Personal profile

Personal profile

I'm a palaeontologist with a passion for communication. I work at the interface of research, education and media.

Its hard to imagine a subject more exciting than the History of Life - three billion years of evolution, just waiting to be discovered! I've been passionate about palaeontology for more or less the whole of my life and its a great privilege to have turned that childhood curiosity into a career.

My research mostly deals with the evolution of terrestrial ecosystems over the past 500 million years. Some recent work has investigated (1) the invasion of land by animals, (2) the rise and fall of the first rainforests, and (3) forest biogeography in the age of the dinosaurs. I'm always looking for new research students and postdocs with related interests, so please free feel to drop me a line to discuss projects, funding or collaborations.

I'm a passionate communicator and believe that there is an amazing synergy between research, education and science media. I teach undergraduate and graduate level courses at Royal Holloway University of London and work closely with radio, TV, and print/online outlets to get science stories out to the widest possible audience.

Honours and Awards

Prestigious fellowships held: NERC Advanced Fellow (2008-2013), Humboldt Experienced Fellow (2011-2012), Leverhulme Early Career Fellow (2007-2008), NERC Fellow (2002-2005), and Killam Fellow (2000-2002).

Other prizes: Pikaia Award of Geologists Association of Canada for outstanding contributions to palaeontology (2012), Winston Churchill Fellow to investigate philanthropy in science funding (2011), British Science Association Media Fellow at the BBC (2010), Murchison Prize of the Geological Society for outstanding contributions to geology (2009).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


  • Palaeontology
  • Palaeoclimates
  • Palaeoenvironments
  • Earth History
  • Palaeoecology
  • Science Media
  • History of Science
  • Outreach
  • Science Communcation
  • Widening Participation

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or