Dr Marissa Betts


Dr Marissa Betts

Postdoctoral Fellow/Lecturer

University of New England

Marissa is a palaeontologist and geologist. Her favourite part of the geological timescale is the early Cambrian (542 – 509 million years ago). This interval captures one of the most astonishing biological events in Earth’s history; the Cambrian “Explosion” of life.

Marissa gained a BSc in Geology and Palaeontology at Macquarie University, Sydney in 2010, and completed an Honours project in 2012, investigating some of the world’s oldest animal-built reefs. Her PhD (2016), used fossils, rocks and geochemistry to refine the geological timescale and earned her a Vice Chancellor’s Commendation for Academic Excellence.

Since 2017, she was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of New England where she investigates the Cambrian of South Australia, Antarctica, Canada, China and Mongolia. Her work spans timescale development, fossil preservation mechanisms and palaeobiological reconstructions of some of the most enigmatic ancient organisms. She has described ten new fossil species, significantly increasing knowledge of Australia’s ancient biodiversity.

Marissa is an enthusiastic teacher and science communicator, and is proud to be a STEM Coach for Curious Minds Australia – a nationally run program to support girls in STEM.