Simon Conway Morris

Simon Conway Morris

Simon Conway Morris

Birth : (1951-11-06)6 November 1951(age 69) Carshalton, Surrey, England

Personal Information

Name Simon Conway Morris
Birth (1951-11-06)6 November 1951(age 69) Carshalton, Surrey, England
Birth Place (age 69) Carshalton, Surrey, England
Alma Mater ,University of Bristol,St John's College, Cambridge
Fields Paleontology
Institution University of Cambridge)
Famous Research Burgess Shale fossils Cambrian explosion
Doctoral Advisor Harry Blackmore Whittington

Word Cloud

Events Occured in Scienctist Life


Simon Conway Morris (born 1951) is an English palaeontologist, evolutionary biologist, and astrobiologist known for his study of the fossils of the Burgess Shale and the Cambrian explosion.


The results of these discoveries were celebrated in Stephen Jay Gould's 1989 book Wonderful Life.


He has held the Chair of Evolutionary Palaeobiology in the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge since 1995.


Early years Conway Morris was born on 6 November 1951.


He gave the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture in 1996 on the subject of The History in our Bones.


He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society at age 39, was awarded the Walcott Medal of the National Academy of Sciences in 1987 and the Lyell Medal of the Geological Society of London in 1998.


His thinking on the significance of the Burgess Shale has evolved and his current interest in evolutionary convergence and its wider significance – the topic of his 2007 Gifford Lectures – was in part spurred by Stephen Jay Gould's arguments for the importance of contingency in the history of life.


In January 2017 his team announced the discovery of an early ancestor of vertebrates, a bag-like sea creature, which lived about 540 million years ago.


Conway Morris' views on the Burgess Shale are reported in numerous technical papers and more generally in The Crucible of Creation (Oxford University Press, 1998).


In recent years he has been investigating the phenomenon of evolutionary convergence, the main thesis of which is put forward in Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe (Cambridge University Press, 2003).


The latter includes the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures delivered in 1996.


In 2005 he gave the second Boyle Lecture.


He gave the University of Edinburgh Gifford Lectures for 2007 in a series titled "Darwin's Compass: How Evolution Discovers the Song of Creation".


Conway Morris has contributed articles on evolution and Christian belief to several collections, including The Cambridge Companion to Science and Religion (2010) and The Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity (2012).


  • The Walcott Medal 1987
  • PS Charles Schuchert Award 1989
  • GSL Charles Lyell Medal 1998
  • Trotter Prize 2007