Dr Jason Hilton PhD

Dr Jason Hilton

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Reader in Palaeobiology
School Student Engagement Coordinator

Contact details

Address
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Dr Hilton is a research focused palaeobotanist and evolutionary plant biologist with interests in palaeoenvironments and palaeoecology. His underlying goals are to increase the quantity of paleobotanical data included into evolutionary analyses and to provide a more detailed understanding of the past environments and climates in which fossil plants lived.  He has a broad background in Geobiology and Earth Systems Science, and is an active researcher across a number of fields closely allied to his specialisation.  Jason is an Associate Editor for Palaeontologica Electronica, member of the Editorial Advisory Committee for Acta Palaeobotanica, an Editorial Advisor for the Journal of Palaeogeography, and a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London. In 2000 he received the President’s Award from the Geological Society of London for achievements in Geosciences.  Jason is currently Student Engagement Coordinator within the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. 

Qualifications

  • BSc (University of Sheffield)
  • PhD (Cardiff University)

Teaching

Dr Hilton is one of the core members of the Earth Sciences (Geology) teaching team.  He is module leader for the following modules:

  • Year 1 Field Skills (20 credits, 14 days fieldwork)
  • Year 2 Evolutionary and Environmental Palaeobiology (10 credits, lectures and practical classes)
  • Year 2 Resources of the Earth (10 and 20 credit variants, lectures and practical classes)
  • Year 2 Research Project Planning for Joint Honours (10 credits, lectures and small group tutorials)
  • Year 3 Geology and Archaeology Research Projects (40 credits, research projects)

In addition he contributes to the following modules:

  • Year 1 Topics in Geology (10 credit, essay instruction supervision, small group tutorials)
  • Year 2 Geological mapping training and fieldwork (20 credits, fieldwork supervision)
  • Year 3 Independent Research Projects (30 credits project supervision)
  • Year 4 Advances in Geology (10 credits, research essay supervision)
  • Year 3 and 4 Micropalaeontology (10 credits, lectures on pollen/spores)
  • Year 1 Earth History (10 credits, lectures on Palaeozoic stratigraphy and events)
  • Year 4 Advances in Geology (10 credits, research essay module)
  • Year 4 Advanced Projects (60 credits, project supervision)

Jason uses a range of methods within his teaching including traditinal lectures, specimen based practical classes, field geology, small group tutorials, seminars and interactive computer classes. 

Postgraduate supervision

Jason Hilton is a palaeobotanist and evolutionary plant biologist. His research has the four following focuses:

Seed plant evolution and phylogeny: the origin, early evolution, systematics, evolution and phylogeny of seed plants, and includes information from both living and extinct seed plants
Community Change in fossil floras: reconstructing terrestrial ecosystems though time, and looking at the floral response to environmental change
Fossil plants as biospheric indicators: using fossil plants as proxies for terrestrial palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironments, including studies of Late Palaeozoic gigantopterid plants, Carboniferous and Permian plant adaptation, and tertiary fossil plant assemblages
Fossil plants from China: well preserved fossil ferns from China and evolutionary aspects of fossil plant morphology and anatomy

Dr Hilton welcomes enquiries from prospective doctoral researchers in his areas of interest.

Research

Dr Hilton is a research focused palaeobotanist and evolutionary plant biologist. His underlying goals are to increase the quantity of paleobotanical data included into evolutionary analyses and to improving the quality of existing fossil plant data.

Other activities

Dr Hilton is an avid fossil collector and enjoys spending time in the field and reading, and avoiding tasks including cleaning cars and gardening.

Publications

Recent publications

Article

Scott, A, Hilton, J, Galtier, J & Stampanoni, M 2019, 'A charcoalified ovule adapted for wind dispersal and deterring herbivory from the late Visean (Carboniferous) of Scotland', International Journal of Plant Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1086/705590

Neregato, RODRIGO & Hilton, J 2019, 'Reinvestigation of the enigmatic carboniferous sphenophyte strobilus cheirostrobus scott and implications of in situ retusotriletes spores', International Journal of Plant Sciences, vol. 180, no. 8, pp. 811-833. https://doi.org/10.1086/704945

