UCL Division of Biosciences


The Evan's Lab

Please find out more about our research, the lab members, and our latest news and activities:

Evan's Lab Home

Gecko Skulls

Image Credit: James Turbet

Research area

Research in the Evans lab focuses on the morphological evolution of non-avian reptiles and lissamphibians and its implications for macroevolution, phylogenetic relationships, function, palaeoecology, and biogeography. Techniques and methods used, in conjunction with collaborators, include cladistic analysis, Multibody Dynamics Analysis, Computed Tomography, Scanning Electron Microscopy, classical comparative anatomy and embryology, and tissue histology.

Current research projects

We are currently involved in a number of UK and international research projects including:

Functional micro- and nanostructure of mineralised tissues (osteoderms), with Sergio Bertazzo  and Mehran Moazen (UCL), Anthony Herrel (Paris), Arhat Abzhanov (Imperial), and Matt Vickaryous (Univ. Guelph, Canada). (HFSP funded)Jurassic stem salamanders from the UK with Roger Benson (Oxford) and Marc EH Jones (UCL) (Leverhulme Trust funded) Jurassic to Cretaceous fossil reptiles and amphibians from the UK, with Roger Benson (Oxford University), Jason Head (Cambridge University).  Cretaceous fossil reptiles from Japan, with Ryoko Matsumoto (Kanegawa Museum, Japan). Jurassic to Palaeogene fossil reptiles from China with Liping Dong and Yuan Wang (Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Beijing), and Lida Xing (Geosciences University Beijing) Cretaceous lizards and amphibians in amber from Myanmar with Juan Daza (Sam Houston State Univ.Texas) and Lida Xing (Geosciences University Beijing) Cretaceous tetrapod fossils from North America, with Joe Sertich (Denver Museum of Natural History), Dave DeMar, Jason Head (Cambridge) and Marc Jones (UCL).



Lab members regularly contribute to outreach and public engagement activities, and answer media queries. In Summer 2017 & 2018, Susan Evans and Mehran Moazen helped to run a Summer workshop on skull development, cranial soft tissues, and craniosynostosis for Year 8 school students in the UCL Grant Museum.

PhD project opportunities in vertebrate palaeontology and morphology

Please contact Professor Susan E Evans or Prof Paul M Barrett.

Location (and postal address):
Evans Lab
Main Anatomy Building (Ground floor: G08 and G10)
Research Department of Cell and Developmental Biology
Division of Biosciences
Gower Street
University College London
London, UK WCIE 6B

Lab phone number: (0) 20 7679 0160 (x30160)
Lab Head (Prof. Evans) Office: (0) 20 7679 9966(0) 20 7679 9966 (x39966)

Networking activities and society involvement

Researchers in the Evans lab are active members of the UCL Centre for Integrative Anatomy (CIA), and of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology; and regularly contribute to the NHM-UCL palaeotetrapod journal club.


From October 2019 we have been funded by the HFSP. However, we have also received support in recent years from the Biotechnology and Biological Research Council (BBSRC)Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)Palaeontological Association (PalAss)Royal SocietyBritish CouncilUCL Graduate SchoolUCL BogueUniversity of London Central Research fund, Chinese Academy of Sciences[se11] , and National Geographic.


Present lab members and affiliates

Professor Susan E. Evans


Susan Evans


Susan Evans is Professor of Vertebrate Morphology and Palaeontology.

She has authored, or co-authored, > 200 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters. Her research focuses on the evolution of key morphological features in reptiles and amphibians, and the possible consequences of these innovations in terms of the temporal and geographical diversification of the groups in question, e.g. the role of skull kinesis in lizard evolution or of locomotor strategy in frogs.

Her approach is multidisciplinary, combining data from comparative anatomy, functional morphology, palaeontology, phylogenetic analysis, and development to form an integrated perspective on morphological evolution through time.

She is a Fellow of the Linnean Society and a Scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society.

Professor Paul Barrett (Honorary Professor, UCL)


Paul Barratt

Paul Barrett is based at the Natural History Museum, London, where he is an RCUK Merit Researcher.

Paul works on dinosaurs and is interested in the taxonomy and systematics of ornithischian and sauropodomorph dinosaurs, various aspects of their palaeobiology (especially feeding and soft tissue biology), and macroevolutionary patterns through time.

Current projects include investigating the links between reptile species-richness through time and changing climates and taxonomic work on dinosaurs from the UK, South Africa and China.

He has published >140 papers on dinosaurs and other reptiles, is the author of several popular books, and makes regular media appearances, as well as being responsible for all dinosaur-related matters at the museum.

Dr Marc EH Jones 

Marc is currently based at the Natural History Museum, London.


Marc Jones

Marc completed his BSc in Palaeobiology at UCL Earth Sciences, and followed this with a PhD on rhynchocephalian skull evolution and biomechanics in the Evans Lab. 

He remained in the lab as a Postdoctoral Fellow (BBSRC funded) working on lepidosaur skull mechanics and evolution. Marc's research generally encompasses the macroevolution of amphibians and reptiles but focuses on specific topics such as the fossil record of rhynchocephalian reptiles, in vivo bite force, and skull shape in lizards. He then moved to Australia as an ARC DECRA Fellow and lecturer at the University of Adelaide, but returned to the Evans lab in March 2019 on a Leverhulme Trust postdoctoral award.

PhD students



Alexander Kirby - alexander.kirby.16@ucl.ac.uk - Biosciences/Medical Physics




Ivan Rodrigo Reyes Perez Reyes - rodrigo.perez.17@ucl.ac.uk

Ivan completed his BSc in Biology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 2012, and an MSc in Biological Sciences (Evolutionary Biology) in 2016 at the same university. He was awarded a Conacyt scholarship and joined UCL in 2018.

Affiliates and Alumni

Dr Ryoko Matsumoto - r-matsumoto@nh.kanagawa-museum.jp

Ryoko completed her BSc in Agriculture in Tokyo, and her MSc in Vertebrate Palaeontology at Waseda University, Tokyo, before joining the Evans lab to do a PhD in Vertebrate Palaeontology. Ryoko focused on the functional morphology of the skull and vertebral column in choristoderan reptiles. She is currently Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians in the Department of Zoology, Kanagawa Prefectural Museum of Natural History, Japan. Her current interests include research on the functional anatomy of feeding in the Japanese Giant Salamander, and she continues to collaborate with the Evans lab in projects on living and fossil reptiles and amphibians.

Dr Liping Dong - dongliping@ivpp.ac.cn

Liping completed her BSc in Geology at Nanjing University and then joined the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP), Beijing. There she completed an MSc project on fossil frogs from the Cretaceous of China (supervisor Prof. Yuan Wang), and went on to do a PhD on lizards from the Palaeogene of China (supervisors Yuan Wang and Susan E. Evans).

As part of her PhD work, Liping joined the Evans lab for a year with funding from the Chinese State Scholarship Fund. Liping is now a researcher at the IVPP and continues to collaborate with Susan and Yuan on a range of reptile and amphibian projects.

Napat Ratnarathorn

Napat gained his Bachelor degree in Biological Science at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, in 2011, and completed his PhD on cobra development in the Evans lab in 2018. He is interested in reptiles, especially snakes, and gained experience through training and research fellowships at the snake farm of the Thai Red Cross society. 

Napat's research is in collaboration with the molecular laboratory, Department of Biology, Chulalongkorn University, and the snake farm in Bangkok, and he has returned to Thailand to take up a position in the Biology Department at Chulalongkorn University.

News and Activities

Latest News and Activities TBA