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Professor Mike Benton
Professor Mike Benton
Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology
Area of research
Macroevolution of vertebrates
My interests include the diversification of life through time, quality of the fossil record, shapes of phylogenies, age-clade congruence, mass extinctions, Triassic ecosystem evolution, basal diapsid phylogeny, basal archosaurs and the origin of the dinosaurs.
Current research projects focus on the end-Permian mass extinction, the greatest mass extinction of all time, and especially its effects on terrestrial organisms. This involves fieldwork in Russia and China. I am also working on large-scale aspects of dating the tree of life, the use of phylogenetic means to assess the quality of the rock and fossil records, and studying macroevolution using comparative phylogenetics approaches.
- fossil records
- basal diapsid phylogeny
- basal archosaurs
- Lakin, RJ, Duffin, CJ, Hildebrandt, C & Benton, MJ, 2016, The Rhaetian vertebrates of Chipping Sodbury, South Gloucestershire, UK, a comparative study. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, vol 127., pp. 40-52
- Puttick, MN, Thomas, GH & Benton, MJ, 2016, Dating placentalia: Morphological clocks fail to close the molecular-fossil gap. Evolution, vol 70., pp. 873-886
- Xing, L, Lockley, MG, Yang, G, Cao, J, Benton, M, Xu, X, Zhang, J, Klein, H, IV, WSP, Kim, JY, Peng, G, Ye, Y & Ran, H, 2016, A new Minisauripus site from the Lower Cretaceous of China: Tracks of small adults or juveniles?. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.
- Benton, MJ, 2016, The Chinese pareiasaurs. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.
- Ezard, THG, Quental, TB & Benton, MJ, 2016, The challenges to inferring the regulators of biodiversity in deep time. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, vol 371.
- Goswami, A, Mannion, PD & Benton, MJ, 2016, Radiation and extinction: Investigating clade dynamics in deep time. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.
- Xing, L, Li, D, Falkingham, PL, Lockley, MG, Benton, MJ, Klein, H, Zhang, J, Ran, H, Persons, WS & Dai, H, 2016, Digit-only sauropod pes trackways from China - evidence of swimming or a preservational phenomenon?. Scientific Reports, vol 6., pp. 21138
- Sakamoto, M, Benton, MJ & Venditti, C, 2015, Dinosaurs in decline tens of millions of years before their final extinction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
- Benton, MJ, 2015, Palaeodiversity and formation counts: Redundancy or bias?. Palaeontology, vol 58., pp. 1003-1029
- Benton, MJ, Donoghue, PCJ, Asher, RJ, Friedman, M, Near, TJ & Vinther, J, 2015, Constraints on the timescale of animal evolutionary history. Palaeontologia Electronica, vol 18., pp. 1-107
Professor Benton currently teaches 6 courses:
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