David  Cantrill

David Cantrill

Chief Botanist and Director, Plant Sciences and Biodiversity

Research interests

The history of Antarctic vegetation and, in particular, the role that Antarctica has played in developing present day patterns of plant distribution in the Southern Hemisphere is a major focus of my research. I have worked extensively in the Antarctic and more recently in South Africa and New Zealand concentrating on fossil floras from the Cretaceous and early Cenozoic. I also have interests in a number of extant groups including Proteaceae and Rutaceae and in integrating the results of molecular and morphological studies with information from the geological record.

  • Refereed journal articles
  • Books
  • Book chapters

Sauquet, H., Ho, S.Y.W., Gandolfo, M.A., Jordan, G.J., Wilf, P., Cantrill, D.J., Bayly, M.J., Bromham, L., Brown, G.K., Carpenter, R.J., Lee, D.M., Murphy, D.J., Sniderman, J.M.K. and Udovicic, F. (2012). Testing the impact of calibration on molecular divergence times using a fossil-rich group: the case ofNothofagus (Fagales). Systematic Biology 61(2), 289–313.

Syme, A.E., Murphy, D.J., Holmes, G.D., Gardner, S., Fowler, R. and Cantrill, D.J. (2012). An expanded phylogenetic analysis of Austrostipa (Poaceae: Stipeae) to test infrageneric relationships. Australian Systematic Botany 25, 1–10. 

Byrne, M., Steane, D., Joseph, L., Yeates, D., Jordan, G., Crayn, D., Sniderman, J.M.K., Alpin, K., Cantrill, D.J., Cook, L., Crisp, M.D., Keogh, J.S., Melville, J., Moritz, C., Proch, N., Sunnucks P. and Weston, P. (2011). Decline of a biome: contraction, fragmentation, extinction and invasion of the Australian mesic zone biota.  Journal of Biogeography 38. doi:

Cantrill, D.J., Tosolini, A.-M.P. and Francis, J.E. (2011). Paleocene flora from Seymour Island, Antarctica: revision of Dusén’s (1908) pteridophyte and conifer taxa.  Alcheringa 35, 309–328.

Cantrill, D.J., Wanntorp, L. and Drinnan, A.N. (2011). Mesofossil flora from the Late Cretaceous of New Zealand.  Cretaceous Research 32, 164–173.

Rich, T.H., Vickers-Rich, P., Flannery, T.F., Kear, B.P., Cantrill, D.J., Komarower, P., Kool, L., Pickering, D., Trusler, P., Morton, S., van Klaveren, N. and Fitzgerald, E.M.G. (2009). An Australian multituberculate. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 54, 1–6.

Sauquet, H., Weston, P.H., Anderson, C.L., Barker, N.P., Cantrill, D.J., Mast, A.R. and Savolainen, V. (2009). Contrasted patterns of hyperdiversification in Mediterranean hotspots. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106, 221–225.

Sauquet, H., Weston, P.H., Barker, N.P., Anderson, C.L., Cantrill, D.J. and Savolainen, V. (2009). Using fossils and molecular data to reveal the origins of the Cape proteas (subfamily Proteoideae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 51, 31–43.

Ladiges, P.Y. and Cantrill, D.J. (2007). New Caledonia-Australian connections: biogeographic patterns and geology. Australian Systematic Botany 20, 383–389.

Philippe, M. and Cantrill, D.J. (2007). Nomenclatural types and taxonomy of Gothan's Arctic fossil woods. Taxon 56, 551–566.

Poole, I. and Cantrill, D.J. (2007). The arboreal component of the Neogene Forest Bed, West Point Island, Falkland Islands. International Association of Wood Anatomists Journal 28, 423–444.

Sauquet, H. and Cantrill, D.J. (2007). Pollen diversity and evolution in the Proteoideae (Proteales: Proteaceae). Systematic Botany 32, 271–316.

