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Collecting a hadrosaur maxilla in New Mexico

For me, fieldwork is the most important and enjoyable part of being a palaeontologist. An appreciation of true diversity and completeness of the fossil record simply cannot be attained without spending a lot of time on outcrop.

I have over 20 years experience digging fossils, specialising in prospecting, field identification, and extraction of terrestrial vertebrates, especially dinosaurs. I have also spent a significant amount of time collecting invertebrates, although for the most part I do not personally research them.

I have been fortunate enough to have conducted fieldwork all over the world, working with and learning from some very talented people.

See below for detail links to photos.


Surface geology of the Isle of Wight, circa 1856

Cretaceous & Oligocene: Isle of Wight, UK

One of my favourite places. I've been collecting in the Isle of Wight every year for over 20 years now. The island's rocks are mostly Cretaceous in age, but there are outcrops in the north of younger deposits, which are very muddy indeed. Most localities are on the coast, and you gain access by walking down "chines": a local word for the river cut valleys and gorges that open out onto the beach.

Click the links below for details & slides

  • Wessex Fm: Barremian (E. Cret. ~130Ma)
  • Vectis Fm: Barremian-Aptian (E. Cret. ~125Ma)
  • Lower Greensand: Aptian (E. Cret. ~120Ma)
  • Lower Chalk: Cenomanian (L. Cret. ~95Ma)
  • Boldnor Fm: Oligocene (~34Ma)
  • Pleistocene deposits (~12,000Ka)



Its best to avoid any shady back-alleys in this part of town.

Late Cretaceous: New Mexico

From 2002-6 I worked with Dr. Robert Sullivan in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico. The rocks here record dinosaurs from the Maastrichtian and Campanian of the Late Cretaceous, including some unique species not found anywhere else (for various reasons, part of my research is assessing exactly why).

Click on the links for details and pictures.

Summer 2007 at Stubby's cabin, Hell Creek (Lee Hall on right)

Late Cretaceous: Montana

I have worked in three of the Cretaceous Formations that outcrop in Montana.

In 2005 I spent a week working the Blackleaf Fm with Dr. David Varricchio of Montana State University. I followed this up in 2006 by working for Jack Horner (Museum of the Rockies) for a month in the Judith River Fm. Then from 2007-12 I worked the entire summer, mostly in the Hell Creek Fm conducting stratigraphic research for my PhD.

Even in this relatively short period of time, I've been witness to many important new discoveries, including at least one, and possibly as many as three new species of dinosaur.

Click on the links for details and pictures.