Duncan Murdock

Role summary

Duncan is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Museum’s mineralogy and petrology collections, 'early life' palaeontology (including the Brasier collection), and trace fossils.

This includes:

  • Storage, conservation and rationalisation of collections
  • Documentation, digitisation and imaging
  • Developing the collections through new acquisitions
  • Answering enquiries and facilitating research visits and loans
  • Developing new exhibitions and displays
  • Public engagement
  • Collections-based research


His research interests are focused on: using the fossil record to understand the early evolution of animals, in particular their skeletons; how decay and preservation bias our understanding of exceptionally preserved fossils; and, the anatomy and evolution of the first vertebrates.


Duncan has an MGeol in Geology with Palaeobiology from the University of Leicester, and completed a PhD at the University of Bristol using pioneering Synchrotron Radiation X-Ray Tomographic Microscopy to reveal the internal structure of the first vertebrate and brachiopod skeletons.

Since his PhD Duncan has held a number of postdoctoral research positions, most recently as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Museum of Natural History and Junior Research Fellow at Linacre College, co-funded by the John Fell Fund.

Duncan is a Fellow of the Geological Society of London, and a member of The Palaeontological Association.

Featured publications