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


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The rise of the ruling reptiles...

Ezcurra & Butler 2018
Proceedings of the Royal Society B
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'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. Applications for 2019 entry are now closed, but this year's advertised projects included dinosaur phylogeny, marine diversity through the PETM, and cynodont brain evolution. Applications for 2020 entry will open in the late Autumn.

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

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.


July 2019: I was awarded the Joseph Chamberlain Award for Academic Advancement by the University of Birmingham, as part of the Founders' Awards at the annual Chancellor's Dinner.