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Dr Ben Slater

Dr Ben Slater

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Palaeobiology

N315
Email:
Office Phone: +44 (0) 1223 768326

Research Interests

Research

I am interested in major transitions in the history of life and using the fossil record to understand revolutionary changes in the biosphere and the development of intricate interactions between organisms. My current research focuses on the Ediacaran-Cambrian palaeobiology of the Baltic Basin. This research involves extracting Small Carbonaceous Fossils (SCFs) from sediments around Estonia, Latvia and Sweden. Studying fossils from this key window in time provides the chance to tackle some of the fundamental questions surrounding early animal evolution; the Cambrian explosion ranks alongside the origin of life and the development of the eukaryotic cell as one of the ultimate milestones in the history of life on Earth. The profound increase in diversity and abundance of shelly fossil and trace fossil forms approximately 530 million years ago is perhaps the most striking signal in the fossil record. SCFs offer an abundant source of information on early animal evolution outside the rare snapshots afforded by sites such as the Burgess Shale and Chengjiang, and therefore provide the chance to document a more continuous record of change through this crucial period.

I completed my PhD at the University of Birmingham in 2014 where my research focused on the biota of exceptionally preserved peat remains from the Permian of Antarctica. Prior to my PhD I studied for a master's in palaeobiology at the University of Bristol.

Key Publications

Publications

Slater, B.J., McLoughlin, S., Hilton, J., 2014. A high-latitude Gondwanan lagerstätte: The Permian permineralised peat biota of the Prince Charles Mountains, Antarctica. Gondwana Research http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gr.2014.01.004.

Slater, B.J., McLoughlin, S., Hilton, J., 2013. Peronosporomycetes (Oomycota) from a Middle Permian permineralised peat within the Bainmedart Coal Measures, Prince Charles Mountains, Antarctica. PLoS ONE 8, e70707.

Slater, B.J., McLoughlin, S., Hilton, J., 2012. Cryptic diversity of a Glossopteris forest: Permian silicified peats of the Prince Charles Mountains, Antarctica. Japanese Journal of Palynology 58, 218.

Slater, B.J., McLoughlin, S., Hilton, J., 2012. Animal-plant interactions in a Middle Permian permineralised peat of the Bainmedart Coal Measures, Prince Charles Mountains, Antarctica. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 363, 109-126.

Womack, T., Slater, B.J., Stevens, L.G., Anderson, L.I., Hilton, J., 2012. First cladoceran fossils from the Carboniferous: palaeoenvironmental and evolutionary implications. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 344, 39-48.

Slater, B.J., Reolid, M., Schouten, R., Benton, M.J., 2011. A new Late Jurassic turtle from Spain: Phylogenetic implications, taphonomy and palaeoecology. Palaeontology 54, 1393-1414.

Slater, B.J., McLoughlin, S., Hilton, J., 2011. Guadalupian (Middle Permian) megaspores from a permineralised peat in the Bainmedart Coal Measures, Prince Charles Mountains, Antarctica. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 167, 140-155.

McLoughlin, S., Slater, B.J., Hilton, J., Prevec, R., 2011. New vistas on animal-plant-fungal interactions in the Permian-Triassic of Gondwana. GFF 133, 66-67.


Science communication and outreach articles

Slater, B.J., 2014. Fossil Focus: Arthropod-plant interactions. Palaeontology[online].

Slater, B.J., 2011. Fossil Focus: Coal Swamps. Palaeontology[online] 1, 1-9.


Books


Reolid, M., Benton, M.J., Slater, B., 2013. Hispaniachelys prebetica: una Tortuga de hace más de 155 millones de años. Universidad de Jaén, Spain, 176 pages. ISBN-10: 8484397378.