We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Email and Telephone Directory

Staff Profile

Dr Martin Smith, SFHEA

Personal web page

Assistant Professor in Palaeontology in the Department of Earth Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42320
Room number: ES313

Contact Dr Martin Smith (email at


2015—present: Assistant 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

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

Department of Earth Sciences

Teaching Areas

  • Palaeobiology

  • Understanding Earth Sciences

  • Fieldwork (Geological)
  • Sedimentary Environments and Palaeoecology

Selected Publications

Journal Article

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

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


Selected Grants

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