Dr John Nudds

Honorary Lecturer

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Dr John Nudds graduated in Geology from the University of Nottingham (UK) and completed his doctorate on Lower Carboniferous coral faunas at the University of Durham (UK).  He is the UK Delegate to the International Society for the study of Fossil Cnidaria and Porifera.

Dr Nudds has spent more than 30 years as palaeontologist at The University of Manchester. He was Keeper of Geology at Manchester University Museum from 1988-2003, where he designed and curated the current Fossils Gallery.  Prior to that he was Curator of Geology at Trinity College Dublin (1980-1988), amounting to almost a quarter of a century working in the University museum sector.  He still has a keen interest in museums and has held a number of Executive positions on the council of the Geological Curators' Group, a Specialist Group of the Geological Society of London, including Treasurer from 2006-2016, and Chairman from 1995-1998. 

He joined the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences in 2003 as Senior Lecturer in Palaeontology, and his research interests have expanded to include exceptional fossil preservation and Fossil Lagerstätten, on which he has co-authored a number of leading textbooks which have been translated into several languages.  The acclaimed Evolution of Fossil Ecosystems, co-authored with Professor Paul Selden of the University of Kansas, recently appeared in its 2nd edition with the addition of 6 new chapters. The companion volumeFossil Ecosystems of North America was published in 2008 by the University of Chicago Press.

He also directs an international team of specialists working on dinosaur embryology who have performed a number of experiments at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, the world's leading palaeontological synchrotron facility.  Baby dinosaurs, still inside their eggs, have been examined by synchrotron radiation for the first time ever, and have revealed a number of startling discoveries including the preservation of soft tissue.

He is committed to bridging the gap between private fossil collectors, the fossil trade, and academia, and to this end he has brought several important privately held specimens into the academic realm, through publications on dinosaur embryos, a new species of the first fossil bird, Archaeopteryx, and currently on a number of new specimens of Tyrannosaurus rex (see under ‘Research and projects’ above).

In 2016 he was one of the team that described the new Welsh theropod dinosaur Dracoraptor.


BSc (Nottingham) 1972; PhD (Dunelm) 1975 The British Lithostrotionidae; FGS

External positions

Vice-President, South Wales Geological Association

Mar 2020Mar 2022

Areas of expertise

Sustainable Development Goals

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