Luke Herringshaw

Liam Herringshaw

Lecturer in Geology / Deputy Director of Admissions (Geology / Geography)

Faculty of Science and Engineering

01482 465349

Liam Herringshaw is a lecturer in geology in the School of Environmental Sciences. He is primarily a palaeontologist, but knows nothing about dinosaurs.

His research focuses on marine palaeoecology through time, particularly how burrowing sea creatures have affected - and been affected by - the sediments they live in, from the earliest worms tunneling in sticky muds, to crustacean tunnels in oil reservoirs.

Liam also has an unhealthy fascination with fossil starfish, armoured worms and shales.


Research Interests

  • Geology

  • Palaeontology

  • Bioturbation

  • Marine ecology

Research groups

  • Member of the Hull Geochemistry and Geobiology (HuGG) research group, and the Ecology and Environmental Change research group

  • Leads the 'Worms On Film' project, investigating the evolution of bioturbation in microbially-bound sediments during the late Precambrian period, and advises PhD student Catherine Mascord (Hull), together with collaborators Krysia Mazik (Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Science, Hull), Dan Parsons (Institute of Energy and Environment, Hull) and Duncan McIlroy (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada)

  • Works closely with Dave Bond (Geology, Hull) and Joerg Hardege (Biology, Hull) on experimental geobiology research into the responses of marine benthic organisms to ocean acidification and warming

  • Co-investigator on the NERC-funded project 'Quantitative 3D remote digital compositional and structural characterisation of outcrops', led by Graham Ferrier (Geology, Hull)


Herringshaw L G, Sherwood O A, McIlroy D, 'Ecosystem engineering by bioturbating polychaetes in event bed microcosms', Palaiod, 25 (1), pp 46-58 (2010)

Herringshaw L G, McIlroy D, 'Bioinfiltration: irrigation-driven transport of clay particles through bioturbated sediments', Journal of Sedimentary Research, 83 (6), pp 443-450 (2013)

Herringshaw L G, Callow R H T, McIlroy D, 'Engineering the Cambrian Explosion: the earliest bioturbators as ecosystem engineers', Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 448, pp 369-382 (2017)

Armstrong H A, Wagner T, Herringshaw L G, Farnsworth A J, Lunt D J, Harland M, Imber J, Loptson C, Atar E F L, 'Hadley circulation and precipitation changes controlling black shale deposition in the Late Jurassic Boreal Seaway', Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology, 31 (8), pp 1041-1053 (2016)

Herringshaw L G, Thomas A T, Smith M P, 'Starfish diversity in the Wenlock of England', Paleantology, 50 (5), pp 1211-1229 (2007)

Full list


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • Advanced Sedimentary Environments

  • Advanced Geological Field Study

  • Sedimentology

  • Earth Evolution

  • Geological Mapping Dissertation

  • Economic Geoscience

  • Exploring Worlds Around Us

  • Interpreting Environments

  • Professional Consultancy Project

Research PhDs

Current PhD supervisions 

  • Jenny James, Experimental Geobiology of Extinctions, Institute of Energy and Environment, Hull, 3rd advisor (2018- )

  • Catherine Mascord, Worms On Film, Institute of Energy and Environment, Hull, lead advisor (2017- )

  • Cian McGuire, Micropalaeontology of Contourites, Geology, Hull, 3rd advisor (2015- )

  • Charlotte Mummery, Regulation of UK Shale Gas, Geography, Hull, 3rd advisor (2014- )

Teaching awards and accolades

  • Currently studying for a PCAP (Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice).

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • BSc (Hons) Geology and Physical Geography, University of Liverpool

  • PhD Palaeobiology, Rare and Problematical Fossils from the Much Wenlock Limestone Formation, University of Birmingham

External roles

  • Council member of the Palaeontological Association since 2010 - member of association's public engagement group, co-ordinating outreach and publicity activities including Yorkshire and Lyme Regis fossil festivals

  • Founder member of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society (YPS) Geology Group, York, instigating John and Anne Phillips Prize for best undergraduate mapping dissertation by a University of Hull geology student, and annual John and Anne Phillips Lecture.

  • Associate Editor, Ichnos

Awards and accolades

  • Holbeck Trust Innovation Award for 'Professor Herring's Natural Hystery' at York Festival of Ideas, 2015

  • President's Prize, Annual Meeting of the Palaeontological Association, University of Cambridge, 2002

Professional highlights

  • Set up the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) on the Geology of Yorkshire and Northern England at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of York (2015)

  • Cricket Yorkshire's inaugural Cricket Writer of the Year for an article on Vikings playing cricket (2015)

  • Co-founded the Yorkshire Fossil Festival, an annual celebration of palaeontology held at the Rotunda Museum of Geology in Scarborough (2014)

  • Invited speaker at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, alongside historian Tom Holland, Guardian journalist John Crace, sports writer Jonathan Wilson, and BBC commentator Dan Norcross (2014)

  • Involved with the Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model project, helping to promote palaeontology to girls (2013)

  • Communications officer for the ReFINE (Researching Fracking) project at Durham University, talking at public events across the UK, appearing on numerous regional and national radio programmes, and publishing articles in a variety of online and printed media (2012-2015)

  • Games Maker volunteer at the 2012 London Olympic Games

  • Established the Cricket Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, in Canada's snowiest, windiest, foggiest major city where the Herringshaw Cup has been named in his honour (2010)