1990 - 1998 Trinity College, University of Cambridge, UK.
1998 PhD Vertebrate Palaeontology (Herbivory in the non-avian Dinosauria)
1993 BA Natural Sciences (Zoology), First Class (Hons)
Prizes: Research Scholarship (1993-6). Senior Scholarship (1993), Tripos Prize (1993), Science Essay Prize (1991)
2012 - Merit Researcher (Band 2), Dept of Earth Sciences, Natural History Museum
2008 - 2012 Researcher (Band 3), Dept of Palaeontology, Natural History Museum
2006 - 2008 Researcher (Band 4), Dept of Palaeontology, Natural History Museum
2003 - 2006 Researcher (Band 5), Dept of Palaeontology, Natural History Museum
1999 - 2003 Departmental Lecturer in Animal Diversity, Dept of Zoology, University
1996 - 2000 Research Fellow, Trinity College and Dept of Earth Sciences,
University of Cambridge
2001 - 2003 Honorary Research Associate, University Museum of Natural History,
University of Oxford
2001 - 2003 Lecturer in Biological Sciences, Magdalene College, University of Oxford
2000 - 2003 Junior Research Fellow, Wolfson College, University of Oxford
2006 Hodson Award of the Palaeontological Association
2011 Bicentennial Medal of the Linnean Society of London
2013– President, The Palaeontographical Society
2013– Member-at-Large, Executive Committee, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.
2011–2013 Vice-President, The Palaeontographical Society
2010–2013 Co-Chair, Publications Committee, Society of Vertebrate
2009–2012 Programme Committee, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
2007–2010 Chair, Richard Estes Memorial Prize Committee, Society of Vertebrate
2007–2008 Morris Skinner Prize Committee, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
2006–2011 Co-Secretary, Palaeontographical Society
2005–2008 A.S. Romer Prize Committee, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
2003– Council Member, The Palaeontographical Society
2010– Co-Senior Editor, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
2009– Editorial Board, Biology Letters
2008–2011 Editor, Palaeontology
2006– Associate Editor, Geological Magazine
2005 – Associate Editor, Palaeoworld
2002–2006 Editor, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
2002– Associate editor, Journal of Systematic Palaeontology
2002–2007 Consultant editor, McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia and Yearbook of Science
Membership of Academic Societies
2011– Head of Division, Fossil Vertebrates, Anthropology and Micropalaeontology
2007–2011 Postgraduate Coordinator, Dept. of Palaeontology
2006–2007 Co-Chair, NHM Sexual Orientation Forum
2004– Ground Floor Fire Marshall, Dept. of Palaeontology
Exhibition Development and Consultancy
2012 Treasures Gallery (Permanent Gallery)
2011 Age of the Dinosaur (Touring Exhibition)
2006 Dino Jaws (Touring Exhibition)
2005 Diplodocus: celebrating 100 years at the museum (Temporary Exhibition)
2004 Richard Owen: the man who invented dinosaurs (Temporary Exhibition)
My major research interests are centred on the evolutionary palaeobiology of dinosaurs and other extinct amniotes. In addition, I am involved in projects to investigate macroevolutionary mechanisms, the evolution of Mesozoic terrestrial ecosystems and potential biases in the fossil record. Research is concentrated in three main areas:
2009 £230,289 from NERC for research into dinosaur quadrupedality (Principal
2008 £62,576 from NERC for research into fossil archosaur vertebral pneumaticity
2007 £60,163 from NERC for research into reptile and bird inner ears (Principal
2007 £2,125 from the Royal Society for an exchange visitor (Jason Head) from Canada.
2006 AU$40,306 from ARC (Australian Research Council) for research into Australian and
British Lower Cretaceous reptiles (Co-investigator).
2005 £101,661 from NERC for research into dinosaur-plant co-evolution (Principal
2005 £2,170 from The Royal Society for research in The People’s Republic of China.
2004 £1,180 from The Royal Society for an exchange visitor (Fernando Novas) from
2004 £1,430 from The Royal Society for a conference trip to China.
