Dr Kevin Page
As a geoscience and geodiversity specialist, my experience is very broad, but focusses on two key themes. Firstly my core geoscience research field is in palaeontology and stratigraphy, in particular concerning global ammonite taxonomy, high-resolution biochronology and palaeobiogeography, especially of the Jurassic System. In addition, however, I am also a leading specialist, practitioner and consultant in aspects of Geodiversity and Geoheritage, including environmental interpretation and education. These two core themes are summarised further below:
Ammonoid stratigraphy and palaeobiology: The Ammonoidea are one of the most important and ‘useful’ fossil groups throughout their long stratigraphical range from the Early Devonian to the end of the Cretaceous. Crucially, they can provide a uniquely high-resolution biochronology, with subdivisions less than 50,000 years, with which to reliably date all other geological events and processes. Their potential for very rapid spread across marine environments – on a scale of months to a few years - when no barriers to migration existed, also means that they can be used to draw time-lines to correlate different successions. Not surprisingly, therefore, Jurassic ammonites are implicated as the key stratigraphical tools for establishing Global Stratotype Sections and Points (GSSPs) for Jurassic stages, work with which I have been involved for many years through working groups of the International Subcommission on Jurassic Stratigraphy (ICS, IUGS).
A key part of my current stratigraphical work with ammonites involves the development of integrated correlative schemes, combining isotope stratigraphy (including C and Sr), magnetostratigraphy as well as various microfossil groups. In particular, Milankovitch Cycle-driven cyclostratigraphy can be used to calibrate ammonite biochronology and recent work on the basal Jurassic Hettangian Stage, has provided a new chronology of global importance through which time can literally be correlated. This development of integrated correlation schemes for the Lower Jurassic is part of my contribution to the Exeter University-based JET (Jurassic Earth Systems and Timescales, ICDP (International Continental Drilling Programme) project. I am also involved in developing equivalent schemes for higher levels in the Jurassic.
Beyond their stratigraphical usefulness, ammonoids can provide a perfect vehicle for examining all manner of biological and ecological processes, such as micro- and macroevolutionary studies – including mass extinctions and phases of biological recovery and diversification – as well as studies of their ecology, functional morphology and biogeography. I am currently collaborating in the development of these themes, as well an overall, phylogenetically-informed framework for classifying all Ammonoidea from the Early Devonian to the end Cretaceous, for a major textbook.
Earth heritage and conservation: Following initial employment working on museum collections, displays and databases, followed by a construction site palaeontological conservation project, I developed a comprehensive experience of the principles and practice of geological heritage conservation, including all practical, legal and educational aspects through over 11 years experience working for the national government agency, English Nature. This work continues on an independent consultancy basis, and I have carried out extensive landscape assessments for Countryside Council for Wales (now Natural Resources Wales - including contributing to national policy for ‘Geological Landscapes’), as well as site and landscape surveys, geodiversity audits, site condition assessments, and developing on-line resources, educational materials and policy documents, including for local authorities in south-west England, such as Devon County Council, Dartmoor National Park Authority, the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark, Natural England and the Cornish Mining Landscapes World Heritage site bid. This experience has also been applied through various NGO (i.e. non-governmental groups) such as the Devon RIGS (Regionally Important Geological Sites) Group, the former South West Geodiversity and South West Landscape forums and the British Institute for Geological Conservation, of which I am a Council Member.
From around 1999, this experience became increasingly international in scope, firstly with the EU-funded Comenius project GRECEL (Geoconservation: Research into Education at a European Level), and then with ProGEO (The European Association for the Conservation of the Geological Heritage), of which I am a Council Member. I have also worked with various UNESCO Global Geoparks and other projects, as well as co-authoring a book on the potential for the sustainable development of the geological heritage resources of the Galapagos. In addition, I was one of the founding members of the International Commission on Geoheritage of IUGS and Secretary General from 2016 to 2018. I am also Editor-in-Chief of the leading international journal in this field, Geoheritage (www.springer.com/12371), one of the most rapidly growing in Springer’s portfolio, having led the journal to its new Impact Factor of 2.597 as well as a ranking in the 1st quartile in the field of Nature and Landscape Conservation.
Crucially, as geodiversity is now recognised as a key part of environmental management, this experience has also been converted into University level courses, including an MSc module for Birkbeck College (University of London) and a distance learning module for Exeter University, part of a former Environmental Science diploma and degree.
In addition to Jurassic Ammonoidea and Geoheritage, I am also involved in a number of projects focussed on the Stratigraphy and Palaeontology of SW England, in particular on Devonian facies, faunas and mass extinctions (including supervising Masters-level projects on ammonoids, trilobites and brachiopods), Early Permian trace fossils from alluvial ‘red beds’ as well as contributing to studies of skarn and pegmatite-related mineralisation. Further information on all these themes is provided under links to the right.
- BA in Geology, University of Cambridge (1984): Class 1 Honours; converted to M.A. (1988). Honorary Scholar of Robinson College, Cambridge (1984).
- Ph.D. in Geological Sciences, University College London (1988). Case studentship with British Geological Survey, thesis entitled: The Stratigraphy and Ammonites of the British Lower Callovian. Supervisors: Professor J. H. Callomon (UCL) and Dr Beris M. Cox (BGS).
- Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) (2013): Plymouth University Higher Education Academy (HEA) accredited course in academic and pedagogic practice.
- Fellow of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) (from 2013).