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Honorary & Emeritus Staff


Professor John Cope

Since my discovery in South Wales and subsequent description of the most diverse early Ordovician bivalve fauna yet known, consisting of 20 species belonging to 18 genera, I have developed a research interest in the early history of this important molluscan group. There are a few species of bivalve known from Cambrian rocks, but bivalves radiate explosively in the early Ordovician, becoming much larger organisms, more diverse and relatively more abundant, although there are still only five or six localities known worldwide within the early Ordovician. I am now documenting other Ordovician bivalve faunas to try to disentangle the complex of lineages that appears in the first half of the Ordovician, and finding other bivalve-rich localities. I have recently described the first Middle Ordovician bivalves known from Britain. A trip to the central deserts of Australia has yielded a variety of early and mid Ordovician bivalves that I hope to describe in the near future.

I retain also my interest in the palaeobiology and biostratigraphy of Jurassic ammonites, and have recently published the first description of the upper jaws of ammonites, found in situ in association with the lower jaws.

Areas of future research

  • Early Ordovician bivalve faunas of Gondwana.
  • Mid and late Ordovician bivalve faunas.
  • Bivalve phylogeny and classification.
  • Ammonite faunas of the Portland Sand.
  • Lower Jurassic ammonite faunas from Albania.
  • South Wales Ediacaran faunas.
  • Arenig tergomyan molluscs.
  • Arenig problematica.