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Dr Martin Smith

Associate Professor in Palaeontology


AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Associate Professor in Palaeontology in the Department of Earth SciencesES313+44 (0) 191 33 42320


2015—present: Associate Professor in Palaeontology, Durham University

2012—2015: Junior Research Fellow, Clare College, University of Cambridge

2012: PhD, University of Toronto

2008: MA & MSc, Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge

E-mail address

martin.smith at durham

Research interests

I am interested in the origins of the modern animal groups. My work includes the study of unusual organisms from Burgess Shale-type deposits and their microscopic counterparts, the Small Carbonaceous Fossils. I also have an interest in the preservation of these remarkable fossils, and the mathematical techniques used to reconstruct evolutionary history from palaeontological evidence.

Research opportunities

Fully funded postdoctoral opportunities will soon be available through a Leverhulme Trust grant.

I am currently inviting proposals for postgraduate research projects in palaeobiology and phylogenetic methods (Masters by Research or PhD). Please get in touch for more information.

Undergraduate research projects are also available for Durham and non-Durham students. Palaeontological Association bursaries may be of interest to potential applicants.

Online profiles

Research groups

  • Palaeoecosystems Research Group

Awarded Grants

  • 2020: A fizzle or a bang: How fast was the Cambrian 'explosion'?(£365499.00 from Leverhulme Trust)

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Earth Sciences: Palaeontology
  • Ecosystems: Palaeoecosystems
  • The Earth: Animals: Palaeobiology
  • The Earth: Plants: Palaeobotanny


Journal Article

Supervision students