Our research is focussed on understanding the processes and patterns of the evolution of life, and the interactions between the biosphere and other elements of the Earth system, spanning Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Recent organisms and exceptionally preserved fossil biotas (lagerstätten).
Leicester's Palaeobiology research has an international reputation for initiatives elucidating the taphonomy and palaeobiology of globally important Palaeozoic lagerstätten, especially the Cambrian Chengjiang (China), Ordovician Soom Shale (South Africa) and Silurian Herefordshire (UK) faunas. Staff are leaders in the fields of the palaeobiology and evolutionary relationships of conodonts and other early fish, ostracods and related arthropods, pterosaurs, and in determining preservational pathways for the decay and preservation of soft-bodied organisms.
Our members have acknowledged expertise in the application of microfossils, including phytoplankton, and macrofossils in high resolution biostratigraphy and in interpreting deep time (Palaeozoic and Cenozoic) ocean/atmosphere systems and palaeoclimate; they are centrally involved in work on the Anthropocene paradigm. Vertebrate research also includes 3D texture analysis of tooth microwear to investigate the trophic ecology of fishes, dinosaurs and mammals.
The Centre publishes in journals of the highest international quality, and has strong links with palaeontology laboratories and geological surveys world-wide. Its research is supported by NERC, The Royal Society, The Leverhulme Trust, the British Geological Survey and Industry, and its staff hold leading positions in learned Palaeontological societies and Stratigraphic Commissions.