I'm a vertebrate palaeontologist based at the University of Birmingham. My research focuses on the systematics, evolution, diversity and biogeography of fossil tetrapods. A particular focus of my research is the origin and early evolution of dinosaurs and their close relatives in the aftermath of the Permo-Triassic mass extinction, the largest ecological crisis in Earth history.

Diversity dynamics of Phanerozoic terrestrial tetrapods...

Close et al. 2019
Nature Ecology & Evolution


The spatial structure of marine diversity

Close et al. 2020
The earliest bird-line archosaurs...

Nesbitt et al. 2017


The Birmingham Palaeobiology & Palaeoclimates team, including several members of my research group.

If you'd like to join us as a postdoc or research fellow then contact me. I'm happy to discuss funding options, including Newton, 1851, Leverhulme, Marie Curie, NERC, Royal Society and Humboldt Fellowships. We have recent success in supporting Leverhulme and Marie Curie fellowship applications.

We're happy to host short-term international research visitors to build collaborations with our research group. Please get in touch to discuss funding options that might be available.

Funded PhD opportunities are posted annually on the CENTA website.

We can consider self-funded PhD candidates at any time. We offer distance-learning and part-time PhD options.

We also offer a one year Masters by Research programme, in which the focus is entirely on the development of practical research skills through the completion of a dissertation. This is also available on a part-time basis.

For prospective undergraduates, Birmingham offers outstanding programmes in Geology, Geology & Physical Geography and Palaeontology & Geology, all of which offer opportunities to engage with and become involved in our cutting edge research.

For current Birmingham undergraduates, we are happy to support summer placements funded by Palaeontological Association Undergraduate Research Bursaries. We advertise BSc Major Project and MSci Advanced Project opportunities each year.


December 2019: We have been awarded two research project grants, worth >£400k in total, from the Leverhulme Trust to study dinosaur biology and evolution! Some brief information here.


February 2020: Dr Edina Prondvai has been awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship to join our group from late 2020. Edina will work on bird histology through ontogeny and implications for the dinosaur-bird transition.

April 2020: New paper in Science led by postdoctoral fellow Roger Close on the structure and drivers of Phanerozoic marine diversity.

February 2021: Dr Davide Foffa has been awarded a Marie Curie Global Fellowship to join our group and Virginia Tech University from early 2022. Davide will work on ecological structure of terrestrial vertebrate communities through the Permian and Triassic.