Our academic staff pursue research as part of the UCL-Birkbeck Research School of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Our team of dedicated staff and technicians also provide excellent support for our students. Our Doctoral Programme is an integral part of our research culture find out more about our PhD Students.

Our PhD Students

Simon Wills

Simon Wills

“British microvertebrate dinosaur faunas”

PhD project title:

British microvertebrate dinosaur faunas

Project description:

Simon (2012­- ) is supervised by Dr Charlie Underwood at  Birkbeck, and is based mostly at the Natural History Museum where he is  co-supervised by Dr Paul Barrett. His work concerns the investigation of microvertebrate archosaur faunas from a number of sites in the British Jurassic and Cretaceous. Simon is focussing on the Middle Jurassic sites of Hornsleasow (Gloucestershire), Watton (Dorset), Kirtlington and Woodeaton (Oxfordshire), and the Lower Cretaceous of the Isle of Purbeck (Dorset), concentrating on the dinosaur fauna from these sites which remain largely undescribed. He is interested in the use of isolated dinosaur teeth for taxonomic discrimination purposes (including the potential application of Geographical Information Systems) and palaeoenvironmental and palaeoecological studies. The 

Middle Jurassic record of dinosaurs is poor, with the majority of sites being in the UK and China, and with work to date focussing on the macro-skeletal remains rather than microvertebrates. It is envisaged that the study will shed new light on the faunal composition of the Middle Jurassic and dinosaur evolution during this period. Simon also has an interest in Historical Geology with a recent biographical publication on the palaeontological research of John Whitaker Hulke and works full time in a senior management role for the NHS.

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