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Dr Javier Ortega-Hernandez

Dr Javier Ortega-Hernandez

Research Fellow



Office Phone: +44 (0) 1223 333416

Research Interests

Research: Palaeobiology, phylogeny and development of Palaeozoic arthropods

My main academic interests include the palaeobiology and evolution of invertebrates, particularly arthropods, during the Cambrian Explosion some 530 million years ago. During my PhD I investigated aspects of the fundamental body organization of some of the oldest arthropod groups in the fossil record, such as trilobites, by making comparisons with the developmental biology of extant representatives. I am also interested in the phylogeny and diversity of various lower Palaeozoic arthropod groups that are mainly known from sites of exceptional preservation, like the famous lower Cambrian Chengjiang (South China) and middle Cambrian Burgess Shale (British Columbia).


Click here to see my profile as a research fellow of  Emmanuel College 

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Key Publications

Peer-reviewed publications:

15.- Ortega-Hernández, J. 2015. Making sense of "lower" and "upper" stem-group Euarthropoda, with comments on the strict use of the name Arthropoda von Siebold, 1848. Biological Reviews, early view online. (doi:10.11111/brv.12168). 

14.- Ortega-Hernández, J., Lerosey-Aubril, R., Kier, C., and Bonino, E. 2015. A rare non-trilobite artiopodan from the Guzhangian (Cambrian Series 3) Weeks Formation Konservat-Lagerstatte in Utah, USA. Palaeontology, early view online. (doi: 10.1111/pala.12136).   

~ 2014 ~ 

13.- Smith, M.R., and Ortega-Hernández, J. 2014. Hallucigenia's onychophoran-like claws and the case of Tactopoda. Nature, 514 (7522): 363-366. (doi: 10.1038/nature13576). 

    - Media coverage: The IndependentThe Washington PostForbesDaily MailHuffington PostScience AAAS, Live ScienceThe ConversationUniversity of Cambridge

~ 2013 ~

12.- Ortega-Hernández, J., Esteve, J., and Butterfield. 2013. Humble origins for a successful strategy: complete enrolment in early Cambrian olenellid trilobites. Biology Letters, 9: 20130679. (doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.0679). 

   - Media coverage: The GuardianScience AAASLive ScienceUniversity of Cambridge.  

11.- Yang, J., Ortega-Hernández, J., Butterfield, N. J., and Zhang, X.-g. 2013. Specialized appendages in fuxianhuiids and the head organization of early euarthropods. Nature, 494 (7438): 468-471. (doi: 101.1038/nature11874). 

   - Media coverage: NBC newsNew ScientistLive ScienceHuffington PostNational Geographicred OrbitFox NewsThe RegisterUPIMSNUniversity of Cambridge

10.- Ortega-Hernández, J., Legg, D. A., and Braddy, S. J. 2013. The phylogeny of aglaspidid arthropods and the internal relationships within Artiopoda. Cladistics, 29 (1): 15-45. (doi:10.1111/j.1096-0031.2012.00413.x). 

9.- Rak, S., Ortega-Hernández, J., and Legg, D. A. 2013. A revision of the Late Ordovician marrellomorph arthropod Furca bohemica from Czech Republic. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 58 (3): 615-628. (doi:10.4202/app.2011.0038). 

8.- Lerosey-Aubril, R., Ortega-Hernández, J., Kier, C., and Bonino, E. 2013. Occurrence of the Ordovician-type aglaspidid Tremaglaspis in the Cambrian Weeks Formation (Utah, USA). Geological Magazine, 150 (5): 945-951. (doi: 10.1017/S001675681300037X

7.- Lerosey-Aubril, R., Ortega-Hernández, J., and Zhu X. 2013. The first aglaspidid sensu stricto from the Cambrian of China (Sandu Formation, Guangxi). Geological Magazine 150 (3): 565-571. (doi:10.1017/S0016756812001045).  

6.- Loeser, H., Garcia-Barrera, P., Mendoza-Rosales, C. C., and Ortega-Hernández, J. 2013. Corals from the early Cretaceous (Barremian - early Albian) of Puebla (Mexico): Introduction and Family Stylinidae. Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Geologicas, 30 (2): 385-403. (download pdf).     

~ 2012 ~

5.- Ortega-Hernández, J., and Brena, C. 2012. Ancestral patterning of tergite formation in a centipede suggests derived mode of trunk segmentation in trilobites. PLoS ONE, 7 (12): e52623. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052623).

4.- Harvey, T. H. P., Ortega-Hernández, J., Lin, J.-P.,Zhao, Y., and Butterfield, N. J. 2012. Burgess Shale-type microfossils from the middle Cambrian Kaili Formation, Guizhou Province, China. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 57 (2): 423-436 (doi: 10.4202/app.2011.0028).

~ 2011 ~ 

3.- Legg, D. A., Ma, X.-Y., Wolfe, J., Ortega-Hernández, J., Edgecombe, G. D., and Sutton, M. D. 2011. Lobopodian phylogeny reanalysed. Nature, 476 (7359): E1 (11 August 2011). (doi: 10.1038/nature10267). 

~ 2010 ~ 

2.- Ortega-Hernández, J., Braddy, S. J., Jago, J. B., and Baillie, P. W. 2010. A new aglaspidid arthropod from the upper Cambrian of Tasmania. Palaeontology, 53 (5): 1065 - 1076. (doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4983.2010.00974.x).  

1.- Ortega-Hernández, J., Braddy, S. J., and Rak. S. 2010. Trilobite and xiphosuran affinities for putative aglaspidid arthropods Caryon and Drabovaspis, upper Ordovician, Czech Republic. Lethaia, 43 (3): 427 - 431. (doi: 10.1111/j.1502-3931.2010.00216.x).


Outreach publications: 

8.- Ortega-Hernández, J. 2012 Review: Penney D. and Selden P. A. (2011) Fossils spiders: The evolutionary history of a mega-diverse order. Siri Scientific Press. 128 pp. Palaeontological Association Newsletter, 81: 80-82. link. 

7.- Ortega-Hernández, J., and Crumpton. N. 2012. Progressive Palaeontology Cambridge 2012: meeting summary. Palaeontological Association Newsletter, 81:48-50. link

6.- Ortega-Hernández, J. 2012. Parsimony and palaeobiology. Palaeontology [online], 2 (4): 1 - 10. available online

5.- Ortega-Hernández, J. 2011. Fossils Explained: Rudists. Geology Today, 27 (2): 74 - 77.(doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2451.2011.00790.x).

4.- Ortega-Hernández, J., Legg, D. A., Tremewan, J., and Braddy, S. J. 2010. Fossils Explained: Euthycarcinoids. Geology Today, 26 (5): 195 - 198.(doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2451.2010.00770.x).

3.- Ortega-Hernández, J. 2009. Urban fossil hunting. Rockwatch Magazine 52: 8 - 9.

2.- Ortega-Hernández, J. 2009. Misplaced trace fossils in unlikely environments. Geology Today, 25 (2): 71 - 74.(doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2451.2009.00710.x).

1.- Ortega-Hernández, J. Fossil discovered in Robledos gets mythical moniker. Las Cruces Bulletin 12/05/2008, page A8.