1996 Doctor of Philosophy, Macquarie University, Thesis title: Aspects of Taxonomy, Palaeobiology and Biostraigraphy of Australian Cambrian and Devonian Faunas. Volume 1: Cambrian; Volume 2: Devonian.
1989 Master of Science, Macquarie University; Dissertation title: Middle Devonian (Givetian) Atrypids from the Papilio Formation, North Queensland, Australia.
1986 Bachelor of Science, Macquarie University; major undergraduate subjects: earth sciences (Geology & Palaeontology); biological sciences (Zoology).
2011-cont. Associate Professor, Palaeobiology Research Group, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University;
My most significant research contribution has been to reinvigorate research in Australia focused on investigating the evolution, phylogeny, biodiversity, ecology and biostratigraphy of the earliest complex skeletal animals during the Cambrian Radiation-which Stephen J. Gould called 'one of the most puzzling biotic events in Earth history' The team I lead continues to produce some very significant discoveries (see publications list), many of which challenge pre-existing dogma and provide new hypotheses about early bilaterian phylogeny and evolution. In particular, the revelation that tommotiids (one of the oldest skeleton producing animal groups) belong in the stem of the phylum Brachiopoda has highlighted the importance of fossils in understanding early animal phylogeny.
Other ground breaking discoveries (recently published in Nature and Science Reoprts) include documentation of the remarkably preserved compound eyes of the iconic Cambrian predator, Anomalocaris from the early Cambrian Emu Bay Shale, Kangaroo Island, South Australia. I am part of the team currently in the process of excavating the treasure trove of exceptionally preserved fossils, including rare soft-bodied animals. My contribution to early Cambrian animal research has recently widened with a recent invitation by Chinese colleagues to co-author papers describing a strikingly unusual stem group lophophorate/tentaculate animals from the famous early Cambrian Chengjiang Lagerstatte in China.