Simon Conway Morris is a palaeobiologist who has made valuable contributions to our understanding of early life on Earth. A research area of particular significance has been his study and classification of fossilised organisms dating from the Cambrian Period, an important era in our planet’s history over 500 million years ago.
Simon’s work on the fossils of the Burgess Shale, an extensive rock formation in the Canadian Rockies, led to the discovery of varied animal structures distinct from any currently in existence. Allied with his wide-ranging investigations into the diversity of fossilised life, this work has shed light on fundamental evolutionary processes that are of practical importance to researchers across the biological community.
A keen communicator of his own research to the general public, Simon has made numerous television appearances and written a number of popular science books including The Crucible of Creation (1999). He has received numerous awards for his academic work, including the Walcott Medal from the US National Academy of Sciences and the Lyell Medal from the Geological Society of London.