Dr David Button worked in our group from December 2015–November 2016, quantifying biogeographic patterns observed in latest Palaeozoic and early Mesozoic terrestrial vertebrates employing phylogenetic comparative approaches. His post is funded was through a Marie Curie CIG to Richard Butler. He is now a postdoc working in the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, and we are currently working on publishing his biogeographic work.

Prior to this, he completed his PhD at the University of Bristol and the Natural History Museum, working with Professor Emily Rayfield and Professor Paul Barrett. His thesis combined anatomical reconstruction from CT scans, finite-element analysis and evolutionary modelling in order to investigate functional trends in the feeding apparatus of sauropodomorph dinosaurs. David is interested in combining biomechanical, phylogenetic and biogeographic methods in order to interrogate macroevolutionary and ecological signals present in the vertebrate fossil record, and in particular with the evolution of herbivory.



Lautenschlager, S., Brassey, C., BUTTON, D.J. & Barrett, P.M. 2016. Decoupled form and function in disparate herbivorous dinosaur clades. Scientific Reports 6:26495.

BUTTON, D.J., Rayfield, E.J. & Barrett, P.M. 2014. Cranial biomechanics underpins high sauropod diversity in resource-poor environments. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 281:20142114.

Young, M.T., Rayfield, E.J., Holliday, C.M., Witmer, L.M., BUTTON, D.J., Upchurch, P. & Barrett, P.M. (2012). Cranial biomechanics of Diplodocus (Dinosauria: Sauropoda): testing hypotheses of feeding behaviour in an extinct megaherbivore. Naturwissenschaften 99:637–643.