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Dr Chris Berry

Dr Chris Berry

Senior Lecturer

School of Earth and Ocean Sciences

Email:
berrycm@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6971
Fax:
+44 (0)29 2087 4326
Location:
1.16B, Main Building
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision

I am a palaeobotanist who specialises in understanding the early radiation of large plants and the birth of forest ecosystems in the Devonian period, about 380 million years ago. This builds on the training I recieved from Professor Dianne Edwards, FRS and from Muriel Fairon-Demaret (Liege, Belgium).

My expertise is based on an exciting fieldwork programme (Svalbard, Greenland, China, USA, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, Europe) and precision preparation of the fossils recovered in the labs here in Cardiff. My highest profile publications, with colleagues, on early fossil forests and the growth of early trees, has recieved global publicity.

I enjoy interacting with other scientists to date my fossils, and to interpret the impact of the rise of forests on the Earth system.

  • Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Earth and Ocean Sciences - School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University (1998-present)
  • University of Wales Research Fellow, Cardiff University (1996-1998)
  • Royal Society Exchange Fellowship, Liège University (1994-1995)
  • PhD - Devonian Plant Fossils from Venezuela, Geology Department, Cardiff University (1993)
  • BA Earth Sciences – Cambridge University (1989)

Honours and awards

Prix Suzanne Leclercq

Professional memberships

Paleontological Association
Linnean Society

Committees and reviewing

International

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1991

  • Edwards, D. and Berry, C. M. 1991. Silurian and Devonian. In: Cleal, C. J. ed. Plant Fossils in Geological Investigation: The Palaeozoic.. Ellis Horwood series in applied geology Chichester: Ellis Horwood Limited, pp. 117-153.

Year 1: History of Life; Earth materials (sedimentary rocks)

Year 2: Sedimentary Geology and Environments; Carbonate Sedimentology

Year 3: Palaeobiology

Residential Field Trips: Pembrokeshire (Palaeozoic); Dorset (Mesozoic).

I study the diversification, evolution and impact of the evolution of large land plants in the Devonian Period, 420-360 million years ago. I am interested in rare ‘fossil forests’ which tell us about ancient terrestrial ecology. My knowledge is informed by an extensive fieldwork programme, and first-hand knowledge of the major collections of Devonian plants in museums around the world.

Palaeozoic Palaeoenvironments and Palaeobotany

Past projects

PhD

Susan Hammond

Joe Orme

Yingying Zhang (Peking University)

A public lecture about the origin of forests in the Devonian Period, given in Cardiff December 2015:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwkbePIWeIU

A video about fieldwork at the famous Gilboa fossil forest, Mid Devonian age, New York State, as written up in Nature 2012. Please set the screen resolution to 720p (use the settings tab at the bottom right) to get the correct screen proportions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M0j4ZdaJF8