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While maintaining its strong core theme on the phylogeny and systematics of invertebrates, plants and algae, our research group has numerous interests in palaeontology, palaeoenvironments, palaeoecology, palaeobiogeography, biodiversity, evolutionary studies and biogeochemistry, incorporating aspects of several closely related disciplines such as palaeoclimatology and taphonomy. As an established centre for palaeobotany, our group has continued to set benchmarks for studies on the origin and early evolution of land plants, pollen and spores and calcareous algae and bacteria. Multidisciplinary studies advanced by the group include biomechanical and comparative developmental studies on modern plants, geomicrobiology, palaeobiogeography, palaeophysiology and functional morphology, taphonomy and terrestrialization.

For more information about group members, including recent publications, please visit the individual staff pages (scroll down):

Prof Dianne Edwards, FRS (*group leader)
Research interest in palaeobotany.

Dr Chris M Berry
Research interests include evolution of forest ecosystems (Devonian forests); Middle and Upper Devonian plant fossils from Europe, Arctic, North and South America, and China; origin of major land plant groups; origin of seed plants.

Dr Alan Channing
Research interests involve sedimentology and geochemistry of hot springs and geothermally influenced wetlands, and ecophysiology and taphonomy of hot spring vegetation.

Dr Leslie Cherns
Research interests include Early Palaeozoic stratigraphy; facies and faunas of Baltoscandia, Avalonia; taphonomy; and Palaeozoic chitons.