2003 £13,500 from National Geographical Society for fieldwork in the Middle Jurassic of
2002 £30,835 from NERC for the application of Geographical Information System (GIS)
techniques to vertebrate palaeontology (Co- Principal Investigator).
2002 £1,810 from The Royal Society for research in the People’s Republic of China.
2000 £2,075 from The Royal Society for research in the People’s Republic of China.
2000 £1,400 from The Jurassic Foundation for research in the People's Republic of China
(with P. Upchurch).
1999 £3,000 from Trinity College, University of Cambridge, for research in Japan.
1996 £3,000 from The Dinosaur Society for research in the People's Republic of China
(with P. Upchurch).
In addition, I have received numerous travel and research grants under £1, 000 from The Royal Society, Trinity College (University of Cambridge), The Cambridge Philosophical Society, The Natural History Museum and the University of Oxford.
My research group includes a mixture of post-doctoral and post-graduate researchers, who work on dinosaurs and other extinct reptiles. This work is primarily supported by external grants (from NERC), together with some internal NHM and university funding. Current group members are engaged in projects on the evolution of ornithischian locomotion (Dr Susannah Maidment), titanosaurian sauropod phylogeny (Rosie Barnes), ichthyosaur ontogeny and variation (Sam Bennett), and sauropodomorph cranial biomechanics (David Button).
Susannah’s work examines the evolution of quadrupedal locomotion in ornithischian dinosaurs. The first dinosaurs were bipedal, with forelimbs modified for grasping, but quadrupedality evolved on multiple occasions within the clade. Using a diverse set of techniques, this project aims to examine the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ regarding the repeated evolution of quadrupedality. Along with collaborators Dr Don Henderson and Dr Karl Bates, we investigate changes to the locomotor musculoskeletal system during the evolution of quadrupedality using comparative anatomy and computational biomechanical modelling of muscle moment arms, and we test specific hypotheses regarding the causes for quadrupedality using mathematical centre of mass modelling. The results of the project will shed light on ornithischian locomotion, behaviour and palaeoecology. Susannah is also involved in the lab’s ongoing collaborative work programme to re-evalute British and Chinese dinosaur faunas.
Rosie (2008–) splits her time between the NHM and UCL, where she is co-supervised by Dr Paul Upchurch. Her work concerns the evolution of titanosaurian sauropod dinosaurs with particular focus on producing a new phylogeny of the group incorporating all currently known titanosaur taxa. Rosie is also interested in the evolutionary history of the group and their biogeographical distribution through time, as well as critically assessing taxonomy. A current project is the redescription of the type material of a European dwarf titanosaur (Magyarosaurus) held in the NHM collections, with colleagues from Romania and the USA.
Sam (2010–) based at the NHM and Royal Holloway, University of London (co-supervised by Prof. Margaret Collinson). He is interested in Mesozoic marine reptiles and his area of study is ichthyosaurs. His project uses morphometric techniques such as Principal Components Analysis and Reduced Major Axis Regression to analyse changes in sizes and shape. Using this, a method of estimating relative age of individual specimens, regardless of size, is being established.
David Button (2011–) is working on a NERC CASE funded project at the NHM/University of Bristol where he is co-supervised by Dr Emily Rayfield. His work concerns an investigation of sauropodomorph cranial mechanics and its implications on feeding utilising finite-element modelling, combined with a review of cranial arthrology of the Sauropodomorpha in consideration of the evolution of functional cranial characters associated with feeding.
Dr Emily J. Rayfield (2002) worked on a NERC-funded project using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to investigate the validity of Triassic vertebrate biostratigraphic hypotheses (Rayfield et al., 2005, 2009). This work was carried out while both Paul and Emily were based at the University of Oxford. Emily is now a Senior Lecturer in Palaeontology at the University of Bristol.
Dr Richard J. Butler (2006–2009) was involved in two concurrent NERC-funded projects at the Natural History Museum. The first was a two-year project investigating plant-dinosaur interactions during the Cretaceous Period (Butler et al., 2009a, b, 2010). Richard was Researcher Co-Investigator on a second short project that used CT-scanning to examine postcranial skeletal pneumaticity in Triassic archosaurs (Butler et al., 2009c). He has gone on to do additional post-doctoral work in Germany and is currently a Junior Research Group Leader at the University of Munich.
