top of page


I'm a vertebrate palaeontologist based at the University of Birmingham. My research focuses on the systematics, evolution, diversity and biogeography of fossil tetrapods using specimen and field-based approaches. I'm particularly interested in the early Mesozoic origins and evolution of dinosaur-dominated ecosystems.

A new pseudosuchian archosaur, Mambawakale ruhuhu

Butler et al. 2022
Royal Society Open Science


Screenshot 2023-01-15 at 22.37.00.jpg
Screenshot 2022-10-23 at 21.02.38.png
Climatic controls on early dinosaur evolution

Dunne et al. 2023
Current Biology


Richard Butler and donkey.jpeg

December 2023: I'm delighted to have received the President's Medal of the Palaeontological Association.

March 2023: Awarded new Leverhulme Trust Research Project grant on the origins of the bird respiratory system.

December 2022: Awarded new NERC Exploring the Frontiers grant with Dr Kirsty Edgar (PI) and the Jurassic Coast Trust on assessing the scientific value of fossils.

October 2022: Completed fieldwork in the Middle Jurassic of Morocco in collaboration with Dr Susie Maidment of the Natural History Museum and the research group of Professor Driss Ouarhache of Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University (Fes). This is a hugely exciting project with potential to run for many years.   


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. These include international opportunities funded by the Turing Scheme.

bottom of page