Derek E.G. Briggs is Frederick William Beinecke Professor of Geology and Geophysics and Director of Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History. A distinguished paleontologist whose primary research interest is the preservation and evolutionary significance of exceptionally preserved fossils, Briggs joined the faculty of Yale University in 2003. He served as Director of the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies from 2004 to 2008. He was President of the Palæontological Association from 2002-2004 and President of the Paleontological Society from 2006-2007. He has written extensively, especially on life in the Paleozoic Era. In 1999 he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society (the UK academy of science), and in 2003 he became an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy. He held a Humboldt Research Award at the University of Bonn in 2008.
Except for a one-year term from 2001-2002 as a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago, his prior appointments were in the UK. From 1985-2002 Briggs was in the Department of Earth Sciences (formerly Geology) at the University of Bristol, serving as chair from 1997-2001. From 1977-1985, he was at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, in the Department of Geology. He earned his BA at Trinity College, Dublin, and his MA and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, where he was a Research Fellow from 1974-1977.