Diego Garcia-Bellido

Associate Professor Diego Garcia-Bellido

Associate Professor

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.


My main interest is the taxonomic diversity and functional morphology of the early metazoans generated during the so-called Cambrian "explosion" (some 540 million years ago), and the phylogenetic relationships among the major animal groups (phyla) that appeared with this unique event in the history of the biosphere. I am also interested on the Edicara Biota (570-550 Ma) and on finding the morphological, ecological and phylogenetic links of these fossils with the Cambrian faunas.

My main interest is the taxonomical diversity and functional morphology of the early metazoans generated during the so-called Cambrian "explosion" (some 540 million years ago), and the phylogenetic relationships among the major animal groups (phyla) that appeared with this unique event in the history of the biosphere.

I got my Graduate Degree in Biology-Zoology (1995) and a Postgraduate Degree in Palaeontology (1997) from the Complutense University in Madrid. My first contact with Burgess Shale-type fossils was in the summer of 1994, when I visited the University of Cambridge, studying soft-bodied (non-mineralized) fossils from the Lower Cambrian Kinzers Formation of Pennsylvania with Prof. Conway Morris and early Cambrian organic-walled microfossils from northwestern Canada with Prof. Butterfield. During the summers of 1995, 1997 and 2000 I excavated at the Burgess Shale (British Columbia) with the Royal Ontario Museum-Toronto, under the direction of Dr. Collins. In parallel with my research on soft-bodied fossils, and due to the scarcity of such type of fossils in Spain, I took a different topic for my PhD Thesis: the Palaeozoic Porifera from the Iberian Peninsula (Madrid, 2002). I did a two-year postdoc at the ROM (2003-2004), working with Dr. Collins on some of the Burgess Shale's most emblematic arthropod fossils (MarrellaLeanchoiliaIsoxys...). Upon my return to Madrid (2005) I headed a research project for the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) to search for Ediacaran, Burgess Shale and Orsten-type fossils in Spain, and study their palaeogeographic implications. My latest work comes from collaborations with the South Australian Museum in excavating and studying the early Cambrian Emu Bay Shale Lagerstätte in Kangaroo Island (South Australia), having joined The University of Adelaide in January 2013 as a Senior Research Fellow. In late 2013 I became an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, with a 4-year research project entitled "Testing our knowledge on the dawn of Animal life: evidence from the fossil record against modern ecological and morphological analogues". It focused on comparing the Ediacara Biota and the Emu Bay Shale and other Cambrian lagerstätten from a palaeocological perspective, and included experiments on Modern marine invertebrate predation to test against what we observe in the fossil record. In the last 5 years I have also been working on the anatomy, functional morphology and behaviour of the Ediacara Biota from the Flinders Ranges, with the goal of finding the links of these strange fossils with the Cambrian faunas. Since January 2018 I have a permanent position as Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide and as Senior Researcher at the South Australian Museum.

 

    Expand
  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2018 Senior Researcher - Palaeontology South Australian Museum, Adelaide
    2018 Associate Professor University of Adelaide, Adelaide
    2014 - 2017 ARC Future Fellow University of Adelaide
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    1998 - 2002 Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid Spain PhD
  • Postgraduate Training

    Date Title Institution Country
    2008 - 2012 Ramón y Cajal Researcher Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Madrid Spain
    2005 - 2007 Juan de la Cierva Researcher Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Madrid Spain
    2003 - 2004 Postdoctoral Researcher Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Canada
  • Research Interests

PROJECT TITLE: “Did the small inherit the Earth? Analysis of mm-scale Ediacara body and trace fossils (South Australia) with implications for the early evolution of animals". Grant #18-EXO18-0096
GRANTING BODY: NASA              DURATION: 2 years (from Jan. 2019)                GRANT: US$295,000
CHIEF INVESTIGATORS: Prof. Mary Droser (University of California - Riverside), Assoc. Prof. Diego C. García-Bellido, Prof. J. Gehling (South Australian Museum) & Dr. L. Tartan (Yale University).

