Dr Tom Harvey

Lecturer in Geoscience

Admissions Tutor (Geology)

Course Director (Geology with Palaeontology)


Email: thph2@le.ac.uk

Personal details

  • BSc Geology-Biology Joint Hons., University of Bristol, 2003
  • MSc Palaeobiology, University of Bristol, 2004
  • PhD, University of Cambridge, 2009: "Organic-walled microfossils from the early Cambrian of Canada"
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in Higher Education, University of Leicester, 2016


  • GL1103 Palaeobiology and the Stratigraphic Record (convener; core module)
  • GL2100 Geological Field Methods (Spain/Peak District; trip leader; core module)
  • GL3105 Earth Science in Education (convener)
  • GL4108 Evolutionary Palaeobiology (convener)
  • GL4100 Hot Topics (convener; core module)
  • Personal tutor
  • Mapping tutor
  • Dissertation supervisor
  • MGeol research project supervisor


McGairy, A., Komatsu. T., Williams, M., Harvey, T. H. P., Miller, G., Phong Duc Nguyen, Legrand. J., Yamada, T., Siveter, D.J., Bush, H. and Stocker, C. 2021 Ostracods had colonised estuaries by the late Silurian. Biology Letters 17, 20210403. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2021.0403

Wong Hearing, T. W., Pohl, A., Williams, M., Donnadieu, Y., Harvey, T. H. P., Scotese, C. R., Sepulchre, P., Franc, A., and Vandenbroucke, T. R. A. 2021 Quantitative comparison of geological data and model simulations constrains early Cambrian geography and climate. Nature Communications 12, 3868. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-24141-5

Legrand J., Yamada T., Komatsu T., Williams M., Harvey T., De Backer T., Vandenbroucke T. R. A., Nguyen P. D., Doan H. D., Nguyen H. B. 2021 Implications of an early land plant spore assemblage for the late Silurian age of the Si Ka Formation, northern Vietnam. Annales de Paléontologie 107 (3), 102486. doi: 10.1016/j.annpal.2021.102486

Wong Hearing, T. W., Williams, M., Rushton, A., Zalasiewicz, J., Komatsu, T., Stocker, C., Harvey, T. H. P., Niko, S., Hung Dinh Doan, Ha Thai Trinh, Hung Ba Nguyen, Minh Trung Nguyen. 2021 Late Ordovician (Katian) graptolites and shelly fauna from the Phu Ngu Formation, north-east Vietnam. Paleontological Research 25, 4158. doi: 10.2517/2020PR011

Li, Y.-J., Williams, M., Harvey, T. H. P., Wei, F., Zhao, Y., Guo, J., Gabbott, S. E., Fletcher, T. M., Hou, X.-G., & Cong, P.-Y. 2020 Symbiotic fouling of Vetulicola, an early Cambrian nektonic animal. Communications Biology 3, 517 doi: 10.1038/s42003-020-01244-1

Slater, B. J., Harvey, T. H. P., Bekker, A., & Butterfield, N.J. 2020 Cochleatina: an enigmatic Ediacaran–Cambrian survivor among small carbonaceous fossils (SCFs). Palaeontology 63, 733–752. doi: 10.1111/pala.12484

Zhai, D.-Y., Williams, M., Siveter, David J., Harvey, T. H. P., Sansom, R. S., Gabbott, S. E., Siveter, Derek J., Liu, Y., Ma, X.-Y., Zhou, R.-Q., & Hou, X.-G. 2019 Variation in appendages in early Cambrian bradoriids reveals a wide range of body plans in stem-euarthropods. Communications Biology 2, 329. doi: 10.1038/s42003-019-0573-5

Hou, X.-G., Williams, M., Sansom, R., Siveter, D.J., Siveter, D.J., Gabbott, S., Harvey, T.H.P., Cong, P.-Y., & Liu, Y. 2018 A new xandarellid arthropod from the lower Cambrian Chengjiang biota, Yunnan Province, China. Geological Magazine doi: 10.1017/S0016756818000730

Cong, P.-Y., Harvey, T. H. P., Williams, M., Siveter, D. J., Siveter, D. J., Gabbott, S. E., Li, Y.-J., Wei, F., & Hou, X.-G. 2018 Naked chancelloriids from the lower Cambrian of China show evidence for sponge-type growth. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 20180296. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2018.0296

Hearing, T. W., Harvey, T. H. P., Williams, M., Leng, M. J., Lamb, A. L., Wilby, P. R., Gabbott, S. E., Pohl, A., & Donnadieu, Y. 2018 An early Cambrian greenhouse climate. Science Advances 4 (5), eaar5690. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aar5690 ; see also eLetter response to comment: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/5/eaar5690/tab-e-letters

