Dr. Roger Benson. My research addresses questions about large-scale patterns of biodiversity and phenotypic evolution in vertebrates. I am a taxonomic expert in extinct dinosaurs and marine reptiles, and my current work aims to address questions about evolutionary diversification using phylogenies and phenotypic trait data in birds, mammals, and their stem lineages. Current project in my group make extensive use of 3D visualisation methods and concern: morphological adaptation to flight, and flightlessness in birds; the land-water transition in secondarily aquatic groups such as marine reptiles, sea turtles and diving birds; early reptile evolution; and constraints on phenotypic evolution in mammals, birds and dinosaurs.



Dr. Alex Bjarnason – post-doctoral research assistant (ERC)

Dr. Neil Brocklehurst – DFG research fellow

Dr. Donald Davesne – post-doctoral research assistant (Leverhulme)

Dr. James Neenan – Leverhulme early career fellow, Oxford University Museum of Natural History

Dr. Elsa Panciroli


Visiting researchers

Dr. Roger Close (University of Birmingham)

Prof. Matt Friedman (University of Michigan)


PhD students

(4th year)

Marie-Claire Koschowitz 

(3rd year)

Claire Dobson 

(1st year)

Brigit Tronrud


Research Assistants

Armin Schmitt


Past members of the Research Group

Dr. Mimi Beckett (PhD student, 2014-2018)

Dr. Gemma Benevento (PhD student, 2014-2018)

Dr. John Clarke (PhD student, 2010-2014)

Dr. Daniel Delbarre (PhD student, 2013-2017)

Dr. Cesar Espinoza-Campuzano (PhD student, 2014-2019)

Dr. David Ford (PhD student, 2014-2019)

Dr. Serjoscha Evers (PhD student, 2014-2018)

Dr. Valentin Fischer (Newton International Fellow, 2015)

Dr. Sam Giles (PhD student, 2011-2015, Chirstchurch College Junior Research Fellow, Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin research fellow, 2015-2018)

Dr. Brandon Hedrick (ERC post-doctoral research assistant, 2018-2019)

Dr. Alberto Martín-Serra (ERC post-doctoral research assistant, 2017-2018)

Dr. Laura Soul (PhD student, 2011-2015)

Dr. Andrzej Wolniewicz (PhD student, 2013-2017)