Trilobite research

This Ordovician trilobite Ogygiocarella from Wales is approximately 460 million years old

Principal Investigator

Dr Greg Edgecombe

Project summary

  • Focus: Trilobite research covering taxonomy, phylogeny, functional morphology, biogeography, and the refinement of the Palaeozoic timescale

We study trilobites from four periods of the Palaeozoic: the Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian.

Our research covers trilobite taxonomy, phylogeny, functional morphology, biogeography, and the refinement of the geological timescale.

Trilobites provide an unparalleled sample set for understanding evolutionary patterns in Palaeozoic marine rocks. There are more than 20,000 known species.

Our current research projects include:

  • completing the description of one of the most diverse trilobite faunas in the world, the Ordovician trilobites of Spitsbergen, Norway
  • limb anatomy of trilobites - reconstructing complete trilobite anatomy from the Silurian Lagerstätte, Herefordshire, UK, in collaboration with Prof Derek Siveter from the University of Oxford
  • investigating the co-occurrence of gigantic trilobites in early Ordovician strata in Morocco
  • systematics of paradoxidids
  • systematics and ontogeny of silicified Ordovician trilobites from the Precordillera terrane, Argentina

Museum staff


Related information

Origins, evolution and futures

We study the Earth's origins and environment, and the evolution of life.

Invertebrate and plant palaeobiology research

We are investigating the origins and evolution of these diverse fossil groups.

Palaeontology collections

The geographic, stratigraphic and historical coverage of fossils in the collection make it globally important.