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Fellows Directory

Philip Donoghue

Philip Donoghue

Professor Philip Donoghue FRS


Elected: 2015


Philip Donoghue is a palaeontologist whose research focuses on major transitions in evolutionary history, including the origin and early evolution of vertebrates, animals, and plants.

Phil has been influential in developing a ‘molecular palaeobiology’ in which evidence from living and fossil species, anatomy and molecular biology, phylogenetics and developmental biology, can be integrated to achieve a more holistic understanding of evolutionary history. He introduced synchrotron tomography to palaeontology, and has played a leading role in establishing the role of palaeontology in establishing evolutionary timescales. 

Phil has been served on the Councils of the Palaeontological Society, Systematics Association, the Micropalaeontological Society and the European Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology. His research has been recognized by the award of the Philip Leverhulme Prize (Leverhulme Trust, 2004), Bigsby Medal (Geological Society 2007), and the President’s Medal (Palaeontological Association, 2014).


Professional positions

Professor of Palaeobiology, School of Earth Sciences (Life Sciences Building), University of Bristol

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
    • Plant sciences / botany, Taxonomy and systematics, Evolution, Organismal biology (including invertebrate and vertebrate zoology)
  • Earth and environmental sciences
    • Geology
  • Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
    • Developmental biology
  • Biochemistry and molecular cell biology
    • Biochemistry and molecular biology


Animal evolution, Evolutionary developmental biology, Evolutionary biology, Paleobotany, Paleontology, Animal phylogenetics, Phylogenetic analysis, Plant phylogenetics

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