PROJECT TITLE: “Marine ecosystems and environmental changes in the margins of Gondwana during the Cambrian Explosion and the Ordovician Biodiversification”. CGL2017-87631-P
GRANTING BODY: Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities        DURATION: 3 (from Jan. 2018)                GRANT: €229,000
CHIEF INVESTIGATORS: Dr. J. Álvaro & Dr. J.C. Gutiérrez-Marco (both CSIC, Spanish Research Council).

PROJECT TITLE: “Exploring new frontiers of the Cambrian Explosion: the Emu Bay Shale Drilling Project and new insights from a unique early Cambrian fossil deposit”. Grant #9932-16
GRANTING BODY: National Geographic Society        DURATION: 1 year (from Jan. 2016)                GRANT: US$20,000
CHIEF INVESTIGATORS: Dr. Diego C. García-Bellido, Prof. R. Gaines (Pomona College, California) & Prof. J. Paterson (UNE).

PROJECT TITLE: “Systematic excavation and palaeoecological analysis of a newly discovered, pristine Ediacaran seafloor assemblage in the northern Flinders Ranges”, 2015-F005.
GRANTING BODY: Environment Institute, University of Adelaide       DURATION: 1 year        FROM: Jan. 2015                GRANT: $15,000
CHIEF INVESTIGATORS: Dr. Diego C. García-Bellido, Prof. C. Bradshaw (UoA) & Dr J. Gehling (SAM)

PROJECT TITLE: “Testing our knowledge on the dawn of Animal life: evidence from the fossil record against modern ecological and morphological analogues”, FT130101329.
GRANTING BODY: Australian Research Council & University of Adelaide     DURATION: 4 years        FROM: Jan. 2014                GRANT:  $732,079
CHIEF INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Diego C. García-Bellido.

PROJECT TITLE: “Interplay of volcanism, hydrothermalism and carbonate productivity in the Cambrian Explosion of West Gondwana”, CGL 2013.
GRANTING BODY: Spanish Ministry of Economy & Competitiveness (MINECO)      DURATION: 3 years     FROM: Jan. 2014               GRANT: €102,000
CHIEF INVESTIGATOR: Dr. J. Álvaro (Spanish Research Council, CSIC)       NUMBER OF PARTICIPATING RESEARCHERS: 8

PROJECT TITLE: “Iberian Ordovician chronostratigraphy and its correlation with the Global Scale”, CGL 2012 - 39471.
GRANTING BODY: Spanish Ministry of Economy & Competitiveness (MINECO)     DURATION: 3 years        FROM: Jan. 2013                GRANT: €124,800
CHIEF INVESTIGATOR: Dr J.C. Gutiérrez Marco (Spanish Research Council)        NUMBER OF PARTICIPATING RESEARCHERS: 6

PROJECT TITLE: “The early Cambrian Emu Bay Shale biota of Kangaroo Island – Revealing exceptionally preserved fossils from Australia’s only Burgess Shale-type deposit”, Grant #8991-11
GRANTING BODY: National Geographic Society        DURATION: 1 year        FROM: Jan. 2012                GRANT: US$29,800
CHIEF INVETIGATOR: Dr John R. Paterson (UNE, Armidale)        NUMBER OF PARTICIPATING RESEARCHERS: 3

PROJECT TITLE: “The Rise of Animal Life (Cambrian-Ordovician) – Organization and tempo: evidence from exceptionally preserved biotas”, SIMI 5/6 - RALI
GRANTING BODY: French National Research Agency (ANR - Agence Nationale de la Recherche).
DURATION: 5 years        FROM: Nov. 2011                GRANT: €409,000
CHIEF INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Jean Vannier (Université de Lyon, France)        NUMBER OF PARTICIPATING RESEARCHERS: 24

PROJECT TITLE: “Palaeobiogeographical study of the Perigondwanan Margin during the Ediacaran and Cambrian: sedimentological, biostratigraphical, biogeographical and geochemical analyses in areas of the Iberian Peninsula and SE Australia”, CGL 2009 - 07073.
GRANTING BODY: Spanish Ministry of Science & Innovation (MICINN)      DURATION: 3 years       FROM: Jan. 2009        GRANT: €96,800
CHIEF INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Diego García-Bellido NUMBER OF PARTICIPATING RESEARCHERS: 7

