Dr Nicolas Campione

Lecturer - School of Environmental and Rural Science

Nicolas Campione

Phone: +61 6773 1906

Email: ncampion@une.edu.au

Twitter: @PaleoNic


Nic’s research combines traditional palaeontological practices, such as field-based and taxonomic research, with quantitative techniques to explore biology in the fossil record. The fossil record can tell us much about anatomical variation in the past and the changes that such variation has undergone over time; a direct record of evolution. However, it is much more difficult to interpret why variation changes or the factors that drove it. To this end, Nic adopts a suite of morphometric and phylogenetic techniques to define ranges of morphological variation in the fossil record and correlate these with ecologically-relevant data from the living record. To date, his research has contributed new knowledge on the nature and evolution of dinosaur body size, the origin of feathers in dinosaurs, and the extinction/recovery patterns of sharks across the end-Cretaceous extinction.

Although dinosaurs continue to drive much of Dr Campione’s research, his research group study anatomical variation in an array of organisms, including sharks, mammals, and invertebrates. Along with UNE colleague Dr Phil Bell, he runs the Boreal Alberta Dinosaur Project, exploring Late Cretaceous vertebrate diversity from the north-western part of the province of Alberta, Canada.


B.Sc. Honours – Earth Sciences w/ concentration in Vertebrate Palaeontology – Carleton University

M.Sc. – Zoology – University of Toronto

Ph.D. – Ecology and Evolutionary Biology – University of Toronto

Teaching Areas

GEOL110 – Our Blue Planet

EVOL102 – Evolution in the Fossil Record

GEOL202 – Introductory Palaeontology

GEOL315 – Vertebrate Palaeontology

EVOL301/501 – Biological Systematics

Research Interests

  • Quantitative patterns of morphological evolution over time and through phylogeny
  • Dinosaur body size, estimation and evolution
  • Dinosaur systematics, macroevolution, and ecology
  • 400 million-year evolution of sharks (through tooth morphometrics)

Research Grants

2019–present: Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Research Award DE190101423; Revealing the diets of dinosaurs through the complexity and shape of teeth [AUD $370,000]

Research Supervision Experience

Current students:

  • Justin Kitchener (Ph.D.) – Ornithopod phylogeny and the evolution of burrowing.
  • Mohamad Bazzi (Ph.D., Uppsala University, principal supervisor: Prof. Per Ahlberg) – Evolution of lamniform and carcharhiniform sharks through tooth shape
  • Brayden Holland (M.Sc.) – Systematics and taphonomy of a hadrosaurid bonebed from the Wapiti Formation, Alberta, Canada
  • Nathan Enriquez (M.Sc., principal supervisor: Dr Phil Bell) – A new dinosaur track site from the Wapiti Formation, Alberta, Canada
  • Nicholas Hartnett (Honours) – Systematics of Dipnoi from the Griman Creek Formation, NSW, Australia


For a full list, please visit Dr Campione’s Google Scholar Page.

Den Boer W, Campione NE, Kear BP. (2019). Climbing adaptations, locomotory disparity and ecological convergence in ancient stem ‘kangaroos’. Royal Society Open Science 6: 181617.

Bicknell RDC, Collins KS, Crundwell M, Hannah M, Crampton JS, Campione NE. (2018). Evolutionary transition in the Late Neogene planktonic foraminiferal genus Truncorotalia. iScience 8: P295–303.

Bazzi M, Kear BP, Blom H, Ahlberg PE, Campione NE. (2018). Static dental disparity and morphological turnover in sharks across the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. Current Biology 28(16): P2607–2615.E3.

Benson RBJ, Hunt G, Carrano MT, Campione N. (2018). Cope's rule and the adaptive landscape of dinosaur body size evolution. Palaeontology 61(1): 13–48.

Campione NE. (2017). Extrapolating body masses in large terrestrial vertebrates. Paleobiology 43(4): 693–699.

Bell PR, Campione NE, Person IV WS, Currie PJ, Larson PL, Tanke DH, Bakker RT. (2017). Tyrannosauroid integument reveals conflicting patterns of gigantism and feather evolution. Biology Letters 13: 20170092.

VanBuren CS, Campione NE, Evans DC. (2015). Head size, weaponry, and cervical adaptation: testing craniocervical evolutionary hypotheses in Ceratopsia. Evolution 69(7): 1728–1744.

Barrett PM, Evans DC, Campione NE. (2015). Evolution of dinosaur epidermal structures. Biology Letters 11(6): 20150229.

Campione NE, Evans DC, Brown CM, Carrano MT. (2014). A mathematically derived equation for estimating body mass in terrestrial bipedal tetrapods. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 5(9): 913–923.

Benson RBJ, Campione NE, Carrano MT, Mannion PD, Sullivan C, Upchurch P, Evans DC. (2014). Rates of dinosaur body mass evolution indicate 170 million years of sustained ecological innovation on the avian stem lineage. PLOS BIOLOGY 12(6): e1001896.

Campione NE, Evans DC. 2012. A universal relationship between body mass and stylopodial limb bone dimensions in quadrupedal terrestrial amniotes, with implications for body mass estimation. BMC Biology 10(1): 60.

Campione NE, Evans DC. 2011. Cranial growth and variation in edmontosaurs (Dinosauria: Hadrosauridae): implications for latest Cretaceous megaherbivore diversity in North America. PLOS ONE 6(9): e25186.


Society of Vertebrate Paleontology

External Profiles

Further Information

Dr Campione is always open to expressions of interest from highly-qualified undergraduates/postgraduates for either postgraduate or postdoctoral research in vertebrate palaeobiology. Current opportunities range from dinosaur ecomorphology and cranial modularity, dinosaurs body mass estimation, shark tooth morphometrics, and quantitative palaeobiology. However, candidates are encouraged to propose their own project ideas. Candidates should know that Dr Campione’s group applies numerical approaches to palaeobiology and previous experiences/interests in biostatistics, morphometrics, etc., are desired.