Xiao-Yuan, H, Wang, S-J, Wang, J & Hilton, J 2019, 'The anatomically preserved tripinnate frond rothwellopteris pecopteroides gen. Et sp. nov. from the latest permian of south China: timing the stem to crown group transition in Marattiales', International Journal of Plant Sciences, vol. 180, no. 8, pp. 869-881. https://doi.org/10.1086/704946

Yang, Y, Xiao-Yuan, H, Hilton, J, Zhou, F-G, Chen, X-S & Wang, S-J 2019, 'Xuanweioxylon damogouense sp. nov., a gymnosperm stem from the Lopingian (late Permian) of southwestern China and its systematic and paleoecological implications', Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, vol. 269, pp. 94-103. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.revpalbo.2019.06.012

Wang, S, Shao, L, Wang, D, Hilton, J & Lu, J 2019, 'Controls on accumulation of anonymously thick coals: implications for sequence stratigraphic analysis', Sedimentology.

Guo, B, Shao, L, Hilton, J, Wang, S & Zhang, L 2018, 'Sequence stratigraphic interpretation of peatland evolution in thick coal seams: Examples from Yimin Formation (Early Cretaceous), Hailaer Basin, China', International Journal of Coal Geology, vol. 196, pp. 211-231. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coal.2018.07.013

Zhao, Z, Tan, J, Ju, Y, Hilton, J, Yang, R, Zhou, P, Huang, Y, Ning, B & Liu, J 2018, 'Natural gas potential of Carboniferous and Permian transitional shales in central Hunan, South China', Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, vol. 55, pp. 520-533. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jngse.2018.05.024

Xiao, Z, Liu, J, Tan, J, Yang, R, Hilton, J, Zhou, P, Wang, Z & Cao, Y 2018, 'Geological characterization of a lower Cambrian marine shale: implications for shale gas potential in North-Western Hunan, South China', Interpretation, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. T635-T647. https://doi.org/10.1190/INT-2017-0117.1

He, X, Shi, T, Wan, M, Wang, S, Hilton, J, Tang, P & Wang, J 2017, 'Peltaspermalean seed ferns with preserved cuticle from the Upper Triassic Karamay Formation in the Junggar Basin, northwestern China', Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, vol. 247, pp. 68-82. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.revpalbo.2017.08.002

Lu, J, Shao, L, Yang, M, Wheeley, J, Wang, H & Hilton, J 2017, 'Depositional model for peat swamp coal facies evolution using sedimentology, coal macerals, geochemistry and sequence stratigraphy', Journal of Earth Science, vol. 28, no. 6, pp. 1163-1177.

Spencer, ART, Garwood, RJ, Rees, A, Hollingworth, N, Raine, R, Rothwell, GW & Hilton, J 2017, 'New insights into Mesozoic cycad evolution: an exploration of anatomically preserved Cycadaceae seeds from the Jurassic Oxford Clay biota', PeerJ. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3723

Yu, JF, Zhao, XG, Pang, XL, Hilton, J, FU, WH, ZHAO, XL, Song, ZJ, Hu, JL, Lu, L, Zhang, HJ, Yang, ZQ, Qiao, WY & Shi, S 2017, 'Redefining the age of the Cenozoic Shangwang Formation in Shangwang Basin', Acta Geologica Sinica, vol. 91, no. 4, pp. 1941-1942. https://doi.org/10.1111/1755-6724.13376

Wang, S-J, Bateman, RM, Spencer, ART, Wang, J, Shao, L & Hilton, J 2017, 'Anatomically preserved "strobili" and leaves from the Permian of China (Dorsalistachyaceae, fam. nov.) broaden knowledge of Noeggerathiales and constrain their possible taxonomic affinities', American Journal of Botany, vol. 104, no. 1, pp. 127-149. https://doi.org/10.3732/ajb.1600371

Comment/debate

Hilton, J & Riding, J 2016, 'Age and identity of the oldest pine fossils', Geology, vol. 44, no. 8, pp. e400-401. https://doi.org/10.1130/G38050C.1

Review article

Coiro, M, Doyle, JA & Hilton, J 2019, 'How deep is the conflict between molecular and fossil evidence on the age of angiosperms?', New Phytologist, vol. 223, no. 1, pp. 83-99. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.15708

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