I am enthusiastic about scientific outreach and communicating my research to the public. In addition to writing about science, I also frequently speak about science on television and radio and give talks to public, museum, school, and academic audiences. I often consult for television programs and films, and my scientific work is profiled often by the international media. I am always available for consultancy or commentary, so if you're interested, please get in touch!
and have consulted on several others. Most notably, I was an on-screen presenter and consultant for the awesome 2015 National Geographic Channel Program T. rex Autopsy, a new type of television documentary in which we built and then cut-up a life-sized, life-like, scientifically-accurate model of a T. rex, broadcast in 140+ countries. I was also a talking head in the 2015 ITV show Dinosaur Britain and 2008 National Geographic Channel program Morphed: From Dinosaur to Turkey, and appeared in The Mystery Dinosaur, produced by Dave Monk at Brave New Pictures and showcased in 75 countries on the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel. I was a consultant on the BBC television series Dinosaur Planet (2011), which also featured some of my research on theropod dinosaurs, and I originally pitched an idea to BBC that evolved into the upcoming BBC One landmark documentary Waking Giants with Sir David Attenborough (2015). I am the "resident palaeontologist" for the BBC's Walking With Dinosaurs program and continue to work with the BBC and Evergreen Studios on the development of new ideas. For the BBC I have presented various online videos (see below) and a 30-minute program "Decade of Discovery", on the great advances in dinosaur paleontology during the 2000s, that accompanied the US re-release of the Walking With Dinosaurs television program on DVD in 2013.
Some clips of my television appearances can be seen here: BBC Breakfast (Dec 2013, Walking With Dinosaurs); BBC News (May 2014, Pinocchio rex discovery); CBS Evening News (July 2014, dinosaur extinction research); TV New Zealand (October 2014, tyrannosaur discoveries); STV (May 2014, Pinocchio rex discovery); BBC News (January 2015, Scottish marine reptile discovery); BBC Newsround (January 2015, Scottish marine reptile discovery); STV (March 2015, 'Super Salamander' discovery); STV (April 2015, feature on our fieldwork in Skye); STV Scotland Tonight (June 2015, discussing the T. rex Autopsy television program); STV (July 2015, feathered dinosaur discovery); CNN (July 2015, feathered dinosaur discovery); BBC News (December 2015, Scottish dinosaur footprint discovery); BBC Newsround (December 2015, Scottish dinosaur footprint discovery). A number of clips and behind-the-scences moments from T. rex Autopsy can be seen here.
Online Science Outreach
I have done several on-camera pieces for online video series. I worked with BBC Earth to produce online videos for their YouTube channel Earth Unplugged. The first video, part of their Meet My Planet Series, can be seen above (or also seen here). In this video, filmed at the Natural History Museum in London and the University of Oxford's Museum of Natural History, I discuss my passion for paleontology, why paleontology is important, and what a job as a paleontologist actually entails. In a second video, which can also be seen above (and seen here), I discuss 10 of my favorite fossil discoveries of all time. My search for dinosaurs in Scotland was profiled in a series of videos by BBC Earth, which can be seen here. I've also appeared in a few other online videos, including two for the UK charity Filmclub for distribution in British schools, one for NPR's Science Friday series on the bizarre Romanian dromaeosaurid Balaur, a video about careers in science and the latest dinosaur research for the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Science Reporting For Kids series, an American Museum of Natural History video on the dinosaur extinction (which can be seen above), a live online streaming event at the AMNH discussing some of our research on the dinosaur extinction (which can be seen above, and is also archived here), and a live online streaming event hosted by Science with Jack Horner on "What Have We Learned About Dinosaurs Since Jurassic Park?" (which is archived here).
Walking With Dinosaurs 3D, which was released in December 2013 in cinemas worldwide. I was one of several paleontologists who consulted on the film. I also consulted on a range of other threads related to the film. I was the lead scientific consultant for the Sony Wonderbook video game, which takes kids on a virtual reality adventure into the world of dinosaurs. I also consulted on the WWD toy series, making sure that the dinosaur toys were scientifically accurate. I wrote the dinosaur encyclopedia accompanying the film, the Walking With Dinosaurs 3D Encyclopedia, which provides an overview of the world of dinosaurs, gives all of the vital stats on the dinosaurs portrayed in the film, and discusses the science behind the film. I was also a consultant on the film's website (now sadly defunct). For the year before the film was released I was the "resident palaeontologist" on the website, and answered questions from readers every week, as well as provided news articles on the latest dinosaur discoveries. I took part in promoting the film, working with Fox in the US and UK and BBC in the UK to discuss the film with journalists. I appeared on BBC Breakfast with Neil Nightingale, the director of the film, to discuss the science behind the story. Neil and I also discussed the film in a series of videos for kids distributed by Into Film. My role as a consultant was profiled by New Scientist, National Geographic, the Guardian, the Huffington Post UK, the Huffington Post US, the Herald (Scotland), Geek Dad, Kidz World, Go Think Big, and the British Council, among others. I also worked with New Scientist to make a short online video about the science portrayed in the film. The film is squarely intended for kids and families (hence the voiceovers and talking dinosaurs), but there is no doubt in my mind that the dinosaurs are the most realistic and accurate and stunning that have ever appeared on the silver screen, or any screen for that matter. Neil Nightingale, Barry Cook, and the rest of the team from BBC made a huge effort over four years of development to ensure that the science behind the film was on the ball. That level of commitment to accuracy should be celebrated.
