I’m a vertebrate palaeontologist and I became very interested in pterosaur dentition when I found a unique microstructure in their teeth. I was inspired to document and share facts about teeth by Sir Richard Owen, a fellow palaeontologist that first documented teeth of many extinct and extant animals.
I was Born (1988) and raised in Oxfordshire, close to the Berkshire border. Schooled locally, I took a keen interest in science and art. Having chosen to pursue art in my own time, I concentrated on the sciences so that I could become a palaeontologist. I studied Palaeobiology and Evolution at the University of Portsmouth, graduating in 2009 with an upper second class degree, BSc Hons. Immediately after the degree, I progressed onto a post graduate study based on pterosaur morphometrics, later developing it into a PhD analysing pterosaur phylogenies. During the early part of the postgraduate degree my supervisor Dr David Martill provided me with the teeth of pterosaurs from Morocco. After looking at thin-sections and studying multiple teeth using a scanning electron microscope, I realised that there were histological features of teeth yet to be described. After becoming interested in Richard Owen’s Odontography I founded Odontography.com in 2012, to continue documenting teeth in all their various forms and functions. My aim for Odontography.com is to turn it into a multidimensional resource for both academic and general interest.
In interview about Dracoraptor
Artwork of Dracoraptor by Bob Nicholls
Cladistics – TNT, Mesquite, PAUP*, Maclade, Dendroscope, R packages, GenGIS;
Geometric morphometrics – TPSdig 2, TPSrelw, R packages, MorphoJ;
Finite element analysis – ImageJ, Lisa;
Statistical analysis – R, SPSS, Excel;
Graphics – Corel Draw, Corel Photo-Paint.
Vertebrate comparative anatomy, specializing in pterosaurs;
Cladistics – critical review, character theory, coding theory, weighting theory, and morphometric data input;
Scanning electron microscopy;
Preparation of histological samples;
Microvertebrate sieving and picking;
Mechanical fossil preparation;
Specimen photography, including UV fluorescence photography.
Artwork of Koumpiodontosuchus by Mark Witton
Systematics Research Fund 2011/12 – Another 'missing link' in the pterosaur tree?
2010: Summer Science Festival Exhibition, Royal Society.
2010: The Third International Symposium on Pterosaurs, Beijing, China.
A Preliminary Analysis of Dental Microstructure in Pterosaurs.
2010: The Young Systematists Forum, London.
2011: SVPCA, Lyme Regis.
Resurrecting Diopecephalus Seeley, 1871 as a replacement genus for ‘Germanodactylus’ rhamphastinus (Wagner, 1851) and ‘Pterodactylus’ kochi (Wagner,1837).
2012: SVPCA, Oxford.
Pterosaur tooth anatomy.
2015: Flugsaurier 2015, Portsmouth.
Characterizing pterosaurs: the quality of our cladistic characters.
I regularly deliver lectures on topics in vertebrate palaeontology, teeth, pterosaur evolution, cladistics and other research methods to undergraduates, colleagues and the public. I've appeared on national and local TV and radio. Also, my interviews have featured in all of the major British newspapers. I'm currently available for consultation.