Dr Ninon Robin


I’m a postdoctoral researcher interested in palaeosymbioses, in the evolution biotic associations of organisms, as well as in examples of quite exceptional fossilisations. I did my phD and part of postdoc cursus in Paris (Museum national d’Histoire naturelle) where I worked on some interspecific relationships in marine fossil invertebrates. Then I worked on some terrestrial associations in a short-term Fulbright project in New-York on the symbionts of socials insects (termites) preserved in amber. Today, in McNamara palaeolab, I study the taphonomy of the skin in some vertebrates to enhance my knowledge on fossil pathways of preservations at microscales.

Research Interests

So far, my research in palaeontology has addressed the contact associations of fossil organisms and their implications for the identification of possible palaeosymbioses (parasitic, commensal or mutualistic types) or palaeopredations in different contexts of preservations (sediments, amber, chert). I am interested in all aspects of interspecific associations and their evolution, mainly involving fossil invertebrates, but also vertebrates and plants as hosts. Going through cases of fossil direct associations, I became interested in microtaphonomy as a tool for the understanding of these associations, as well as other examples of quite exceptional preservations. At the palaeolab, I am investigating a different model: that of the integumentary anatomy of exceptionally preserved fossils of amphibians and reptiles, combined to modern skins actual composition and pathways of decay and maturation. I wish to use this structural approach to develop skills and understanding in microtaphonomy (fossil patterns & experiments) and being able to apply it further when documenting exceptional fossil cases of soft-tissues or biotic associations.



