Dr Ross Anderson

Research interests

Preserving the rise of complex life

Early Life, Earth History, Geobiology, Palaeobiology, Taphonomy

The emergence and diversification of complex life is the most fundamental biological transition in the history of the Earth. My lab uses exceptional fossils to chart the evolution of eukaryotes (those organisms with membrane-bounded organelles), multicellularity,
cellular differentiation, and animals, through the Proterozoic Eon (2.5-0.5 billion years ago). Understanding how changing fossil diversity correlates to environmental changes—and the Proterozoic Eon sees some of the largest in Earth history—is vital
to determining evolutionary drivers.

Not only do we seek new fossils that provide this important palaeobiological information, we critically interrogate the nature of the fossil record. Before the terminal Proterozoic advent of biomineralisation, fossilisation is confined to poorly understood
and unusual circumstances that preserve organic remains. My lab uses novel analytical techniques on fossiliferous strata to understand the conditions conducive to preservation, with a specific focus on microbe-mineral interactions. Such research is
crucial to our ability to robustly interpret the temporal and ecological range of fossil organisms. It can also provide new insights into their original chemistry and biology.

My lab is always looking for talented and motivated researchers. If you are interested in joining our group as a doctoral student or post-doctoral researcher, please contact me via email.


Museum of Natural History Profile     Curriculum Vitae

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