Dr Martin Smith, SFHEA
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
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.
Fully funded PhD and postdoctoral opportunities are 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.
Understanding Earth Sciences
- Fieldwork (Geological)
- Sedimentary Environments and Palaeoecology
- Smith, M.R. (2020). Information theoretic Generalized Robinson-Foulds metrics for comparing phylogenetic trees. Bioinformatics
- Brazeau, M. D., Guillerme, T. & Smith, M. R. (2019). An algorithm for morphological phylogenetic analysis with inapplicable data. Systematic Biology 68(4): 619-631.
- Smith, M.R. (2019). Bayesian and parsimony approaches reconstruct informative trees from simulated morphological datasets. Biology Letters 15(2): 20180632.
- Moysiuk, J., Smith, M.R. & Caron, J.-B. (2017). Hyoliths are Palaeozoic lophophorates. Nature 541: 394-397.
- Smith, M.R. (2016). Cord-forming Palaeozoic fungi in terrestrial assemblages. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 180(4): 452-460.
- Smith, M.R. & Caron, J.-B. (2015). Hallucigenia’s head and the pharyngeal armature of early ecdysozoans. Nature 523(7558): 75-78.
- Smith, M.R. & Ortega-Hernández, J. (2014). Hallucigenia’s onychophoran-like claws and the case for Tactopoda. Nature 514(7522): 363-366.
- Smith, M.R. & Caron, J.-B. (2010). Primitive soft-bodied cephalopods from the Cambrian. Nature 465(7297): 469–472.