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Dr Andrew Ross

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 recently completed 4-year’s service as the Editor-in-Chief of the Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Ross, A.J. & Taylor, M.A. 2023. Appendix Five, The fossil specimens in the First Edition of The Old Red Sandstone. In: O’Connor, R. & Taylor, M.A. A critical study of Hugh Miller’s The Old Red Sandstone, 1838-1920. The Old Red Sandstone, Volume 1. National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh. A219-A228.

Ross, A.J. 2023. Supplement to the Burmese (Myanmar) amber checklist and bibliography, 2022. Palaeoentomology 6 (1): 22-40. 

Ross, A. 2022. Evolution: The origin of insect wings revisited. Current Biology 32: R851-R852.

Fedotova, Z.A., Perkovsky, E.E., Ross, A.J. & Zhang, Q.Q. 2022. A new genus and species of gall midge belonging to the tribe Winnertziini (Diptera, Cecidomyiidae, Porricondylinae) from the lower Eocene Fushun amber from China. Palaeoentomology (1): 90-98. 

Schneider, J.W., Scholze, F., Ross, A.J., Blake, B.M. & Lucas, S.G. 2021. Improved blattoid insect and conchostracan zonation for the Late Carboniferous, Pennsylvanian, of Euramerica. In: Lucas, S.G., Schneider, J.W., Wang, X. & Nikolaeva (eds). The Carboniferous Timescale. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 512.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.


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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