PROJECT TITLE: “Perigondwanan Precambrian and Palaeozoic: stratigraphy and palaeontology”, UCM Group 910231
GRANTING BODY: Complutense University of Madrid (UCM)

DURATION: 1 year        FROM: January 2011                           GRANT: €4,680

DURATION: 2 years      FROM: January 2009                          GRANT: €12,550

DURATION: 1 year       FROM: January 2008                           GRANT: €12,109

DURATION: 1 year       FROM: January 2007                           GRANT: €14,050

DURATION: 1 year       FROM: January 2006                           GRANT: €16,330

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR: Dr. S. Rodríguez (UCM)    NUMBER OF PARTICIPATING RESEARCHERS: 15-18

PROJECT TITLE: “Paleobiodiversity and phylogenetic relationships of the first metazoans”, RYC2007-07073
GRANTING BODY: Spanish Research Council (CSIC)
DURATION: 2 years     FROM: Jan. 2008                                GRANT: €15,000€
RECIPIENT: Dr Diego García-Bellido

PROJECT TITLE: “Geobiological and geochemical study of the Neoproterozoic and Cambrian of the Iberian Peninsula: sedimentological, isotopic, palaeontological and chronostratigraphical analyses”, CGL 2006-12245BTE.
GRANTING BODY: Spanish Ministry of Education and Science.
DURATION: 3 years     FROM: March 2007                             GRANT: €42,697
CHIEF INVESTIGATOR: Dr Elena Moreno (UCM)NUMBER OF PARTICIPATING RESEARCHERS: 8

PROJECT TITLE: “The Cambrian Explosion of arthropods in Australia: Ediacaran origins, evolution and biodiversity”, LP0774959
GRANTING BODY: Australia Research Council.
DURATION: 3 years     FROM: January 2007                            GRANT: $360,000
CHIEF INVESTIGATOR: Dr. M.S.Y. Lee (SAM)      NUMBER OF PARTICIPATING RESEARCHERS: 6

PROJECT TITLE: “Sedimentological, palaeobiological, tectonic and metallogenic aspects of the Cambrian successions in the Iberian Peninsula, and their effect on the biological crises of the early metazoans”, BTE2003-04076
GRANTING BODY: Spanish Ministry of Education and Science.
DURATION: 3 years        FROM: January 2004                         GRANT: €44,300
CHIEF INVESTIGATOR: Dr Antonio Perejón (CSIC)      NUMBER OF PARTICIPATING RESEARCHERS: 8

PROJECT TITLE: “Cambrian and Carboniferous bioherms in Sierra Morena in a palaeobiological, palaeogeographical and palaeotectonic context: postsedimentary evolution and economic potential”, BTE2000-1423
GRANTING BODY: Spanish Ministry of Education and Science
DURATION: 3 years    FROM: Dic. 2000                                  GRANT: €61,280
CHIEF INVESTIGATOR: Dr Elena Moreno (UCM)      NUMBER OF PARTICIPATING RESEARCHERS: 11

PROJECT TITLE: “Study of the organism-environment interactions in Carboniferous and Cambrian reef building in the Sierra de Córdoba: Analyses of the biotas, morphology and evolution of bioherms”, PB96-0842
GRANTING BODY: Spanish Ministry of Education and Science     DURATION: 3 years    FROM: Jan. 1997                                  GRANT: €24,000
CHIEF INVESTIGATOR: Dr Antonio Perejón (CSIC)       NUMBER OF PARTICIPATING RESEARCHERS: 4

TITLE: “Excavation and study of Burgess Shale-type fossils in Emu Bay Shale (Early Cambrian)”, PA10011981
FROM: Spanish Research Council (CSIC)     DURATION: 35 days    FROM: March 2009      GRANT: €4,500

