3 peer-reviewed book chapters; 2 co-edited special journal issues.
Anderson, P.S.L., Friedman, M. and RUTA, M. 2013. Late to the table: diversification of tetrapod mandibular biomechanics lagged behind the evolution of terrestriality. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 53: 197–208.
Benton, M.J., RUTA, M., Dunhill, A.M. and Sakamoto, M. 2013. The first half of tetrapod evolution, sampling proxies, and fossil record quality. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 372: 18–41.
Birchard, G.F., RUTA, M. and Deeming, D.C. 2013. Evolution of parental incubation behaviour in dinosaurs cannot be inferred from clutch mass in birds. Biology Letters, 9 (e20130036): 1–5.
RUTA, M., Angielczyk, K.D., Fröbisch, J. and Benton, M.J. 2013. Decoupling of morphological disparity and taxic diversity during the adaptive radiation of anomodont therapsids. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences, 280 (e20131071): 1–9.
Angielczyk, K.D. and RUTA, M. 2012. Chapter 4: The roots of amphibian morphospace: a geometric morphometric analysis of Paleozoic temnospondyls. pp. 40–58. In: Lombard, R.E., Anderson, J., RUTA, M. and Sumida, S.S. (eds). Studies in Vertebrate Paleobiology – Essays in Honor of John R. Bolt. Fieldiana: Life and Earth Sciences, 5. Chicago: The Field Museum of Natural History, 148 pp.
Sakamoto, M. and RUTA, M. 2012. Convergence and divergence in the evolution of cat skulls: temporal and spatial patterns of morphological diversity. PLoS ONE, 7 (e39752): 1–13.
Wills, M.A., Gerber, S., RUTA, M. and Hughes, M. 2012. The disparity of priapulid, archaeopriapulid and palaeoscolecid worms in the light of new data. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 25: 2056–2076.
Brusatte, S.L., Benton, M.J., Lloyd, G.T., RUTA, M. and Wang, S.C. 2011. The evolutionary radiation of archosaurs (Tetrapoda: Diapsida). Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 101: 367–382.
Prentice, K.C., RUTA, M. and Benton, M.J. 2011. Evolution of morphological disparity in pterosaurs. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, 9: 337–353.
RUTA, M. 2011. Phylogenetic signal and character compatibility in the appendicular skeleton of early tetrapods. pp. 31–43. In: Barrett, P.M. and Milner, A.R. (eds). Studies on Fossil Tetrapods. Special Papers in Palaeontology, 86. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 280 pp.
RUTA, M., Cisneros, J.C., Liebrecht, T., Tsuji, L.A. and Müller, J. 2011. Amniotes through major biological crises: faunal turnover among parareptiles and the end-Permian mass extinction. Palaeontology, 54: 1117–1137.
Thorne, P.M., RUTA, M. and Benton, M.J. 2011. Resetting the evolution of marine reptiles at the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108: 8339–8344.


  • –present
    NERC Advanced Research Fellow, University of Lincoln