Zalasiewicz, J., Smith, A., Hounslow, M., Williams, M., Gale, A., Powell, J., Waters, C., Barry, T.L., Bown, P.R., Brenchley, P., Cantrill, D.J., Gibbard, P., Gregory, F.J., Knox, R., Marshall, J., Oates, M., Rawson, P., Stone, P. and Trewin N. (2007). The scale-dependence of strata-time relations: implications for stratigraphic classification. Stratigraphy 4, 139–144.

Cantrill, D.J. and Raine, J.I. (2006). Wairarapaia mildenhallii gen. et sp. nov., a new araucarian cone related to Wollemia from the Cretaceous (Albian-Cenomanian) of New Zealand. International Journal of Plant Sciences 167, 1259–1269.

Cleal, C.J., Rees, P.M., Zijlstra, G. and Cantrill, D.J. (2006). A clarification of the type of the morphogenus Nilssoniopteris Nathorst (Gymnospermophyta, Bennettitales, fossiles). Taxon 55, 219–222.

Hunter, M.A. and Cantrill, D.J. (2006). A new stratigraphy for the Latady Basin, Antarctica. Part 2. Latady Group and basin evolution. Geological Magazine 143, 797–819.

Hunter, M.A., Cantrill, D.J. and Flowerdew, M. (2006). Latest Jurassic – earliest Cretaceous age for a fossil flora from the Latady Basin, Antarctic Peninsula.Antarctic Science 18, 261–264.

Hunter, M.A., Riley, T.R., Cantrill, D.J., Flowerdew, M.J. and Millar, I.L. (2006). A new stratigraphy for the Latady Basin, Antarctica. Part 1. Ellsworth Land Volcanic Group. Geological Magazine 143, 777–796.

Macphail, M.K. and Cantrill, D.J. (2006). Age and implications of the Forest Bed, Falkland Islands, southwest Atlantic: evidence from fossil pollen and spores. Palaeogeography, Palaeoecology, Palaeoclimatology 240, 602–629.

Nagalingum, N.S. and Cantrill, D.J. (2006). Early Cretaceous Gleicheniaceae and Matoniacae (Gleicheniales) from Alexander Island, Antarctica. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 138, 73–93

Cantrill, D.J. and Hunter, M.A. (2005). Macrofossil floras of the Latady Basin, Antarctic Peninsula. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 48, 537–553

Cantrill, D.J. and Nagalingum, N.S. (2005). Ferns from the Cretaceous of Alexander Island, Antarctica: implications for Cretaceous phytogeography of the Southern Hemisphere. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 137, 83–103.

Cantrill, D.J. and Poole I. (2005). A new Eocene Araucaria from Seymour Island, Antarctica: evidence for growth form and bark morphology. Alcheringa29, 341–350.

Cantrill, D.J. and Poole, I. (2005). Taxonomic turnover and abundance in Cretaceous to Tertiary wood floras of Antarctica: implications for changes in forest ecology. Palaeogeography, Palaeoecology, Palaeoclimatology 215, 205–219.

Gibbard, P.L., Smith, A.G., Zalasiewicz, J.A., Barry, T.L., Cantrill, D.J., Cope, J.C.W., Gale, A.S., Powell, J.H. and Rawson, P.R. (2005). What status for the Quaternary? Boreas 34, 1–6.

Hunter, M.A., Cantrill, D.J., Flowerdew, M. and Millar, I.L. (2005). Middle Jurassic age for the Botany Bay Group implications for Weddell Sea Basin creation and Southern Hemisphere Biostratigraphy. Journal of the Geological Society of London 162, 745–748.

Poole, I., Cantrill, D.J. and Utescher, T. (2005). A multi-proxy approach to determine Antarctic terrestrial palaeoclimate during the Late Cretaceous and early Tertiary. Palaeogeography, Palaeoecology, Palaeoclimatology 222, 95–121.

