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Dr Andrew Ross

Principal Curator of Palaeobiology

Dr Andrew Ross
Principal Curator of Palaeobiology
Specific responsibility: Curation and development of the fossil collections.
Research interests/expertise: Fossil arthropods, particularly the taxonomy, biodiversity and palaeoecology of insects.

Andrew Ross is the head of the Palaeobiology Section which includes all the fossil collections.

Dr Ross studied geology (BSc) at Kingston Polytechnic and a PhD on fossil cockroaches at the University of Brighton. He worked at the Palaeontology Department of the Natural History Museum in London for 15 years, where he progressed from part-time Curator of Fossil Insects, through Curator of Fossil Arthropods to a Collections Manager within the Invertebrate & Plants Division. 

He joined National Museums Scotland in 2008, initially as the Principal Curator of Invertebrate Palaeobiology, then in the present position of Principal Curator of Palaeobiology when the fossil invertebrate and vertebrate sections were merged in 2010.

His main research interest is in fossil terrestrial arthropods, particularly insects, though he also studies fossil Crustacea, Chelicerata and Myriapoda. He is fascinated by changes (origination and extinction) to their family-level diversity through time and also what they can infer about palaeoecology, palaeoenvironment and palaeoclimate. He is also very interested in the exquisite preservation of insects in amber.

He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Ten Selected Publications

  1. Ross, A.J. 2021. Supplement to the Burmese (Myanmar) amber checklist and bibliography, 2020. Palaeoentomology (1): 57-76. 
  2. Collins, J.S.H., Mellish, C.J.T., Ross, A.J. & Crabb, P.R. 2020. A guide to the fossil Decapoda (Crustacea: Axiidea, Anomura, Brachyura) of the British Isles. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association 131 (1): 19-50.
  3. Yu, T., Kelly, R., Mu, L., Ross, A., Kennedy, J., Broly, P., Xia, F., Zhang, H., Wang, B. & Dilcher, D. 2019. An ammonite trapped in Burmese amber. PNAS 116 (23): 11345-50.
  4. Ross, A.J. 2019. The Blattodea (cockroaches), Mantodea (praying mantises) and Dermaptera (earwigs) of the Insect Limestone (late Eocene), Isle of Wight, including the first record of Mantodea from the UK. Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh:
  5. Ross, A.J., Edgecombe, G.D., Clark, N.D.L., Bennett, C.E., Carrió, V., Contreras-Izquierdo, R. and Crighton, B. 2018. A new terrestrial millipede fauna of earliest Carboniferous (Tournaisian) age from southeastern Scotland helps fill ‘Romer’s Gap’. Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 108: 99-110.
  6. Kelly, R., Ross, A.J. & Coram, R. 2018. A review of Necrotauliids from the Triassic/Jurassic of England (Trichoptera: Necrotauliidae). Psyche DOI: 10.1155/2018/6706120.
  7. Kelly, R.S. & Ross, A.J. 2018.  Earwigs (Dermaptera) from the Mesozoic of England and Australia, described from isolated elytra, including the first species to be named from the Triassic. Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 107: 129-143.
  8. Prokop, J., Pecharová, M., Jarzembowski, E.A. & Ross, A.J. 2018. New palaeodictyopterans from the Late Carboniferous of the UK (Insecta: Palaeodictyopteroida). Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 107: 99-107.
  9. Ross, A.J. 2017. Insect Evolution: The Origin of Wings. Current Biology 27 (3): DOI:
  10. Nicholson, D.B., Mayhew, P.J. & Ross, A.J. 2015. Changes to the fossil record of insects through fifteen years of discovery. PLOS ONE DOI:
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Burmese amber

Discover how this enigmatic material is shining a light on ecosystems millions of years old.

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Explore the fossil collections with our Principal Curator of Palaeobiology, Andrew Ross.

Blog posts by Andrew Ross
Key to Identifying Fake Amber
Fake amber necklaces key.pdf
PDF (77 KB)

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