Media and the Popular Press
My work has been profiled extensively by the US, UK, and international press. My research has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Guardian, Sun, Independent, USA Today, Time Magazine, National Geographic, New Scientist, Discover, Scientific American, Earth Magazine, and BBC Focus magazine, among others. Press clippings for various research projects are listed in detail on my Latest News page. An example of some of the more interesting clippings are: New York Times (2012, dinosaur extinction research), New York Times (2010, Balaur discovery), New York Times (2010, oldest dinosaurs research), the Guardian (2015, new Scottish sea reptile), the Guardian (2014, dinosaur extinction research), the Guardian (2009, Raptorex discovery), the Guardian (2010, Balaur discovery), National Geographic (2015, new Scottish sea reptile), National Geographic (2014, dinosaur-bird evolution research), Discovery Magazine (2010, oldest dinosaurs research), BBC (2014, dinosaur extinction research), the Independent (2014, dinosaur extinction research), Time (2014, dinosaur extinction research), Washington Post (2014, Pinocchio rex discovery), New York Daily News (2014, Pinocchio rex discovery), and USA Today (2010, oldest dinosaurs research). More general profiles of my research and career have appeared in the University of Chicago's CORE Magazine, University of Chicago Alumni Magazine (2010), Discover Magazine (2010), National Geographic Poland (2011), the Daily Record (2014), Daily Express (2014), and the Sunday Post (2014), among others. My work has been the subject of cover stories in New Scientist (2013), Science (2014, my dinosaur-bird evolution work was named as one of the "breakthroughs of 2014"), Audubon (2015), and Scientific American (2015).
I have done hundreds of radio interviews, both on my research and to provide commentary on new dinosaur discoveries. I have appeared 50+ times on various BBC stations, including a few appearances on Today on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5, BBC World Service, BBC Scotland (including The Culture Show and MacAulay and Co.), BBC Wales, BBC London, and many regional stations. I have also appeared on NPR and Voice of America in the US, CBC in Canada (including a few appearances on Quirks and Quarks), ABC in Australia (including a few appearances on the Science Show with Robyn Williams), Voice of Russia, Radio New Zealand, Newstalk Radio Ireland, and the US syndicated program Science Fantastic with Michio Kaku.
Some clips of my radio appearances can be heard here: NPR Morning Edition (2015, new Scottish marine reptile), BBC Radio 5 Live (2015, T. rex Autopsy), BBC Radio 5 Live (2015, 'Super Salamander' discovery), BBC Scotland (December 2015, Scottish dinosaur footprint discovery), ABC Science Show (2011, research on tyrannosaurs and dinosaur origins), ABC Science Show (2013, research on dinosaur extinction and extinct marine crocs), CBC Quirks and Quarks (2014, Pinocchio rex discovery), CBC Quirks and Quarks (2015, 'Super Salamander' discovery), ABC Drive Time (2014, Pinocchio rex discovery), Radio New Zealand (2014, Pinocchio rex discovery), Radio New Zealand (2014, new dinosaur discoveries), Voice of Russia (2014, Pinocchio rex discovery), PRI's The World (2014, Deinocheirus commentary), BBC World Service (2014, Deinocheirus commentary), Utah Public Radio (2015, T. rex Autopsy program), BBC Radio 4 Leading Edge (2007, new carnivorous dinosaur discoveries), and Earth and Sky (2011, early evolution of tyrannosaurs). I also recorded a lengthy interview about my research and career for the excellent paleontology-themed podcast site Palaeocast.
I frequently speak about fossils, dinosaurs, and evolution to a wide range of audiences, from elementary school students to professional scientists. I have delivered invited research lectures in the US (e.g., Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Burpee Museum of Natural History, Manhattan College, Columbia University, New York Secret Science Club, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Fort Hays State University, Sternberg Museum of Natural History, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science), UK (Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ulster), Canada (Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto), France (Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris), Germany (Humboldt Museum fur Naturkunde, Berlin), Russia (St. Petersburg State University), China (China University of Geosciences, Beijing), Portugal (Museu da Lourinha), Argentina (Museum Argentino de Ciencias Naturales Bernardino Rivadavia, Buenos Aires), Lithuania (Akmene County Museum), and Spain (Tremp). I have delivered major public lectures in the US (e.g., several talks at various Burpee Museum PaleoFests), UK (numerous events in Edinburgh), Canada (BBC/Tauck Walking With Dinosaurs event), and New Zealand (Te Papa Museum). I love speaking to schools and have done 30+ classroom visits in the US and the UK, ranging from preschool to high school.