Roger Close

Roger Close

Royal Society University Research Fellow

I am a Royal Society University Research Fellow and palaeobiologist. My research aims to unravel the how the spatial fabric of animal biodiversity changed through the Phanerozoic Eon, and also to understand the biological and environmental drivers that shaped these changes.


2022–present Royal Society University Research Fellow, University of Oxford

2016–2020 ERC Research Fellow, University of Birmingham

2013–2015 PDRA, University of Oxford

2008–2013 PhD (Geology), Monash University

2006–2007 Graduate Diploma of Science (Zoology), Monash University

1999–2005: BA/BSc (Hons), Monash University

Close, R. A., Benson, R. B. J., Saupe, E. E., Clapham, M. E. & Butler, R. J. The spatial structure of Phanerozoic marine animal diversity. Science 368, 420–424 (2020).
Close, R. A. et al. The apparent exponential radiation of Phanerozoic land vertebrates is an artefact of spatial sampling biases. Proc Royal Soc B 287, 20200372 (2020).
Close, R. A. et al. Diversity dynamics of Phanerozoic terrestrial tetrapods at the local-community scale. Nat Ecol Evol 3, 590–597 (2019).
Close, R. A., Evers, S. W., Alroy, J. & Butler, R. J. How should we estimate diversity in the fossil record? Testing richness estimators using sampling-standardised discovery curves. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 28, 1023–15 (2018).
Close, R. A., Benson, R. B. J., Upchurch, P. & Butler, R. J. Controlling for the species-area effect supports constrained long-term Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrate diversification. Nature Communications 8, 15381 (2017).
Close, R. A., Friedman, M., Lloyd, G. T. & Benson, R. B. J. Evidence for a Mid-Jurassic Adaptive Radiation in Mammals. Current Biology 25, 2137–2142 (2015).
Benson, R. B. J., Butler, R., Close, R. A., Saupe, E. & Rabosky, D. L. Biodiversity across space and time in the fossil record. Curr Biol 31, R1225–R1236 (2021).
Dunne, E.M., Close, R.A., Button, D.J., Brocklehurst, N., & Cashmore, D.D. Diversity change during the rise of tetrapods and the impact of the ‘Carboniferous rainforest collapse.’ Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 285, 20172730–8 (2018).
Benson, R. B. J., Starmer-Jones, E., Close, R. A. & Walsh, S. A. Comparative analysis of vestibular ecomorphology in birds. Journal of Anatomy 231, 990–1018 (2017).
Close, R. A., Johanson, Z., Tyler, J. C., Harrington, R. C. & Friedman, M. Mosaicism in a new Eocene pufferfish highlights rapid morphological innovation near the origin of crown tetraodontiforms. Palaeontology 59, 499–514 (2016).
Friedman, M., Beckett, H. T., Close, R. A. & Johanson, Z. The English Chalk and London Clay. in (eds. Johanson, Z., Barrett, Paul M, Richter, M & Smith, M.) vol. 430 165–200 (The Geological Society of London, 2015).
Close, R. A. et al. A lower jaw of Palaeoxonodon from the Middle Jurassic of the Isle of Skye, Scotland, sheds new light on the diversity of British stem therians. Palaeontology 59, 155–169 (2015).
Close, R. A. & Rayfield, E. J. Functional morphometric analysis of the furcula in Mesozoic birds. PLoS ONE 7, e36664 (2012).
Close, R. A. et al. Earliest Gondwanan Bird From the Cretaceous of Southeastern Australia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29, 616–619 (2009).