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Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology, University of Bristol

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. 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 comparative phylogenetics approaches.

I am an enthusiastic book writer, and my latest is 'Dinosaurs: New Visions of a Lost World' (Thames & Hudson, London and New York, 2021), with stunning illustrations by Bob Nicholls. The first dinosaur book with reconstructions based on palaeontological knowledge of colour and pattern, and all fully explained.


  • –present
    Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology, University of Bristol