Philip Donoghue

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Philip Donoghue
Professor Philip Conrad Donoghue FRS.jpg
Philip Donoghue at the Royal Society admissions day in London, July 2015
Born Philip Conrad James Donoghue
(1971-04-05) 5 April 1971 (age 46)[1]
Morriston, Wales[2]
Residence England
Nationality British
Fields Palaeontology
Institutions University of Bristol
Alma mater
Thesis Architecture, growth, and function of ozarkodinid conodonts (1996)
Doctoral advisor
Doctoral students
Notable awards

Philip Conrad James Donoghue FRS[1] is a British palaeontologist[5] and Professor of Palaeobiology at the University of Bristol.[4][6][7]


Donoghue was educated at the University of Leicester where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology in 1992[2] and PhD in Paleontology in 1997 for research supervised by Richard Aldridge and Mark Purnell.[3] He also holds a Master of Science degree in palynology from the University of Sheffield.[2]


Donoghue's research[8] focuses on major transitions in evolutionary history, including the origin and early evolution of vertebrates, animals, and plants.[1] He has been influential in developing a ‘molecular palaeobiology’ in which evidence from living and fossil species, anatomy and molecular biology, phylogenetics and developmental biology, can be integrated to achieve a more holistic understanding of evolutionary history. He introduced synchrotron tomography to palaeontology,[9] and has played a leading role in establishing the role of palaeontology in establishing evolutionary timescales.[1][10]

Awards and honours[edit]

Donoghue was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2015.[1] His certificate of election reads:[11]

Philip Donoghue is a major force in the emerging field of molecular palaeontology. His work bridges the gap between palaeobiology, developmental biology and molecular evolution in highly innovative ways. He was pioneering in first demonstrating the utility of synchrotron imaging in palaeontology and has been a world leader in driving forward our understanding of the remarkable fossil embryos from the late pre-Cambrian and Cambrian and their biological significance. His work takes developmental and genomic data constrained by the fossil record to bring new insights into large-scale evolutionary patterns and the relationship between phenotypic and gene regulatory evolution.

Donoghue has been on the Councils of the Palaeontological Society, Systematics Association, the Micropalaeontological Society and the European Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology. His research has been recognised by the award of the Philip Leverhulme Prize of the Leverhulme Trust in 2004, the Bigsby Medal of the Geological Society in 2007, and the President’s Medal of the Palaeontological Association in 2014.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Anon (2015). "Professor Philip Donoghue FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17.  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    “All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.” --Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies at the Wayback Machine (archived September 25, 2015)

  2. ^ a b c DONOGHUE, Prof. Philip Conrad James. Who's Who. 2016 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc.  (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b Donoghue, Philip Conrad James (1996). Architecture, growth, and function of ozarkodinid conodonts (PhD thesis). University of Leicester. OCLC 504874321.  open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ a b Philip C. J. Donoghue's publications indexed by Google Scholar
  5. ^ Sepkoski, David; Ruse, Michael (2009-05-15). The paleobiological revolution: essays on the growth of modern paleontology. University of Chicago Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-226-74861-0. Retrieved 11 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Heimberg, A. M.; Sempere, L. F.; Moy, V. N.; Donoghue, P. C. J.; Peterson, K. J. (2008). "MicroRNAs and the advent of vertebrate morphological complexity". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 105 (8): 2946–2950. doi:10.1073/pnas.0712259105. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 2268565Freely accessible. PMID 18287013. 
  7. ^ Benton, M. J.; Donoghue, P. C. J. (2006). "Paleontological Evidence to Date the Tree of Life". Molecular Biology and Evolution. 24 (1): 26–53. doi:10.1093/molbev/msl150. ISSN 0737-4038. PMID 17047029. 
  8. ^ Philip Donoghue's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier. (subscription required)
  9. ^ Donoghue, Philip C. J.; Bengtson, Stefan; Dong, Xi-ping; Gostling, Neil J.; Huldtgren, Therese; Cunningham, John A.; Yin, Chongyu; Yue, Zhao; Peng, Fan; Stampanoni, Marco (2006). "Synchrotron X-ray tomographic microscopy of fossil embryos". Nature. 442 (7103): 680–683. doi:10.1038/nature04890. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 16900198. 
  10. ^ Donoghue, Philip C. J.; Forey, Peter L.; Aldridge, Richard J. (2007). "Conodont affinity and chordate phylogeny". Biological Reviews. 75 (2): 191–251. doi:10.1111/j.1469-185X.1999.tb00045.x. ISSN 1464-7931. 
  11. ^ "Professor Phillip Donoghue FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-05-02.