Professor Liz Harper

MA (Cantab), PhD (Open)

Director of Studies, Postgraduate Mentor

College Roles

  • Director of Studies in Natural Sciences Physical (Earth Sciences Parts IB, II & III)
  • Postgraduate Mentor

University Roles

  • Honorary Professor at Department of Earth Sciences
  • Curator of the Sedgwick Museum


Telephone: 01223 332846



Prof Liz Harper is an paleobiologist. 

I graduated with a BA (Hons) in Geological Sciences in which I specialized in Part II in Palaeobiology. I moved to the Open University in Milton Keynes to explore how oysters attach to hard surfaces, a combination of biology and mineralogy, before returning to Cambridge first as Research Fellow at Caius College and then a Royal Society Research Fellow, before finally becoming a College Lecturer. I lecture in the Department of Earth Sciences and am an Honorary Fellow of the British Arctic Survey.

Research Interests

I use a range of zoological and palaeontological techniques to unravel the intrinsic and extrinsic controls that have shaped evolution. I am particularly interested in biomineralization and am currently very involved in looking at the impact of ocean acidification on shelled organisms.

A list of recent publications is available on her Departmental research page.