twitter colorfb color

Dr. Liam Herringshaw

on . Posted in Friends of

Liam herringshaw

Dr. Liam Herringshaw  Ph.D. (Birmingham)

I arrived in Newfoundland in January 2009 to begin a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr Duncan McIlroy, funded by NSERC and PRAC. The project investigates the interactions between bioturbating organisms and sediments, and the effects of bioturbation on petroleum reservoirs.

The research involved laboratory study of burrowing animals, characterizing burrow geometries using CT scanning and serial sectioning, and examination of sedimentary rocks in core and outcrop. From this, the research aims to develop a more detailed understanding of near-burrow diagenesis and the impacts that bioturbation has upon the porosity and permeability of sedimentary rocks. Liam has moved back to the UK, but remains an integral part of the research group through participation in fieldwork and by serving on the supervisory committee of graduate and research projects.

My research interests focus primarily on marine palaeoecology and palaeoenvironments, especially the response of shallow marine organisms to environmental change. Before moving to Memorial University, I was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Aberdeen (2006-2008), studying the acquisition of biomineralization in marine invertebrates, changing bioturbation levels during the end-Ordovician extinction event, and the affinities of Spatangopsis, a problematical structure from the Early Cambrian of Sweden and Scotland. My Ph.D. (University of Birmingham, 2004) examined rare and problematical fossils from the Much Wenlock Limestone Formation of the English Midlands and Welsh Borderlands, describing exceptionally preserved taxa from a mid-Silurian reef and inter-reef environment. These included machaeridians (armoured Palaeozoic annelids), cornulitids (possible cnidarians), rostroconchs (pseudo-bivalved molluscs), thinly plated crinoids, and the earliest multiradiate starfish.



  • L. G. Herringshaw, O. A. Sherwood & D. McIlroy, 2010. Ecosystem engineering by bioturbating polychaetes in event bed microcosms. Palaios, 25, 46-58.
  • D. McIlroy, N. S. Tonkin, C. Phillips & L. G. Herringshaw, 2009. Comment on "Ophiomorpha irregulaire, Mesozoic trace fossil that is either well understood but rare in outcrop or poorly understood but common in core". Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 270, 295-298.
  • N. S. Davies, L. G. Herringshaw & R. J. Raine, 2009. Controls on trace fossil diversity in an Early Cambrian epeiric sea: new perspectives from northwest Scotland. Lethaia, 42, 17-30.
  • L. G. Herringshaw & M. Solan, 2008. Benthic bioturbation in the past, present and future. Aquatic Biology, 2, 201-205.
  • L. G. Herringshaw & N. S. Davies, 2008. Bioturbation levels during the end-Ordovician extinction event: a case study of shallow marine strata from the Welsh Basin. Aquatic Biology, 2, 279-287.
  • L. G. Herringshaw & R. J. Raine, 2007. The earliest turrilepadid: a machaeridian from the Lower Ordovician of the Northwest Highlands. Scottish Journal of Geology, 43, 97-100.
  • L. G. Herringshaw, A. T. Thomas & M. P. Smith, 2007. Starfish diversity in the Wenlock of England. Palaeontology, 50, 1211-1229.
  • L. G. Herringshaw, A. T. Thomas & M. P. Smith. 2007. Evolutionary and ecological significance of Lepidaster grayi, the earliest multiradiate starfish. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 150, 743-754.
  • L. G. Herringshaw, A. T. Thomas & M. P. Smith. 2007. Systematics, shell structure and affinities of the Palaeozoic Problematicum Cornulites. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 150, 681-699.