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 focuses on comparing the Ediacara biota and the Emu Bay Shale and other Cambrian lagerstätten from a palaeocological perspective, and includes experiments on Modern marine invertebrate predation to test against what we observe in the fossil record.

 

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  • 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

CHIEF INVESTIGATORS: Dr Diego C. García-Bellido, Prof. R. Gaines (Pomona College, California) & Prof J. Paterson (UNE).
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”.
GRANTING BODY: National Geographic Society. 1 year (from Jan. 2016) - US$20,000 

CHIEF INVESTIGATORS: Dr Diego C. García-Bellido, Prof. C. Bradshaw (UoA) & Dr J. Gehling (SAM). 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: AU$15,000 

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR:  Dr Diego C. García-Bellido.
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:  AU$732,079

CHIEF INVESTIGATOR: Dr José Javier Álvaro (Spanish Research Council, CSIC)
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 Euros
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 Euros
CHIEF INVESTIGATOR: Dr Juan Carlos Gutiérrez Marco (Spanish Research Council, CSIC)
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, Washington, DC.

DURATION:  1 year         FROM: Jan. 2012                              GRANT: US$29,800

CHIEF InvestigaTor:  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).

DURATION5 years    FROM:  Nov. 2011                              GRANT:  409,000 Euros

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 Euros

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 Euros

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

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

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

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

CHIEF InvestigaTor:  Dr. Sergio 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 Euros

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 Euros

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: ARC Linkage (with PIRSA+Beach Petroleum+South Australian Museum)

DURATION: 3 years     FROM: January 2007                            GRANT: AU$360,000

CHIEF Investigator: Dr Michael 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 Euros

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 Euros

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 Euros

CHIEF InvestigaTor: Dr Antonio Perejón (CSIC)

NUMBER OF PARTICIPATING RESEARCHERS:  4

OTHER FINANCIAL SUPPORT

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 Euros

 

TITLE: “SAM 2008 Palaeontology Week – International Keynote Guest”

FROM: South Australian Museum

DURATION: 25 days    FROM: March 2008                              AMOUNT: $4,500 AUS

 

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 Euros

 

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 Euros

 

PROJECT TITLE: “Study of the collections of Palaeozoic fossil sponges at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (Canada)”.

FROM: UCM

DURATION: 4 months    FROM: Ago 2000                              GRANT: 2,550 Euros

2018: "Field Palaeontology III" Intensive Winter Course, School of Biological Sciences(UofA)
          "Foundations in Marine Biology III", First Semester, School of Biological Sciences (UoA)
          "Evolution of Australian Biotas 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)

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  • 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
    2015 Principal Supervisor The study of the Ediacara biota from an ecological perspective Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Felicity Janet Coutts
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    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
  • 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

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