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Fellows Directory

Jennifer Clack

Jennifer Clack

Credit: Department of Zoology

Professor Jennifer Clack FRS


Elected: 2009


Jennifer Clack is a palaeontologist whose groundbreaking work on early tetrapods — vertebrates with four limbs — solved the mystery of their transition from sea to land nearly 400 million years ago. Her work has focused in particular on how tetrapods relate to their predecessors among the lobe-finned fish, and the numerous physiological changes which took place during their emergence onto land.

Jennifer’s pioneering work in the field as well as the lab has improved our understanding of numerous aspects of tetrapod biology, ranging from the evolution of the skeleton to the formation of the nervous system. By shedding light on an important moment in the development of life on Earth, Jennifer has helped to stimulate a renaissance in collecting and research related to the fish–tetrapod transition.

A Professor and Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the University of Cambridge, Jennifer holds honorary doctorates from universities around the world and is an honorary member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Swedish equivalent of the Royal Society.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Earth and environmental sciences
    • Geology
  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
    • Organismal biology (including invertebrate and vertebrate zoology), Taxonomy and systematics, Evolution


palaeontology, tetrapod, Palaeozoic, gnathostome

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