Guilbaud, R., Slater, B. J., Poulton, S. W., Harvey, T. H. P., Brocks, J. J., Nettersheim, B. J., & Butterfield, N. J. 2018 Oxygen minimum zones in the early Cambrian ocean. Geochemical Perspectives Letters 6, 33-38. doi: 10.7185/geochemlet.1806

Slater, B. J., Harvey, T. H. P., & Butterfield, N.J. 2018 Small carbonaceous fossils (SCFs) from the Terreneuvian (Lower Cambrian) of Baltica. Palaeontology 61, 417-439. doi: 10.1111/pala.12350

Nowak, H., Harvey, T. H. P., Liu, Huaibao P., McKay, R. M., & Servais, T. 2018 Exceptionally preserved arthropodan microfossils from the Middle Ordovician Winneshiek Lagerstätte, Iowa, USA. Lethaia 51, 267–276. doi: 10.1111/let.12236

Harvey, T. H. P. & Butterfield, N. J. Exceptionally preserved Cambrian loriciferans and the early animal invasion of the meiobenthos. 2017 Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, 0022. doi: 10.1038/s41559-016-0022

Nowak, H., Harvey, T. H. P., Liu, Huaibao P., McKay, R. M., Zippi, P. A., Campbell, D., & Servais, T. 2017 Filamentous eukaryotic algae with a possible cladophoralean affinity from the Middle Ordovician Winneshiek Lagerstätte in Iowa, USA. Geobios 50 (4), 303309. doi: 10.1016/j.geobios.2017.06.005

Ortega-Hernández, J., Abdelfattah, A., Hearing, T. W., Harvey, T. H. P., Edgecombe, G. D., Hafid, A., & El Hariri, K. 2017 A xandarellid artiopodan from Morocco – a middle Cambrian link between soft-bodied euarthropod communities in North Africa and South China. Scientific Reports 7, Article number 42616. doi: 10.1038/srep42616

Slater, B. J., Harvey, T. H. P., Guilbaud, R. & Butterfield, N. J. 2017 A cryptic record of Burgess Shale-type diversity from the early Cambrian of Baltica. Palaeontology 60, 117–140. doi: 10.1111/pala.12273

Smith, M. R., Harvey, T. H. P., & Butterfield, N. J. 2015 The macro- and microfossil record of the Cambrian priapulid Ottoia. Palaeontology 58, 705–721. doi: 10.1111/pala.12168

Hou, X., Williams, M., Siveter, D. J., Siveter, D. J., Gabbott, S., Holwell, D., & Harvey, T. H. P. 2014 A chancelloriid-like metazoan from the early Cambrian Chengjiang Lagerstätte, China. Scientific Reports 4, Article number 7340. doi: 10.1038/srep07340

Caron, J.-B., Smith, M. R., & Harvey, T. H. P. 2013 Beyond the Burgess Shale: Cambrian microfossils track the rise and fall of hallucigeniid lobopodians. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 280: 20131613. doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.1613

Harvey, T. H. P. & Pedder, B. E. 2013 Copepod mandible palynomorphs from the Nolichucky Shale (Cambrian, Tennessee): implications for the taphonomy and recovery of small carbonaceous fossils. PALAIOS 28, 278–284.

Harvey, T. H. P., Vélez, M. I., & Butterfield, N. J. 2012 Exceptionally preserved crustaceans from western Canada reveal a cryptic Cambrian radiation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 109, 1589–1594. doi:10.1073/pnas.1115244109

Butterfield, N. J. & Harvey, T. H. P. 2012 Small carbonaceous fossils (SCFs): a new measure of early Paleozoic paleobiology. Geology 40, 71–74.

Harvey, T. H. P., Ortega-Hernández, J., Lin, J.-P., Zhao, Y., & Butterfield, N. J. 2012 Burgess Shale-type microfossils from the middle Cambrian Kaili Formation, Guizhou Province, China. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 57, 423–436.

Harvey, T. H. P. & Butterfield, N. J. 2011 Macro- and microfossils of the Mount Cap Formation (Early and Middle Cambrian, Northwest Territories). Geoscience Canada 38, 165–173.

Harvey, T. H. P., Williams, M., Condon, D. J., Wilby, P. R., Siveter, D. J., Rushton, A. W. A., Leng, M. J., & Gabbott, S. E. 2011 A refined chronology for the Cambrian succession of southern Britain. Journal of the Geological Society, London 168, 705–716.

Dong, X.-P., Bengtson, S., Gostling, N. J., Cunningham, J. A., Harvey, T. H. P., Kouchinsky, A., Val'kov, A. K., Repetski, J. E., Stampanoni, M., Marone, F., & Donoghue, P. C. J. 2010 The anatomy, taphonomy, taxonomy and systematic affinity of Markuelia: Early Cambrian to Early Ordovician scalidophorans. Palaeontology 53, 1291–1314.

Harvey, T. H. P. 2010 Carbonaceous preservation of Cambrian hexactinellid sponge spicules. Biology Letters 6, 834–837.

