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Professor John Cope

Professor John Cope

Honorary Professor

School of Earth and Ocean Sciences

My initial research work was on Upper Jurassic ammonites and sexual dimorphism. This interest has widened to include Jurassic ammonites in general and their use in biostratigraphy and chronostratigraphy.

Work in Carmarthenshire revealed unknown outcrops of Precambrian Cambrian and earliest Ordovician rocks, together with rich faunas of Early Ordovician age. The most diverse Early Ordovician bivalve fauna known globally allowed me to produce new ideas on early bivalve phylogeny. My publications in this area led to me being a contributor to several parts of the revised Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology, Part N, Bivalvia.

I have wide interests in British stratigraphy and palaeogeography (I was co-ordinating Editor of the Geological Society’s Palaeogeographical Atlas (1992)) and have published on rocks varying in age from the Precambrian to the Pleistocene.

Professional qualifications

BSc, PhD, DSc, University of Bristol

Chartered Geologist

Fellow of the Geological Society

Honours and awards

Honorary Research Fellow, National Museum Wales, 1987-
Edward Coke Medal, Geological Society of London, 2002
T. N. George Medal, University of Glasgow, 2016

Professional memberships

Geological Society of London
Geologists’ Association
Palaeontological Association
Palaeontographical Society
Ussher Society

Academic positions

Assistant Lecturer, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader. University of Swansea 1961-89

Reader, Cardiff University 1989-2003

Honorary Professor 2003-

Committees and reviewing

Palaeontological Association

Council 1975-85, Membership Treasurer 1978-83, Vice-President 1983-85. Treasurer 2004-2010. Vice-president 2010-2012.

Geological Society Council

1982-85, 1992-2000; Honorary Secretary (Publications) 1992-95; Treasurer 1996-2000.

Stratigraphy Commission

Member since 1979. Secretary 1981-85. Chair 1985-89.

I referee papers for a wide range of international journals.

My interests include:

  • Jurassic ammonites and stratigraphy
  • Ordovician bivalves and early bivalve evolution
  • Ediacaran faunas
  • Broad interests in British stratigraphy


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