Professor Derek Siveter

Research summary

Derek Siveter researches the systematics, palaeobiology and phylogeny of fossil invertebrates, especially arthropods. His investigations also focus on the Herefordshire (Silurian; UK) and Chengjiang (Cambrian; Yunnan Province, China) exceptional preservation (Konservat-Lagerstätten) biotas.  Both sites yield soft-bodied fossils, which provide more critical data on the palaeobiology and history of life, and the true nature of ancient communities, than the normal shelly fossil record.  The Chengjiang fossils provide a window on the Cambrian explosion event about 525 million years ago, which heralded the first appearance in the fossil record of most of the major animal groups that now comprise present-day marine biodiversity.  Derek Siveter was a consultant for the Chinese government’s successful UNESCO application (2012) to confer World Heritage status on Chengjiang. The Herefordshire fossils are in 3D and recovered by physical-optical tomographic computer methods.  They are providing an unparalleled view of marine life some 430 million years ago.

CV

Derek Siveter is Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences (Palaeobiology).  He undertook his BSc (1965–68) and PhD (1973) at the University of Leicester in the department of the notable palaeontologist Peter Sylvester-Bradley.  His postdoctoral research, on Irish trilobites, was undertaken at Trinity College, Dublin (1974–78), then headed by eminent Lower Palaeozoic (Silurian) stratigrapher-palaeontologist Charles Holland. He was (1979–1988) in the Hull University Geology Department of Michael House, the renowned Devonian and early cephalopod researcher, prior to moving to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. He formally retired in 2012 as acting curator of the geological collections, having also been successively University Research Lecturer, Reader and a Professor of Earth Sciences. Additionally, he was a Fellow of St Cross College and a visiting Professor at the University of Yunnan (Kunming), China.  He received his DSc in 2012 and held a Leverhulme Trust Emeritus Research Fellowship in Oxford in 2014–17.

Selected Publications

Siveter, Derek J., Briggs, Derek E. G., Siveter, David J., Sutton, Mark D. & Legg, David.  In press.  A three-dimensionally preserved Silurian lobopodian from the Herefordshire (Silurian) Lagerstätte, UK.  Royal Society Open Science.

Siveter, Derek J., Fortey, Richard A., Zhu, Xuejian & Zhou, Zhiyi.  2017. A three-dimensionally preserved aglaspidid arthropod with a calcitic cuticle from the Ordovician of China.  Geological Magazine.    doi: 10.1017/S0016756817000309 

Hou Xian-guang, Siveter, David J., Siveter, Derek J., Aldridge, Richard A., Cong, Pei-yun, Gabbott, Sarah E., Ma, Xiao-ya, Purnell, Mark A., Williams, Mark.  2017.  The Cambrian fossils of Chengjiang, China.  The flowering of early animal life.  2nd edition, Wiley, Oxford, 308 pp. 

Siveter, Derek J., Briggs, Derek E. G., Siveter, David J., Sutton, Mark D., Legg, David & Joomun, Sarah, C.  2014.  A Silurian short-great-appendage arthropod. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 281, 20132986. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.2986

Siveter, Derek J., Fortey, R. A., Sutton, Mark D., Briggs, Derek E. G. & Siveter, David J.  2007.   A Silurian ‘marrellomorph’ arthropod. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 274, 2223-2229.

Siveter, Derek J., Sutton, Mark D., Briggs, Derek E. G. & Siveter, David J.  2007.  A new probable stem lineage crustacean with three-dimensionally preserved soft-parts from the Herefordshire (Silurian) Lagerstätte, UK.  Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 274, 2099-2107.

Hou, X-G., Siveter, Derek J., Aldridge, R.J. & Siveter, David J.  2008.  Collective behaviour in an Early Cambrian arthropod.  Science, 322, 224.

Siveter, Derek J., Sutton, Mark D., Briggs, Derek E. G. & Siveter, David J.   2004.   A Silurian sea spider.   Nature, 431, 978-980.

Briggs, D.E.G., Siveter, David J. & Siveter, Derek J. 1996. Soft-bodied fossils from a Silurian volcaniclastic deposit.  Nature, 382, 248-250.

Dalingwater, J.E., Hutchinson, S.J., Mutvei, H. & Siveter, D.J. 1993.  Cuticular ultrastructure of some Silurian calymenid trilobites from the Welsh Borderland and Gotland.  Palaeontographica, A, 229, 37-49.

Siveter, D.J. 1989.  Silurian trilobites from the Annascaul inlier, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland.  Palaeontology, 32, 109-161
 

List of site pages