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Richard Howard

PhD student

 Stella Turk Building 


University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, TR10 9FE


3rd year NERC GW4+ PhD student

Palaeobiologist working on exceptionally preserved Cambrian invertebrates, phylogenetics and molecular dating.


Research interests

Cambrian Ecdysozoa

The main goal of my PhD is to investigate ecdysozoan fossils from exceptionally preserved Cambrian biotas (primarily the Chengjiang Biota from Yunnan Province, China). Ecdysozoans are the moulting invertebrates (e.g. arthropods, tardigrades and nematodes), the most abundant and diverse of all animal groups. Fossils yield crucial data for evolutionary analyses that are not available from the living biota. I build evolutionary trees integrating both fossil and extant organisms in order to reconstruct the evolutionary history of ecdysozoans.

Phylogenomics and molecular dating

Molecular sequence data from genes, proteins and genomes can be combined with the fossil record in order to estimate evolutionary timelines. I led a study in my 1st year reviewing the fossil record of scorpions, and combined this data with published scorpion transcriptomes to produce a time-calibrated phylogeny (see publications).


Supervision / Group

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