Professor Mark Williams

Mark WilliamsProfessor of Palaeobiology

Deputy Head of Department

Direct contact:
T: 0116 252 3642 

Research Group: Palaeobiology, Palaeoenvironments and Palaeoclimates

Research Interests

I am interested in three broad research themes:

  1. Understanding the rate and degree of current environmental change from a geological context;
  2. Utilising Pliocene climate as a scenario for late 21st century climate and global warming on Earth;
  3. Understanding interactions between the biosphere and the evolution of the Earth System.

I teach courses on the ‘Geological Application of Microfossils’ – with components of oceanography, evolution and biogeography, and forensic and environmental investigation, and ‘Methods and modelling in palaeoclimatology’ – with much about stable isotope geochemistry, climate proxies and the application of numerical climate models. With Jan Zalasiewicz I am the author of the popular book 'The Goldilocks Planet (Oxford University Press). My research has taken me from the tropics to the Antarctic and from the Cambrian to the recent.

Four recent publications

These show the range of my research:

  • Williams, M., Zalasiewicz, J., Haff, P.K., Schwägerl, P., Barnosky, A.D. & Ellis, E.C. 2015. The Anthropocene biosphere. The Anthropocene Review, DOI: 10.1177/2053019615591020
  • Williams, M., Zalasiewicz, J., Davies, N., Mazzini, I., Goiran, J.-P. & Kane, S. 2015. Humans as the third evolutionary stage of biosphere engineering of rivers. Anthropocene, 7, 47-53,
  • Perrier, V., Williams, M., Siveter, DJ. 2015. The fossil record and palaeoenvironmental significance of marine arthropod zooplankton. Earth Science Reviews, 146, 146-162 doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2015.02.003
  • Hou, Xianguang, Williams, M., Siveter, D.J., Siveter, D.J., Gabbott, S.G., Holwell, D. & Harvey, T.H.P. 2014. A chancellorid-like metazoan from the early Cambrian Chengjiang Lagersttäte, China. Scientific Reports, 4, 7340, DOI: 10.1038/srep07340


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