  1. Robin N., Van Bakel B.W.M., Hyžný M., Cincotta A., Garcia G., Charbonnier S., Godefroit P., Valentin X. The oldest freshwater crabs: claws on dinosaur bones. Scientific Reports, in press. DOI: s41598-019-56180-w
  2. Robin N., D’Haese C., Barden P. 2019. Fossil amber reveals springtails’ longstanding dispersal by social insects. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 19 (213). DOI: 10.1186/s12862-019-1529-6
  3. Robin N. Importance of data on fossil symbioses for parasite-host evolution. In De Baets K & Huntley J.W. (eds.) The evolution and fossil record of parasitism – Identification and macroevolution of parasites, vol. 2. Topics in Geobiology, Springer, Dordrecht. in press.
  4. Audo D., Robin , Luque J., Krobicki M., Haug J.T., Haug C., Jauvion C., Charbonnier S. 2019. Palaeoecology of Voulteryon parvulus (Eucrustacea, Polychelida) from the Middle Jurassic of La Voulte-sur-Rhône Fossil-Lagerstätte (France). Scientific Reports, 9 (1), 5332. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-41834-6
  5. Boura A. Saulnier G., De Franceschi D., Gomez B., Daviero-Gomez V., Pons D., Garcia G., Robin N., Boiteau J-M., Valentin. , 2019. Vesselless angiosperm: Early record from the middle Cenomanian of the Envigne valley, western France. IAWA Journal, 1 (aop), 2-21 DOI: 10.1163/22941932-40190238
  6. Robin N., Marramà G., Vonk R., Kriwet J., Carnevale G. 2019 Eocene isopods on electric rays: tracking ancient biological interactions from a complex fossil record. Palaeontology, 62 (2), 287-303. DOI: 1111/pala.12398
  7. Robin N., Boura A., Velasquez M., Garcia G, Jauvion C, Boiteau J.-M., Gomez B., Daviero-Gomez V., Valentin X.,2018. The oldest shipworms (Bivalvia, Pholadoidea, Teredinidae) preserved with soft parts (western France): insights into the fossil record and evolution of Pholadoidea. Palaeontology 61 (6), 905-918. DOI: 1111/pala.12376
  8. Robin N., Van Bakel B.W.M., Blanc-Valleron M-M., Noël P., Lemaire L., Charbonnier S., 2018. First fossil crabs (Crustacea, Decapoda, Brachyura) from the Kerguelen Islands (Miocene) and their exceptionally preserved gills. Journal of Paleontology, 92 (3), 466-477. DOI: 11017/jpa.2017.129
  9. Van Bakel B.W.M., Robin N.*, Charbonnier S., Saward J, 2017. Revision of Dromilites bucklandii (Crustacea, Decapoda, Brachyura): type material revealing its real identity, a junior synonym, and a new species. Paleontologia electronica3.61A: 1-12. DOI: 10.26879/813
  10. Key M., Hyžný M., Khosravi E., Hudáčková N., Robin N., Mirzaie Ataabadi M., 2017. Bryozoan epibiosis on fossil crabs: a rare occurrence from the Miocene of Iran. Palaios 32 (8), 491-505. DOI:2110/palo.2017.040
  11. Robin N., Van Bakel W.M., Pacaud J-M, Charbonnier S., 2017. Decapod crustaceans from the Palaeocene (Danian) of the Parisian Basin (Vigny stratotype and allied localities) and a limpet palaeoassociation. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 15 (4), 257-273. DOI: 10.1080/14772019.2016.1182950
  12. Gašparič, Fraaije R.H., Robin N., De Angeli A., 2016. The first record of paguroids from the Eocene of Istria (Croatia) and further phylogenetic refinement of the paguroidea (Crustacea, Anomura). Bulletin of Geosciences 91 (3), 467-480. DOI: 10.3140/bull.geosci.1616
  13. Robin , Foldi I., Godinot M., Petit G., 2016. Scale insect larvae preserved in vertebrate coprolites (Le Quesnoy, France, Lower Eocene): palaeoecological insights. The Science of Nature, 103:85. DOI: 10.1007/s00114-016-1412-x
  14. Robin , Sidorchuk E., Béthoux O., Cui Y., Li Y., Germain D., King A., Berenguer F., Ren D. 2016. A Carboniferous mite on an insect: antiquity of an inconspicuous interaction revealed. Current Biology 26, 1-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.03.068
  15. Robin N., Simpson M., Merle D., Petit G., Charbonnier S., 2016. Bivalves on mecochirid lobsters from the Aptian of the Isle of Wight: snapshot on an early Cretaceous palaeosymbiosis. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 453, 10-19. DOI: 1016/j.palaeo.2016.03.025
  16. Hyžný M., Perrier V., Robin N., Martin J.E., Sarr R., 2015. Costacopluma (Decapoda: Brachyura: Retroplumidae) from the Maastrichtian and Paleocene of Senegal: a survivor of K/P boundary Cretaceous Research 57, 142-156. DOI: 1016/j.cretres.2015.08.010
  17. Robin N., Van Bakel W.M., D’Hondt J-L., Charbonnier S., 2015. A new early brachyuran (Crustacea, Decapoda) from the Middle Jurassic of northwest France, epibionts and ecological considerations. Contributions to Zoology 84 (3), 179-191.
  18. Robin N., Bernard S., Miot J., Blanc-Valleron M-M., Charbonnier S., Petit G., 2015. ­Calcification and diagenesis of bacterial colonies. Minerals 5, 488-506. DOI: 3390/min5030488
  19. Robin N., Petit G., Charbonnier S., 2015. A newly recognized Mesozoic–Recent interspecific association: calcifying bacteria on decapod crustaceans. Lethaia 48(4) 463-473. DOI: 1111/let.12120
  20. Petit G., Robin N., Zorzin R., Merle D., 2014. Fossil Gastropods (?Aclis aenigmaticussp.) on a fish from the Monte Bolca Lagerstätte (Eocene, Northern Italy): an enigmatic association. Studi e ricerche sui giacimenti terziari di Bolca, XV - Miscellanea paleontologica 12, 129-136. 
  21. Robin N., Charbonnier S., Bartolini A., Petit G., 2013. First occurrence of encrusting nubeculariids (Foraminifera) on a mobile host (Crustacea, Decapoda) from the Upper Jurassic Eichstätt Lagerstätte, Germany: a new possible relation of phoresy. Marine Micropalaeontology 104, 44-52. DOI: 10.1016/j.marmicro.2013.09.001



Contact Details:


Postdoctoral Researcher


Dr Maria McNamara

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

An Scoil Eolaíochtaí Bitheolaíocha, Domhaneolaíocha agus Comhshaoil

University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, Ireland T23 N73K