Robin Beck

Dr Robin Beck

Lecturer in Biology

  • Peel Building Room G48
  • T: +44 (0)161 295 4994
  • E:

Office Times

“Please contact me via email for an appointment”


I graduated with a BA (Hons) in Natural Sciences from Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, in 2002 and an MSc in Advanced Methods in Taxonomy and Biodiversity from the Natural History Museum and Imperial College, London, in 2003. I was awarded my PhD from the University of New South Wales in 2009 for my thesis ‘Form, function, phylogeny and biogeography of enigmatic Australian metatherians’, which was supervised by Mike Archer and Sue Hand. From 2009 to 2011, I was an NSF-funded postdoctoral research fellow at the American Museum of Natural History, working in collaboration with Rob Voss (AMNH) and Sharon Jansa (University of Minnesota) on the morphology and phylogeny of marsupials. From 2012 to 2014, I was a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) postdoctoral fellow at the University of New South Wales, studying the only known record of early Palaeogene fossil mammals in Australia, from the early Eocene Tingamarra Fauna in southeastern Queensland. I am now Lecturer in Biology at the University of Salford, and continuing my research in the phylogeny, divergence times and biogeography of fossil and living mammals, as well as developing collaborations focused on other groups of organisms.

Research Interests

Morphological and Molecular Approaches to Phylogeny, Systematics, Divergence times, Biogeography, Comparative and Functional Morphology, Mammalian Evolution

Qualifications and Memberships

Journal of Mammalian Evolution – editorial board member

Scientific Reports – editorial board member


Beck, R.M.D. In press. ‘A peculiar faunivorous metatherian from the early Eocene of Australia’. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica doi: 10.4202/app.2013.0011

Beck, R.M.D., Lee, M.S.Y. 2014. ‘Ancient dates or accelerated rates? Morphological clocks and the antiquity of placental mammals’. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 281: no. 1793 20141278

Beck, R.M.D., Travouillon, K.J., Aplin, K.P., Godthelp, H., Archer, M. 2014. ‘The osteology and systematics of the enigmatic Australian Oligo-Miocene metatherian Yalkaparidon (Yalkaparidontidae; Yalkaparidontia; ?Australidelphia; Marsupialia)’. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 21: 127-172

Beck, R.M.D. 2012. ‘An 'ameridelphian' marsupial from the early Eocene of Australia supports a complex model of Southern Hemisphere marsupial biogeography.’ Naturwissenschaften 99: 715-729

Rougier, G.W., Wible, J.R., Apesteguía, S., Beck, R.M.D. 2012. ‘The Miocene mammal Necrolestes demonstrates the survival of a Mesozoic non-therian lineage into the late Cenozoic of South America.’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 109: 20053-20058

Ladevèze, S., de Muizon, C., Beck, R.M.D., Germain, D., Cespedes Paz, R. 2011.  ‘Earliest evidence of mammalian social behaviour in the basal Tertiary of Bolivia.’ Nature 474:83-86

Archer, M., Beck, R.M.D., Gott, M., Hand, S.J., Godthelp, H., Black, K. 2011. ‘Australia’s first fossil marsupial mole (Notoryctemorphia) resolves controversies about their evolution and palaeoenvironmental origins.’ Proceedings of the Royal Society B 278:1498-1506

Beck, R.M.D. 2009. ‘Was the Oligo-Miocene Australian metatherian Yalkaparidon a 'mammalian woodpecker'?’ Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 97: 1-17

Beck, R.M.D. 2008. ‘A dated phylogeny of marsupials using a molecular supermatrix and multiple fossil constraints: comparison with the fossil record.’ Journal of Mammalogy 89: 175-189

Beck, R.M.D., Godthelp, H., Weisbecker, V., Archer, M., Hand, S.J. 2008. ‘Australia’s oldest marsupial fossils and their biogeographical implications.’ PLoS ONE 3: e1858

Beck, R.M.D., Archer, M., Godthelp, H., Mackness, B.S., Hand, S.J., Muirhead, J. 2008. ‘A bizarre new family of Marsupialia (incertae sedis) from the early Pliocene of northeastern Australia: implications for the phylogeny of bunodont marsupials.’ Journal of Palaeontology 82: 749-762

Bininda-Emonds O.R.P., Cardillo M., Jones K.E., MacPhee R.D.E., Beck R.M.D., Grenyer R., Price S.A., Vos R.A., Gittleman J.L., Purvis A. 2007. ‘The delayed rise of present-day mammals.’ Nature 446: 507-512

Beck, R.M.D., O.R.P. Bininda-Emonds, M. Cardillo, F.-G.R. Liu, A. Purvis. 2006. ‘A higher-level MRP supertree of placental mammals.’ BMC Evolutionary Biology 6: 93

Worthy, T.H., Tennyson, A.J.D., Archer, M., Musser, A.M., Hand, S.J., Jones, C., Douglas, B.J., McNamara, J.A., Beck, R.M.D. 2006. ‘Miocene fossil reveals a Mesozoic mammal lineage on insular New Zealand, southwest Pacific.’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 103: 19419-19423

Bininda-Emonds, O.R.P., Beck, R.M.D., Purvis, A. 2005. ‘Getting to the roots of matrix representation.’ Systematic Biology 54: 668-672