Charles R. Marshall

Charles Richard Marshall is an Australian paleobiologist and the director of the University of California Museum of Paleontology, where he is also a professor in the department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Charles Marshall
Alma materB.Sc. Australian National University
PhD University of Chicago
AwardsCharles Schuchert Award (1999)
Guggenheim Fellowship (1997)
NSF National Young Investigator Award (1992)
University Medal (1984)
Tillyard Prize (1984)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Los Angeles (1991–1999)
Harvard University (1999–2009)
University of California, Berkeley (2010–)


Marshall graduated with honours in Palaeontology, Mathematics, and Zoology from the Australian National University in 1984 (B.Sc., 1st Class Honours), and received his Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Chicago in 1989, with paleobiologist David M. Raup[1] and cell biologist Hewson Swift[2] as his advisors.[3] He then did an NIH (NRSA) postdoc with evolutionary developmental biologist Rudy Raff at Indiana University from 1989 to 1991. He taught at UCLA from 1991 to 1999, except for the period of his Guggenheim Fellowship spent at the Smithsonian Institution, at Harvard from 1999 to 2009, where he was also a curator at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, and at UC Berkeley since 2010, for which period he has also been director of the UCMP, replacing interim director Roy L. Caldwell.[4] He has been on the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science since 2009.


Marshall's first prominent work was on using confidence intervals to better estimate the full stratigraphic range of a lineage.[5][6] This work led him to propose with Peter Ward that the fossil record of the Mollusca suggested that the extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary may have been due in part to marine regression.[7] It also led to revised estimates of the origination times and fidelity of the fossil record for various lineages, including primates and orchids (with the description of Meliorchis).[8][9] In 1993, he found empirical evidence for exceptions to Dollo's law of irreversibility with Elizabeth and Rudolf Raff.[10] His studies on diversity through time included being a Principal Investigator on the grant that led to the creation of the Paleobiology Database with John Alroy. He has also worked on major transitions in the history of life, including the Cambrian explosion.[11]


  1. ^ "David Raup, paleontologist who transformed his discipline, 1933-2015". UChicago News. 2015-07-14. Retrieved 2017-02-04.
  2. ^ "Pioneering cell biologist Hewson Swift, Ph.D., 1920-2004". Retrieved 2017-02-04.
  3. ^ "CV: Charles R. Marshall". Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  4. ^ "UCMP welcomes Charles Marshall". UCMP newsletter. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  5. ^ Marshall, C.R. 1990. Confidence intervals on stratigraphic ranges. Paleobiology 16:1-10.
  6. ^ Presentation of the Charles Schuchert Award of the Paleontological Society to Charles R. Marshall by Douglas Erwin
  7. ^ Marshall C.R.; Ward P.D. (1996). "Sudden and Gradual Molluscan Extinctions in the Latest Cretaceous of Western European Tethys". Science. 274 (5291): 1360–1363. Bibcode:1996Sci...274.1360M. doi:10.1126/science.274.5291.1360. PMID 8910273.
  8. ^ Tavaré, S.; Marshall, C. R.; Will, O.; Soligo, C.; Martin R.D. (April 18, 2002). "Using the fossil record to estimate the age of the last common ancestor of extant primates". Nature. 416 (6882): 726–729. Bibcode:2002Natur.416..726T. doi:10.1038/416726a. PMID 11961552.
  9. ^ Santiago R. Ramírez; Barbara Gravendeel; Rodrigo B. Singer; Charles R. Marshall; Naomi E. Pierce (30 August 2007). "Dating the origin of the Orchidaceae from a fossil orchid with its pollinator". Nature. 448 (7157): 1042–5. doi:10.1038/nature06039. PMID 17728756.
  10. ^ Marshall, C. R., et al. (1994). Dollo's law and the death and resurrection of genes. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 91 12283.
  11. ^ Marshall, C.R. (2006). "Explaining the Cambrian "Explosion" of Animals". Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. (abstract). 34: 355–384. Bibcode:2006AREPS..34..355M. doi:10.1146/ S2CID 85623607.