Ashworth, A.C. and Cantrill, D.J. (2004). Neogene vegetation of the Meyer Desert Formation (Sirius Group) Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica.Palaeogeography, Palaeoecology, Palaeoclimatology 213, 65–82.

Crame, J.A., Francis, J.E., Cantrill, D.J. and Pirrie, D. (2004). Maastrichtian stratigraphy of Antarctica. Cretaceous Research 25, 411–423.

Eklund, H., Francis, J.E. and Cantrill, D.J. (2004). Late Cretaceous plant mesofossils from Table Nunatak, Antarctica. Cretaceous Research 25, 211–228.

Poole, I., Bergen, P.F. van, Kool, J., Schouten, S. and Cantrill, D.J. (2004). Molecular isotopic heterogeneity of fossil organic matter: implications for d13Cbiomass and d13Cpalaeoatmosphere proxies. Organic Geochemistry 35, 1261–1274.

Poole, I., Mennega, A.M.W. and Cantrill, D.J. (2003). Valdivian ecosystems in the Late Cretaceous and early Tertiary of Antarctica: further evidence from myrtaceous, eucryphiaceous fossil wood. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 124, 9–27.

Falcon-Lang, H.J. and Cantrill, D.J. (2002). Terrestrial palaeoecology of the Cretaceous (early Aptian) Cerro Negro Formation, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. A record of polar vegetation in a volcanic arc environment. Palaios17, 535–549.

Nichols, G.J. and Cantrill, D.J. (2002). Tectonic and climatic controls on a Mesozoic forearc basin succession, Alexander Island, Antarctica. Geological Magazine 139, 313–330.

Cantrill, D.J. (2001). Cretaceous high-latitude terrestrial ecosystems: an example from Alexander Island, Antarctica. Asociación Paleontológica Argentina Publicación Especial 7, 39–44.

Cantrill, D.J. (2001). Early Oligocene Nothofagus from CRP-3, Antarctica: implications for the vegetation history. Terra Antarctica 8, 401–406.

Cantrill, D.J. and Falcon-Lang, H.J. (2001). Cretaceous (Late Albian) Coniferales of Alexander Island, Antarctica. 2. Leaves, reproductive structures and roots. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 115, 119–145.

Falcon-Lang, H.J. and Cantrill, D.J. (2001). Gymnosperm woods from the Cretaceous (mid-Aptian) Cerro Negro Formation, Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island, Antarctica: the arborescent vegetation of a volcanic arc. Cretaceous Research 22, 277–293.

Falcon-Lang, H.J. and Cantrill, D.J. (2001). Leaf phenology of mid-Cretaceous polar conifers, Alexander Island, Antarctica. Geological Magazine 138, 39–52.

Falcon-Lang, H.J., Cantrill, D.J. and Nichols, G.J. (2001). Biodiversity and terrestrial ecology of a mid-Cretaceous, high latitude floodplain, Alexander Island, Antarctica. Journal of the Geological Society London 158, 709–724.

Howe, J. and Cantrill, D.J. (2001). Palaeoecology and taxonomy of Pentoxylales from the Albian of Antarctica. Cretaceous Research 22, 779–793.

Poole, I. and Cantrill, D.J. (2001). Fossil woods from Williams Point Beds, Livingston Island, Antarctica: a Late Cretaceous southern high latitude flora.Palaeontology 44, 1081–1112.

Poole, I., Hunt, R.J. and Cantrill, D.J. (2001). A fossil wood flora from King George Island: ecological implications for an Antarctic Eocene vegetation.Annals of Botany 88, 33–54.

Cantrill, D.J. (2000). A petrified cycad trunk from the Late Cretaceous of the Larsen Basin, Antarctica. Alcheringa 24, 307–318.

Cantrill, D.J. (2000). A new macroflora from the South Orkney Islands, Antarctica: evidence of an Early to Middle Jurassic age for the Powell Island Conglomerate. Antarctic Science 12, 185–195.

Cantrill, D.J. (2000). A Cretaceous macroflora from a freshwater lake deposit, President Head, Snow Island, Antarctica. Palaeontographica Abt B 253, 153–191.

