Dr Thomas Wong Hearing

Palaeoclimate Scientist

School/Department: Geography, Geology and the Environment, School of; Palaeobiology and Biosphere Evolution, Centre for



Thomas Wong Hearing is a palaeoclimate postdoctoral research assistant (PDRA) in the Centre for Palaeobiology and Biosphere Evolution working on the Leverhulme-funded project "Earth System dynamics at the dawn of animal life". Thomas' role on this project is to produce climate model simulations to compare with geological palaeoclimate data for the late Ediacaran and early Cambrian (~600 to 500 million years ago), the interval in which animal-rich ecosystems developed in the oceans. 

Thomas read Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford before completing his PhD studies at the University of Leicester with the thesis "Constraining the marine environments of the Cambrian metazoan radiation". Following his PhD, Thomas worked as a research assistant at the University of Leicester before taking up a teaching role (Doctor-Assistant) and then a research role (BOF Research Fellow) at Ghent University, Belgium. 


Thomas' research interests revolve around understanding the Earth System and how it worked in 'deep time', many millions of years ago. Through the Leverhulme-funded project "Earth System dynamics at the dawn of animal life" Thomas is using a combination of climatically sensitive geological data and new climate model simulations to investigate the (co-)evolution of the biosphere and the physical Earth System from the late Ediacaran to early Cambrian, about 600 to 500 million years ago. 

During this interval, Earth's physical environment experienced a series of dramatic changes - some oscillatory and some that have never since been reversed. Some fossil organisms and geological deposits can be used as indicators of ancient climate, and using these in conjunction with numerical modelling approaches it is possible to quantify the scale of environmental changes and try to untangle the myriad factors involved in driving them. 

For more information on my research interests, as well as past projects, please see my personal website.



  • Drage, H.B., Wong Hearing, T.W., 2023. Diamond open access with preregistration: a new publishing model for palaeontology. EarthArXiv. doi: 10.31223/X5KH30.
  • Wong Hearing, T.W., Dewaele, S., Albers, S., De Weirdt, J., De Batist, M., accepted. The Rock Garden: a preliminary assessment of how campus-based field skills training impacts student confidence in real-world field work. Geoscience Communication.

Peer-reviewed articles

  1. Pohl, A., Wong Hearing, T.W., Franc, A., Sepulchre, P., Scotese, C.R., 2022. Dataset of Phanerozoic continental climate and Köppen–Geiger climate classes. Data in Brief. doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2022.108424.
  2. Wong Hearing, T.W., Pohl, A., Williams, M., Donnadieu, Y., Harvey, T.H.P., Scotese, C.R., Sepulchre, P., Franc, A., Vandenbroucke, T.R.A., 2021. Quantitative comparison of geological data and model simulations constrains early Cambrian geography and climate. Nature Communications, 12, 3868. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-24141-5.
  3. Wong Hearing, T.W., Williams, M., Rushton, A.W.A., Zalasiewicz, J.A., Komatsu, T., Stocker, C. Harvey, T.H.P., Niko, S., Doan, H.D., Trinh, H.T., Nguyen, H.B., Nguyen, M.T., 2021. Late Ordovician (Katian) graptolites and shelly fauna from the Phu Ngu Formation, north-east Vietnam. Palaeontological Research, 25 (1), 41–58, doi: 10.2517/2020PR011.
  4. Hearing, T.W., Harvey, T.H.P., Williams, M., Leng, M.J., Lamb, A.L., Wilby, P.R., Gabbott, S.E., Pohl, A., Donnadieu, Y., 2018. An early Cambrian greenhouse climate. Science Advances, 4 (5), eaar5690, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aar5690.
  5. Ortega-Hernández, J., Azizi, A., Hearing, T.W., Harvey, T.H.P., Edgecombe, G.D., Hafid, A., El Hariri, K., 2017. A xandarellid artiopodan from Morocco – a middle Cambrian link between soft-bodied euarthropod communities in North Africa and South China. Scientific Reports, 7, 42616, doi: 10.1038/srep42616.
  6. Hearing, T.W., Legg, D.A., Botting, J.P., Muir, L.A., McDermott, P., Faulkner, S., Taylor, A.C., Brasier, M.D., 2016. Survival of Burgess Shale-type animals in a Middle Ordovician deep-water setting. Journal of the Geological Society, 173, 628–633, doi: 10.1144/jgs2015-131.
  7. Legg, D.A., & Hearing, T.W., 2015. A late surviving xenopod (Arthropoda) from the Ordovician Period, Wales. Geological Magazine, 152 (5), 942–948, doi: 10.1017/S001675681400065X.


I do not currently teach at the University of Leicester. Please see my personal website for information regarding my previous teaching role at Ghent University, Belgium, which included developing remote and on-campus field work activities. 

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