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This profile was last updated on 11/24/15  and contains information from public web pages.

Dr. Chris Berry

Wrong Dr. Chris Berry?

Professor of Earth Sciences

Phone: +44 ***********  
Local Address:  United Kingdom
Cardiff University
Deri House 2-4 Park Grove
Cardiff , Cardiff CF10 3BN
United Kingdom

Company Description: Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain's leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in...   more

Employment History


  • Natural Sciences
    Cambridge University
39 Total References
Web References
Image courtesy Dr Chris ..., 24 Nov 2015 [cached]
Image courtesy Dr Chris Berry - Cardiff University. For a larger version of this image please go here.
UK researchers have unearthed ancient fossil forests, thought to be partly responsible for one of the most dramatic shifts in the Earth's climate in the past 400 million years.
The fossil forests, with tree stumps preserved in place, were found in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago situated in the Arctic Ocean. They were identified and described by Dr Chris Berry of Cardiff University's School of Earth and Ocean Science.
"These fossil forests shows us what the vegetation and landscape were like on the equator 380 million years ago, as the first trees were beginning to appear on the Earth," said Dr Berry.
The team found that the forests in Svalbard were formed mainly of lycopod trees, better known for growing millions of years later in coal swamps that eventually turned into coal deposits - such as those in South Wales. They also found that the forests were extremely dense, with very small gaps - around 20cm - between each of the trees, which probably reached about 4m high.
Dr Berry had previously worked with American colleagues to describe another slightly older forest, at Gilboa in upstate New York. The Gilboa forest was located at least 30 south of the equator at that time, and the tree stumps in place belonged to different types of plants.
"This demonstrates that there was already geographical diversity of forest plant types and ecology just as soon as they had evolved," Dr Berry continued.
"It's amazing that we've uncovered one of the very first forests in the very place that is now being used to preserve the Earth's plant diversity," continued Dr Berry.
"These fossil forests shows us what ..., 20 Nov 2015 [cached]
"These fossil forests shows us what the vegetation and landscape were like on the equator 380 million years ago," said researcher Chris Berry.
"These fossil forests shows us what the vegetation and landscape were like on the equator 380 million years ago, as the first trees were beginning to appear on the Earth," researcher Chris Berry, a professor of earth sciences at Cardiff University, said in a press release.
"The evolution of tree-sized vegetation is the most likely cause of this dramatic drop in carbon dioxide because the plants were absorbing carbon dioxide through photosynthesis to build their tissues, and also through the process of forming soils," Berry concluded.
NY Fossils Recreate Ancient Forest | GardenLarge, 7 Oct 2012 [cached]
"For the first time, we actually have a map of about 1,200 square meters (12,900 square feet) of a Devonian forest," said study researcher Chris Berry, a scientist at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom.
"This is a spectacular find which ..., 18 April 2007 [cached]
"This is a spectacular find which has allowed us to recreate these early forest ecosystems," said British researcher Christopher Berry of Cardiff University, who worked on the study.
Berry said the branches would have decayed, providing a new food chain for the bugs living below.
"The rise of the forests removed a lot of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.This caused temperatures to drop and the planet became very similar to its present day condition," he said in a statement.
Chris Berry of the Cardiff School of Earth Sciences, 26 Feb 2008 [cached]
Chris Berry
Chris studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, concentrating on Geology and Palaeontology.He arrived in Cardiff with no knowledge of botany, but threw himself into the study of Middle Devonian plants from Venezuela, supervised by Dianne Edwards.
He was lucky enough to be given a plant assemblage to study which was incredibly diverse and well preserved, and the first decent collection of plant fossils of Devonian age from the whole of South America.He had an exciting f ield season in Venezuela, camping in the forest on the slopes of the northernmost Andes on the Venezuela/Colombia border.In his PhD work he made a particular study of the clubmosses which are particularly abundant at the Venezuelan localities.
Since then Chris has concentrated his research on the diversification of non-clubmoss plants in the Middle Devonian ( about 380 million years ago).During this time all the major plant groups became established with the exception of flowering plants.He is particularly interested in the origins of the horsetail and ferns.His approach to this study is that he believes a phylogenetic tree for such plants can only be established when the Middle Devonian plants concerned have been understood in terms of both their morphology and anatomy, and concepts of the fossils as living and growing plants have been developed.Such a study will also contribute to the understanding of the environmental changes, particularly with respect to the atmosphere and soils, which occurred with the advent of abundant large vascular plants.
A demanding fieldwork schedule means that Chris has worked in many exciting places, including north east Greenland, Siberia, Colombia and Argentina, as well as multiple visits to Yunnan, China, Venezuela and New York State.
Current projects include describing a new Middle Devonian plant from Greenland that bears seed megaspores (NERC funded), and a Royal Society/NSFC Joint Project on Silurian and Devonian plants and spores from Yunnan and Xinjiang, China, in collaboration with Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology and Southampton and Sheffield Universities.The latter project not only includes describing perhaps the only endemic Middle Devonian flora (Yunnan), but studying in situ and dispersed spores as well.Chris is also working with Bill Stein (Binghamton, NY) on newly discovered giant cladoxylopsid trees from New York State.
When not working on fossils or teaching, Chris can be found playing the famous Hill organ in St. Augustine's church, Penarth where he is assistant organist.He is a council member of the British Institute of Organ Studies, and is presently researching the history of French monastic organs on the Isle of Wight and Jersey.
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