Let me introduce you to 19th century palaeontologist Mary Anning and discover how she searched the Jurassic rocks of England's south coast to unearth what where believed to be sea dragons and we now call marine reptiles.
We will look the social history and influences of Mary and the 19th century scientists that she would have worked with. We will not only look at these spectacular fossil remains, but also see how palaeontologists have revealed how these ancient extinct animals lived.
Our journey will take us into a distant past, from south west England to southern Germany where shallow seas were inhabited by fish lizards, marine crocodiles and floating islands of tree trunks with ancient starfish like animals attached to them.
We will finish by looking at the animals that ruled the land for millions of years, the dinosaurs, and how the first palaeontologists discovered, reconstructed and named these amazing creatures from the Jurassic World.
I am a professional scientist and researcher with the University of Cambridge and a prize-winning London Blue Badge Guide and City of Bath Honorary Major’s Guide. As a palaeontologist, I am an expert on fossils and prehistoric life from the first animals to appear on our planet to the evolution of early humans. I have published research on the origin of marine animals 480 million years to the Jurassic world. After degrees in Geology & Palaeobiology I gained my PhD from the University of London and went on to pursue an academic career working first as a research fellow in France, Germany and Japan and then as a Senior Lecturer in Malaysia and Western Australia. I have a passion for archaeology, history, architecture and history of art. I give lectures that encompass these subjects looking at the interface between the arts and sciences.