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

Dr Andrew RossDr 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 when the fossil invertebrate and vertebrate sections were merged.

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, in particular Burmese amber.

He is the handling editor for the results from a large international INTAS-funded project on fossil insects from the Isle of Wight and a key researcher in a NERC-funded project looking at the evolution of Lower Carboniferous terrestrial faunas. He is also currently co-supervising Richard Kelly, a PhD student at the University of Bristol, who is looking at the insect response to the end Triassic mass extinction.

Ten selected publications

  1. Grimaldi, D. A. & Ross, A.J. 2017. Extraordinary Lagerstätten in Amber, with particular reference to the Cretaceous of Burma. In: Fraser, N.C. & Sues H.-D. (eds.). Terrestrial Conservation Lagerstätten: Windows into the Evolution of Life on Land. Dunedin Academic Press Ltd, Edinburgh. 287-342.
  2. Baranov, V., Góral, T. & Ross, A. 2017. A new genus of Buchonomyiinae (Diptera, Chironomidae) from Upper Cretaceous Burmese amber, with the phylogeny of the subfamily revisited. Cretaceous Research 79: 146-152.
  3. Kelly, R.S., Ross, A.J. & Davidson, P. 2017. Mesozoic Holcoptera (Coleoptera) from England and the United States. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association 128: 659-674.
  4. Ross, A.J. 2017. Insect Evolution: The Origin of Wings. Current Biology 27 (3): DOI:
  5. Ross, A. J., Mellish, C.J.T., Crighton, B., & York, P.V. 2016. A catalogue of the collections of Mexican amber at the Natural History Museum, London and National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh, UK. Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana 68 (1): 45-55.
  6. Novokshonov, V.G., Ross, A.J., Cook, E., Krzemiński, W. & Soszyńska-Maj, A. 2016. A new family of scorpionflies (Insecta; Mecoptera) from the Lower Cretaceous of England. Cretaceous Research 62: 44-51.
  7. Clapham, M.E., Karr, J.A., Nicholson, D.B., Ross, A. J. & Mayhew, P.J. 2016. Ancient origin of high taxonomic richness among insects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 283 (No. 1824).
  8. Delclos, X., Penalver, E., Arillio, A., Engel, M.S., Nel, A., Azar, D. and Ross, A. 2016. New mantises (Insecta: Mantodea) in Cretaceous ambers from Lebanon, Spain and Myanmar. Cretaceous Research 60: 91-108.
  9. 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:
  10. Ross, A.J. & Self, A. 2014.  The fauna and flora of the Insect Limestone (late Eocene), Isle of Wight, UK: introduction, history and geology, Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 104 (3&4): 233-144.

 full list of Dr Ross's publications can be accessed here.

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Burmese amber

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