Falcon-Lang, H.J. and Cantrill, D.J. (2000). Cretaceous (Late Albian) Coniferales of Alexander Island, Antarctica. 1. Wood taxonomy. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 111, 1–17.

Poole, I, Cantrill, D.J., Hayes, P. and Francis, J.E. (2000). Cunoniaceae wood from the Mesozoic of Antarctica. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 111, 127–144.

Hathway, B., Duane, A.M., Cantrill, D.J. and Kelly, S. (1999). A new radiometric tie for Lower Cretaceous terrestrial biostratigraphy in the Southern Hemisphere: 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and palynology of the Cerro Negro Formation, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. Australian Journal of Earth Science 46, 593–606.

Cantrill, D.J. (1998). Early Cretaceous fern foliage referable to Lophosoriaceae from President Head, Snow Island, Antarctica. Alcheringa 22, 241–258.

Cantrill, D.J. and Webb, J.A. (1998). Permineralized pleuromeid lycopsid remains from the Early Triassic Arcadia Formation, Queensland, Australia.Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 102, 189–211.

Hathway, B., Macdonald, D.I.M., Riding, J.B. and Cantrill, D.J. (1998). Table Nunatak: a key outcrop of Upper Cretaceous shallow-marine strata in the southern Larsen Basin, Antarctic Peninsula. Geological Magazine 135, 519–535.

Riding, J.B., Crame, J.A., Dettmann, M.E. and Cantrill, D.J. (1998). The age of the base of the Gustav Group, James Ross Basin, Antarctica. Cretaceous Research 19, 87–105.

Cantrill, D.J. (1997). Hepatophytes from the Cretaceous of Alexander Island, Antarctica: systematics and ecology. International Journal of Plant Sciences158, 476–488.

Cantrill, D.J. (1997). The pteridophyte Ashicaulis livingstonensis(Osmundaceae) from the Upper Cretaceous of Williams Point, Livingston Island, Antarctica. New Zealand Journalof Geology and Geophysics 40, 315–323.

Riley, T., Crame, J.A., Thomson, M.R.A. and Cantrill, D.J. (1997). Late Jurassic (Kimmeridgian-Tithonian) macrofossil assemblage from Jason Peninsula, Graham Land: evidence for a significant northward extension of the Latady Formation. Antarctic Science 9, 432–440.

Cantrill, D.J. (1996). Fern thickets from the Cretaceous of Alexander Island, Antarctica containing Alamatus bifarius Douglas and Aculea acicularis sp. nov.Cretaceous Research 17, 169–182.

Cantrill, D.J. and Nichols, G.J. (1996). Taxonomy and palaeoecology of Lower Cretaceous angiosperm leaves from Alexander Island, Antarctica. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 92, 1–28.

Cantrill, D.J. (1995). The occurrence of the fern Hausmannia Dunker (Dipteridaceae) in the Cretaceous of Alexander Island, Antarctica. Alcheringa19, 243–254.

Cantrill, D.J., Drinnan, A.N. and Webb, J.A. (1995). Late Triassic plant fossils from the Prince Charles Mountains, East Antarctica. Antarctic Science 7, 51–62.

Parris, K.M., Drinnan, A.N. and Cantrill, D.J. (1995). Palissya cones from the Mesozoic of Australia and New Zealand. Alcheringa 19, 87–112.

Cantrill, D.J. and Drinnan, A.N. (1994). Late Triassic megaspores from the Amery Group, Prince Charles Mountains, East Antarctica. Alcheringa 18, 71–78.

Jarzemboski, E.A, Spicer, R.A. and Cantrill, D.J. (1993). Cretaceous phytogeography and climate signals – discussion. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B – Biological Sciences 341, 285–286.

Neish, P.G., Drinnan, A.N. and Cantrill, D.J. (1993). Structure and ontogeny ofVertebraia roots from silicified Permian sediments in East Antarctica. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 79, 221–244.

