Dr Anthony Shillito

Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences and Zoology

Department: Earth Sciences

Academic position: Fellow by Examination


Anthony Shillito is a geologist working within the fields of sedimentology and ichnology. Prior to joining Magdalen College in 2019 as a Fellow by Examination in Earth Sciences, Anthony completed his BA and MSci in Natural Sciences (geology) at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. He remained at St Catharine’s to complete his PhD in Earth Sciences, working with Dr Neil Davies.


The main focus of Anthony’s research is understanding the events surrounding the Silurian-Devonian colonization of the continents by animals, through analysis of sedimentary rocks and trace fossils. Trace fossils provide a physical record of animal behaviour, and can be used to reconstruct how animals interacted with the environments that they lived in, and how these interactions changed as animals diversified into different niches.

Anthony’s particular interests are how the trace fossil record of colonization varies both spatially and temporally, and how the first animals to inhabit the continents affected the physical properties of the environments that they moved into. Aside from this, Anthony is investigating how time is preserved in the rock record, with a particular emphasis on time recorded during periods of non-deposition.

Selected Publications