Professor Paul Smith

Professor Paul Smith Professor Paul Smith is Director of Oxford University Museum of Natural History and has 30 years of experience of working in Arctic regions, particularly Greenland and Svalbard. After a PhD on Greenland palaeontology at the University of Nottingham, Paul carried out postdoctoral research at the Universities of Cambridge and Copenhagen before moving to the University of Birmingham. During this time we was involved in the geological mapping programme in Greenland, which created the first topographic and geological maps of large areas of North and North East Greenland.  He has been involved in university museums for most of his career and moved to Oxford to become director of the University Museum of Natural History in 2012. His research interests centre on the geology of Greenland and related arctic areas and the evolutionary origin of animal groups. Recently he has been involved in exploration of the Siriuspasset fossil locality in the extreme north of Greenland, which gives insight to environmental constraints on the origin of animals during the Cambrian Explosion. Paul has wide-ranging interests in the natural history and environments of the Arctic and the history of habitation and exploration.


North West Coast of Greenland – Arctic Wilderness Adventure 14–27 June 2014

For more information, visit our Oxford Alumni Travellers digital brochure.

Download Professor Smith's reading list for this tour.

Relevant publications

Mangano, M. G., Bromley, R. G., Harper, D. A. T., Nielsen, A. T., Smith, M. P. & Vinther, J. 2012. Nonbiomineralized carapaces in Cambrian seafloor landscapes (Sirius Passet, Greenland): opening a new window into early Phanerozoic benthic ecology. Geology, 40, 519–522.

Vinther, J., Smith, M. P. & Harper, D. A. T. 2011.  Vetulicolians from the Lower Cambrian Sirius Passet Lagerstätte, North Greenland, and the polarisation of morphological characters in basal deuterostomes. Palaeontology, 54, 711–719.

Higgins, A. K., Gilotti, J. A. & Smith, M. P. (eds)  2008.  The Greenland Caledonides – evolution of the northeast margin of Laurentia.  Memoir of the Geological Society of America, 202, xvi + 368 pp.