Harvey, T. H. P., Dong, X. & Donoghue, P. C. J. 2010 Are palaeoscolecids ancestral ecdysozoans? Evolution and Development 12, 177–200.

Harvey, T. H. P. & Butterfield, N. J. 2008 Sophisticated particle-feeding in a large Early Cambrian crustacean. Nature 452, 868–871.

Invited contributions

Harvey, T. H. P., Vélez, M. I., & Butterfield, N. J. 2012 Small carbonaceous fossils from the Earlie and Deadwood formations (middle Cambrian to lower Ordovician) of southern Saskatchewan; in Summary of Investigations 2012, Volume 1, Saskatchewan Geological Survey, Sask. Ministry of the Economy, Misc. Rep. 2012-4.1, Paper A-1, 8 pp.

Harvey, T. H. P. 2011 “Burgess Shale biota”; “Cambrian explosion”; “Chengjiang biota”; “Ediacara biota”; & “Ediacaran period”; in Encyclopedia of Astrobiology. Gargaud, M., Amils, R., Cernicharo Quintanilla, J., Cleaves, H. J. II, Irvine, W. M., Pinti, D. L. and Viso, M. (eds). Springer-Verlag (Berlin, Heidelberg). ISBN 978-3642112713.

Popular science articles

Williams, M., Komatsu, T., Phong Nguyen Duc, Harvey, T. H. P. & Vandenbroucke, T. 2019 Geology ‘far from the madding crowd’, along the northern border of Vietnam. Geology Today 35, 217–220. doi: 10.1111/gto.12289

Williams, M., Perrier, V., Bennett, C., Hearing, T., Stocker, C., & Harvey, T. 2015 Ostracods: the ultimate survivors. Fossils Explained 66. Geology Today 31, 193–200. doi: 10.1111/gto.12108


I am interested in the evolution of life across the Proterozoic–Phanerozoic transition. My work reveals the fine-scale anatomy preserved in exceptional fossils, and explores the implications for animal phylogeny, macroevolution, and macroecology.

I am particularly interested in the origins and early evolution of crustaceans, sponges and ecdysozoan worms, and in using small carbonaceous fossils (SCFs) to obtain a higher-resolution picture of broader-scale patterns and processes.

PhD students supervised

Wong Hearing, Thomas (completed 2019): Constraining the marine environments of the Cambrian metazoan radiation. [Tom is now a postdoctoral researcher at Ghent University, Belgium.]

Current students:

Crabbe, Will: Growth, form and function in problematic Cambrian paraconodonts.

Stockey, Chris (as second supervisor): Ecological drivers and evolutionary patterns: diet, feeding, evolution and extinction in conodonts.

McGairy, Anna: The early Palaeozoic evolution of Vietnam.

O'Flynn, Robert (as second supervisor): Systematic relationships of selected euarthropods from the Chengjiang biota, early Cambrian of China.

Current and recent projects

  • Growth, form and function in the skeletons of the first biomineralizing vertebrates. Swiss Light Source beamtime grant with Duncan Murdock (PI; Oxford University Museum of Natural History) and Carlos Martínez Pérez (University of Valencia, Spain). 2019.
  • The emerging oxygen isotope record of Cambrian seawater temperature: from local to global perspectives. NIGF Grant IP‐1667‐1116, PI, with Tom Hearing, Mark Williams, Sarah Gabbott (Leicester), Phil Wilby (BGS), Melanie Leng, and Angela Lamb (NIGF). 2016–18.
  • Numerical constraints on Cambrian temperatures. EIMF Grant IMF567/1015, PI, with Tom Hearing, Mark Williams, Sarah Gabbott (Leicester), Phil Wilby (BGS), and Melanie Leng (NIGF). 2015–16.
  • Constraining the marine environment of the Cambrian metazoan adaptive radiation using oxygen isotopes. NIGF Grant IP-1530-0515, PI, with Tom Hearing, Mark Williams, Sarah Gabbott (Leicester), Phil Wilby (BGS), Melanie Leng, and Angela Lamb (NIGF). 2015–16.
  • Reconstructing the Cambrian explosion using Small Carbonaceous Fossils: Ediacaran to Cambrian SCFs in the Baltic Basin. NERC Standard Grant NE/K005251/1, with Nicholas Butterfield (University of Cambridge). 2013–16.
  • Burgess Shale-type microfossils in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin: tracking early Palaeozoic ecosystem evolution. NERC Standard Grant NE/H009914/1, with Nicholas Butterfield (University of Cambridge). 2010–13.
  • Exceptional fossil preservation in the Comley Lagerstätte, Shropshire. NERC Small Grant, with Mark Williams, David Siveter and Sarah Gabbott (Leicester), and Phil Wilby (British Geological Survey). 2008–9.

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