My research concerns the nature of the enigmatic Ediacaran biota that flourished c. 575-541 Ma, which is thought to represent the first complex life, including the earliest animals. My work has focused on the Ediacaran successions of Newfoundland, Canada, and the Long Mynd in Shropshire, England. In particular, I am engaged in interpreting the variety of discoidal markings observed in these rocks, their nature and their biogenicity.
These studies, in collaboration with Professor Duncan McIlroy of Memorial University, Newfoundland (MUN) and the late Professor Martin Brasier at Oxford, have already demonstrated that the much debated discoidal forms of the Long Mynd are not Ediacaran macrofossils but the combined result of physical processes and microbial mats. Work is continuing on both the well-preserved microbial mats of the Long Mynd, and, with colleagues at MUN, Bristol, and Cambridge, on interpreting the discoidal and other fossils of the Avalon assemblage
View Selected Publications
Menon, L.R., McIlroy, D., Liu, A.G. and Brasier, M.D., 2015. The dynamic influence of microbial mats on sediments: fluid escape and pseudofossil formation in the Ediacaran Longmyndian Supergroup, UK. Journal of the Geological Society. DOI:10.1144/jgs2015-036
Liu, A.G., Matthews, J.J., Menon, L.R., McIlroy, D. and Brasier, M.D., 2015. The arrangement of possible muscle fibres in the Ediacaran taxon Haootia quadriformis (invited Reply). Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 282, 20142949.
Liu, A.G., Matthews, J.J., Menon, L.R., McIlroy, D. and Brasier, M.D., 2014. Haootia quadriformis n. gen., n. sp., interpreted as a muscular cnidarian impression from the Late Ediacaran period (approx.. 560 Ma). Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 281, 20141202.
Menon, L.R., McIlroy, D. and Brasier, M.D., 2014. Evidence for Cnidaria-like behavior in ca. 560 Ma Ediacaran Aspidella: REPLY. Geology, 42, e324.
Menon, L.R., McIlroy, D. and Brasier, M.D., 2013. Evidence for Cnidaria-like behavior in ca. 560 Ma Ediacaran Aspidella. Geology, 41, pp. 895-898.
Brasier, M.D., Liu, A.G., Menon, L., Matthews, J.J., McIlroy, D. and Wacey, D., 2013. Explaining the exceptional preservation of Ediacaran rangeomorphs from Spaniard’s Bay, Newfoundland: a hydraulic model. Precambrian Research, 231, 122-135.
Brasier, M.D., McIlroy, D., Liu, A.G., Antcliffe, J.B. and Menon, L.R., 2013. The oldest evidence of bioturbation on Earth: COMMENT. Geology, 41, e289.
Brasier, M.D., Callow, R.H.T., Menon, L.R., and Liu, A.G., 2010. Osmotrophic biofilms: from modern to ancient. In: J. Seckbach and A. Oren (eds), Microbial Mats. Amsterdam: Springer, pp. 131-148.
Blackwell, D.E., Booth, A.J., Menon, S.L.R., and Petford, A.D., 1987. An LTE analysis of the solar photospheric Ti I and Cr I Spectra – Evidence for non-LTE in excitation. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 180, pp.229-240.