Cantrill, D.J. (1992). Araucarian foliage from the Lower Cretaceous of southern Victoria, Australia. International Journal of Plant Science 153, 622–645.

Cantrill, D.J. (1991). Broad leafed coniferous foliage from the Lower Cretaceous Otway Group, southeastern Australia. Alcheringa 15, 177–190.

Cantrill, D.J. and Douglas, J.G. (1988). Mycorrhizal conifer roots from the Lower Cretaceous of the Otway Basin, Victoria. Australian Journal of Botany 36, 257–272.

CantrillD.J. and Webb, J.A. (1987). A reappraisal of Phyllopteroides Medwell (Osmundaceae) and its stratigraphic significance in the Lower Cretaceous of eastern Australia. Alcheringa 11, 59–85.

Cantrill, D.J. and Poole, I. (2012). The vegetation of Antarctica through geological time. Cambridge University Press, New York. 

Francis, J. E., Ashworth, A., Cantrill, D.J., Crame, J. A., Howe, J., Stephens, R., Tosolini, A.-M. and Thorn, V. (2008). 100 million years of Antarctica climate evolution: evidence from fossil plants. In A.K. Cooper, P.J. Barrett, H. Stagg, B. Storey, E. Stump, W. Wise and the 10th ISAES editorial team (eds), Antarctica: a keystone in a changing world – proceedings of the 10th international symposium on Antarctic earth sciences. Washington DC, pp. 19–27. The National Academies Press, Washington DC. doi: 10.3133/of2007-1047.kp03

Haywood, A.M., Smellie, J.L., Ashworth, A.C., Cantrill, D.J., Florindo, F., Hambrey, M.J., Hill, D., Hillenbrand, C.-D., Hunter, S.J., Larter, R.D., Lear, C.H., Passchier, S. and Wal, R. van de (2008). Middle Miocene to Pliocene history of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. In F. Florindo and M.J. Siegert (eds),Developments in earth and environmental sciences, vol. 8, Antarctic Climate Evolution, pp. 401–463. Elsevier, Amsterdam.

Cantrill, D.J. and Isbell, J.I. (2007). Antarctic correlation charts. In J.M. Anderson, H.M. Anderson and C.J. Cleal (eds), A brief history of the gymnosperms: classification, biodiversity, phytogeography and ecology, pp. 50.Strelitzia 20.

Hayes, P., Francis, J.E., Cantrill, D.J. and Crame, J.A. (2006). Palaeoclimate analysis of mid Cretaceous angiosperm leaf floras, James Ross Island, Antarctica. In J.E. Francis, D. Pirrie and J.A. Crame (eds), Cretaceous – Tertiary high-latitude palaeoenvironments, James Ross Basin, Antarctica, pp. 49–62,Geological Society of London Special Publication 258. Geological Society of London.

Poole, I. and Cantrill, D.J. (2006). Cretaceous and Cenozoic vegetation of Antarctica integrating the fossil wood record. In J.E. Francis, D. Pirrie and J.A. Crame (eds) Cretaceous – Tertiary high-latitude palaeoenvironments, James Ross Basin, Antarctica, pp. 63–81, Geological Society of London Special Publication 258. Geological Society of London.

Cantrill, D.J. and Poole, I.P. (2002). Cretaceous patterns of floristic change in the Antarctic Peninsula. In J.A. Crame and A.W. Owen (eds)Palaeobiogeography and biodiversity change: a comparison of the Ordovician and Mesozoic-Cenozoic radiations, pp. 141–152, Geological Society of London Special Publication 194. Geological Society of London.

Cantrill, D.J. (1997). Floristics of a Lower Cretaceous freshwater lake deposit from President Head, Snow Island, South Shetland Islands. In C.A. Ricci (ed.),The Antarctic region: geological evolution and processes, pp. 1017–1022. Terrra Antarctic Publications, Siena.