Taxonomy, palaeobiology and evolution of echinoids

A number of projects are currently underway in the Palaeontology Department to improve our knowledge of key echinoderm faunas in the fossil record.

Current projects include:

  • A long-term project to monograph the Cretaceous echinoids (sea urchins) of the British Isles.
  • A study of the mid-Cretaceous echinoids and ophiuroids (brittle stars) of Antarctica and India.
  • A study of Moroccan Jurassic and Cretaceous echinoids.

Project aims

A major goal is to establish the phylogenetic relationships and a detailed evolutionary tree of post-Palaeozoic echinoids using multiple sources of information.

We are compiling and analysing information on:

  • skeletal anatomy
  • soft tissue anatomy (imaged using electro-magnetic resonance techniques)
  • pedicellarial anatomy
  • larval anatomy
  • gene sequence data
Staff involved in this research: 

Dr Andrew Smith