Dr Stig Walsh (2007–2008) carried out a NERC-funded project using CT-scanning to document the morphology of diapsid inner ears, and used this information to create a model for predicting ear function in extinct reptiles and birds (Walsh et al., 2009). Stig is now Senior Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology at the National Museums of Scotland.
Dr Jolyon ('Joe') C. Parish carried out his research at the University of Oxford (NERC-funded) on the phylogeny of ankylosaurian dinosaurs (2000–2005). He is currently a conservation volunteer in Wales and has just completed a major new book on the dodo and the solitaire to be publsihed by Indiana University Press.
Dr Deborah Linton (2004–2010) was based at the NHM/UCL, co-supervised by Dr Paul Upchurch (NERC CASE). Debi’s project involved detailed measurements of ornithischian limb bones to look at evolutionary trends within the group, using a morphometric approach. She is currently retraining as a museum science educator in New York.
Dr Jérémy Anquetin was funded by an NHM Postgraduate Studentship and co-supervised by Prof. Susan E. Evans (UCL). His project (2005–2009) was based on the preparation and description of a new Middle Jurassic turtle from the Isle of Skye that has significant implications for early turtle evolution. After a post-doctoral fellowship at the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris he became a freelance technical translator, based in France.
Dr Roger B. J. Benson worked at the NHM/University of Cambridge (2005–2008), co-supervised by Dr David Norman (NERC CASE). His project was centred on revision of the historically important British dinosaur Megalosaurus and other Jurassic theropods. Following a Junior Research Fellowship at Trinity College, Cambridge, Roger is now a post-doctoral researcher at UCL.
Dr Vince Williams completed his PhD on the implications of dental microwear for understanding hadrosaur jaw mechanics (2005–2010). He was co-supervised with Prof. Mark Purnell at the University of Leicester (self-funding).
Dr Philip Mannion worked on the sauropod fossil record (2006–2009), assessing the diversity of the group through time and the potential impact of environmental and collecting biases on their observed diversity. He was a NHM/UCL student, co-supervised by Dr Paul Upchurch. Phil is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the Museum für Naturkunde (Berlin) and Imperial College London.
Dr Mark Young studied the morphometrics and evolution of metriorhychoid crocodiles and sauropod dinosaurs at the NHM/University of Bristol (2006–2009) and was co-supervised by Dr Emily Rayfield (NERC CASE). Mark holds honorary research positions at the universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Tom Ford (2000–2001). MSc in Integrative Biosciences, University of Oxford. “Orbit size and its predictive value in the assessment of behaviour in birds and dinosaurs”.
Dr Rudyard W. Sadleir (2001–2004). MSc by research, University of Oxford (Rhodes Trust). “Anatomy and systematics of the Oxford theropod Eustreptospondylus oxoniensis”. This work was published as a major monograph (Sadleir et al., 2008) and Rudd is currently a post-doctoral researcher at Northwestern University, Illinois.
Julia Heathcote (2003). MRes in Systematics and Taxonomy, NHM/Imperial College London. “Estimating the completeness and congruence of the dinosaur fossil record: phylogenetic approaches”. Julia is now a college biology teacher.
Richard Thompson (2009). MSc in Systematics and Taxonomy, NHM/Imperial College London. “A new phylogeny of the ankylosaurian dinosaurs”. Richard is a PhD student at the University of Cambridge.
Robert Goodall (2009). MSc in Systematics and Taxonomy, NHM/Imperial College London. “A consensus phylogeny of the iguanodontian dinosaurs”.
For all publications see full bibliography (PDF 488.0 KB)
Young, M. T., Rayfield, E. J., Holliday, C. M., Witmer, L. M., Button, D. J., Upchurch, P. & Barrett, P. M.( 2012 ) Cranial biomechanics of Diplodocus (Dinosauria, Sauropoda): testing hypotheses of feeding behaviour in an extinct megaherbivore Naturwissenschaften 99 : 637–643 .