TITLE: “SAM 2008 Palaeontology Week – International Keynote Guest”
FROM: South Australian Museum      DURATION: 25 days    FROM: March 2008          GRANT: $4,500

TITLE: “Excavation of the early Cambrian Emu Bay Shale (Kangaroo Is.) with Burgess Shale-type fossils and study of the fossil Arthropod and Priapulid collections in the South Australia Museum”, PA1001105
FROM: CSIC     DURATION: 30 days    FROM: Sept. 2007                              GRANT: €2,985

TITLE: “Excavation of the early Cambrian Emu Bay Shale (Kangaroo Is.) with Burgess Shale-type fossils and study of the fossil Arthropod and Priapulid collections in the South Australia Museum”.
FROM: UCM    DURATION: 30 days    FROM: Sept. 2007                               GRANT: €1,800

PROJECT TITLE: “Study of the collections of Palaeozoic fossil sponges at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (Canada)”.
FROM: UCM      DURATION: 4 months FROM: Aug 2000                               GRANT: 2,550 Euros

  2020: "Geochronology, Fossils & Palaeoenvironments", First Semester, School of Physical Sciences, Dept. of Earth Sciences (UofA) 
          "Frontiers in Marine Biology III", First Semester, School of Biological Sciences (UoA)
          "Field Palaeontology III", Intensive Winter Course, School of Biological Sciences(UofA)
          "Evolutionary Biology II", Second Semester, School of Biological Sciences (UoA)
          "Evolution of Australian Biota III", Second Semester, School of Biological Sciences (UoA)

2019: "Geochronology, Fossils & Palaeoenvironments", First Semester, School of Physical Sciences, Dept. of Earth Sciences (UofA) 
          "Frontiers in Marine Biology III", First Semester, School of Biological Sciences (UoA)
          "Field Palaeontology III", Intensive Winter Course, School of Biological Sciences(UofA)
          "Evolutionary Biology II", Second Semester, School of Biological Sciences (UoA)
          "Evolution of Australian Biota III", Second Semester, School of Biological Sciences (UoA)

2018: "Field Palaeontology III" Intensive Winter Course, School of Biological Sciences(UofA)
          "Frontiers in Marine Biology III", First Semester, School of Biological Sciences (UoA)
          "Evolutionary Biology II", Second Semester, School of Biological Sciences (UoA)
          "Evolution of Australian Biota III", Second Semester, School of Biological Sciences (UoA)

2017: "Foundations in Marine Biology III", First Semester, School of Biological Sciences (UoA)
            "Evolution of Australian Biotas III", Second Semester, School of Biological Sciences (UoA)

2016: "Foundations in Marine Biology III", School of Biological Sciences (UoA)
            "Evolution of Australian Biotas III", School of Biological Sciences (UoA)

2015: "Issues in Evolutionary Biology III", School of Biological Sciences (UoA)
           "Frontiers in Marine Biology III", School of Biological Sciences (UoA)

2014: "Issues in Evolutionary Biology" Undergraduate Y3, School of Biological Sciences (UoA)
           "Frontiers in Marine Biology" Undergraduate Y3, School of Biological Sciences (UoA)

    Expand
  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2017 Principal Supervisor Palaeobiology of the Emu Bay Shale, Kangaroo Island, South Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr James Dougal Holmes
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2015 - 2019 Principal Supervisor Palaeoecology of Ediacaran communities from the Flinders Ranges of South Australia Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Felicity Janet Coutts
    2015 - 2016 Principal Supervisor Biogeographic and Biological Comparisons between the Emu Bay Shale (Kangaroo Island, South Australia) and other Cambrian Burgess Shale-Type Biotas Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr James Dougal Holmes
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Eoandromeda, the Ediacaran Fossil The University of Adelaide Bachelor of Science with Honours in Evolution and Palaeobiology Honours Full Time Tory Botha
  • Position: Associate Professor
  • Phone: 83134870
  • Email: diego.garcia-bellido@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Benham Laboratories, floor G
  • Room: G 04b
  • Org Unit: School of Biological Sciences

Connect With Me
External Profiles