Dr James Witts AHEA

Lecturer in Palaeontology (School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol), 

United Kingdom


Research Focus

My research primarily seeks to understand the diversity, ecology, and evolution of ancient marine ecosystems and how these were affected by global-scale environmental changes such as mass extinction events. These events and the fossil record offer the only empirical dataset of how life on our planet has responded to rapid global change, and I therefore use these events to help better understand future changes to marine ecosystems and their resilience.

I use macrofossil, microfossil, and geological data collected on focused fieldwork as well as museum collections and applied techniques like stable isotope geochemistry.

I have a particular interest in the nature and timing of the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction and recovery, arguably the most rapid period of environmental change prior to the ‘Anthropocene’.

Research Groups

  • Bristol Palaeobiology Research Group


  • Environmental and biotic changes across the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction event in the US Gulf Coastal Plain


  • Lecturer in Palaeontology (School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol)
  • Research Associate (Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico)

Global goals

Target 13.1
Target 13.3
Target 14.2
Target 14.3
Target 14.5
Target 14.A
Target 15.1
Target 15.5

Professional Organisations

  • Palaeontological Association
  • Geological Society of America


  • United Kingdom

Find me online