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Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Dr Gareth Dyke BSc, PhD

Associate Professor in Vertebrate Palaeontology

Dr Gareth Dyke's photo
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Dr Gareth Dyke is Associate Professor in Vertebrate Palaeontology within Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton at the University of Southampton.

BSc Geology & Biology (First), University of Bristol, 1997
PhD Palaeontology, University of Bristol 2000

2000-2002, American Museum of Natural History, New York (USA). Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow, Ornithology.

2002-2011, University College Dublin, Ireland (Senior Lecturer 2007), School of Biology and Environmental Science.

Research Associate, American Museum of Natural History
Research Associate, National Museum of Ireland

Visiting Professor, MTA-DE "Lendület" Behavioural Ecology Research Group,
Department of Evolutionary Zoology, University of Debrecen,
Debrecen, Hungary






Research interests

Current research projects include:

  • Anatomy and evolution of Lower Eocene birds
  • Cretaceous palaeoenvironments of Transylvania, Romania
  • Evolution of wings in dinosaurs (and birds)
  • Pterosaur flight biomechanics
  • Diversity and disparity of Cretaceous birds
  • Evolution and diversity of galliform birds

Current book projects:

  • Fossils of the Carpathian Basin
  • Nopcsa, the Dinosaur Baron of Transylvania

My research addresses the evolutionary history of birds and their dinosaurian relatives and encompasses anatomy, phylogenetics, functional morphology, palaeoecology, taphonomy, sedimentology and aerodynamics as well as the analysis and interpretation of large fossil-record datasets. My research prospectus, current and future, is grounded in the fossil record – the only dataset recording the history of life on Earth – but draws extensively on living animals. With a strong background, professional training and publications in leading journals in both Biology and Earth Sciences, my research sits at the interface between these two fields.

I am emphasising and building three over-arching themes at the University of Southampton:
(1) Quantifying dinosaur biodiversity in geological time with emphasis on fossils from southern England;
(2) Birds survivorship at the end-Cretaceous and the evolution of modern avifaunas;
(3) Flight evolution and refinement in the context of global climate change.

Research group(s)

Marine Biology and Ecology

-MRes, Vertebrate Palaeontology

-Editorial Board Scientific Reports 

-Editor-in-Chief, Historical Biology

-Reviewing editorial board, Cell Reports 



Book Section(s)


Module co-ordinator for:
SOES 3049/6004 Vertebrate Palaeobiology: Phylogenetics and Evolution
SOES 6024 Vertebrate Palaeontology of the Isle-of-Wight: MRes Fieldtrip
SOES 6001 Contemporary Topics (Geology & Geophysics) (co-convenor with Dr J Matter)

Teaching (lecturing and/or practicals) on:
SOES 2032 Environmental Palaeobiology
SOES 2011 Marine Vertebrates
SOES 3035 Oceanography Research Methods 
BIOL 3010 Topics in Ecology and Evolution

Dr Gareth Dyke
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton University of Southampton Waterfront Campus European Way Southampton SO14 3ZH United Kingdom


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