2006 - present Research Associate, Department of
2003 - 2006 Individual Merit Researcher, Department of
2002 - 2003 Collier Professor in the Public Understanding
of Science and Technology, Bristol University,
1986 - 2002 Individual Merit Researcher, Department of Paleontology, NHM
1980 -1986 Principal Scientific Officer, Department of Paleontology, NHM
1973 -1980 Senior Scientific Officer, Department of Paleontology, NHM
2000 - 2010 Senior Research Fellow, Department of Paleontology, NHM
2000 - 2010 Honorary: Visiting Professor of Palaeobiology, Oxford University
2010 Professor, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology,
1968 BA University of Cambridge
1971 PhD University of Cambridge
1985 DSc University of Cambridge
1997 Fellow of the Royal Society
Seven books are in print designed to increase public awareness in geology, palaeontology, and the history of life.
Searching for Ordovician trilobites in Spitsbergen, the Artic.
This research is the completion of a major monograph on the Ordovician trilobites of Spitsbergen, one of the most diverse trilobite faunas in the world. Previous work has concentrated on the trilobites and graptolites of the Valhallfonna Formation, a unique succession from which trilobite biofacies were originally recognised by myself in the 1970s - a concept which has subsequently become generally recognised. More than 60 species were described from the Valhallfonna Formation. However, the underlying Kirtonryggen Formation received perfunctory treatment. It represents a shallow water palaeotropical assemblage dominated by bathyurid trilobites. These species are known from scattered localities in Greenland, Newfoundland, New York State and elsewhere; many forms are no more than fragments. The succession of faunas in northern Spitsbergen promises to provide the most complete stacking of different faunas, which should help to clarify both the taxonomy of the group and their stratigraphic order. This work is in conjunction with Professor David Bruton, University of Oslo, Norway.
Many trilobite groups are problematic with regard to their classification into natural clades. I have been running a long-term project designed to improve the situation, often with the help of research students. This is a contribution to work on the revision of the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology. Although in my emeritus capacity I have no more students, results are still coming through, for example, on the notoriously difficult Family Asaphidae. I am also studying critical ‘linking’ species in strata of Tremadoc age, and particularly new discoveries in Morocco.