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3. Research

My research focuses on vertebrate palaeontology and evolution, in particular:
1. alpha-level taxonomy            anatomical description, systematic revision and taxonomic revisions
2. phylogenetic analysis            compiling morphological data to study evolutionary relationships
3. macroevolutionary studies     compiling morphological/phenotypic data to study the evolutionary history of a clade over time
4. biomechanical studies           determining the optimality of biological structures to applied loads



Sauropod dinosaurs: Sauropod dinosaurs were the largest terrestrial animals in Earth history. These giant herbivores pushed at the limits of body-size on land, and where the dominant herbivores for tens of millions of years. My work on sauropods centres on cranial form and function, specifically using geometric morphometrics to quantify shape variation and finite element analysis to test hypothesised feeding behaviours. This work has been done in conjunction with my PhD thesis supervisors (Emily Rayfield, Paul Barrett, Paul Upchurch and Larry Witmer) and Casey Holliday.

The life reconstruction is of Diplodocus, very kindly made by Dmitry Bogdanov (Дмитрий Богданов).


Metriorhynchid crocodylomorphs:
Metriorhynchids were the crocodylian equivalent of dolphins. They lived during the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods (~200-134 Ma). This fascinating group includes the most aberrant crocs in Earth history, with some convergent of modern dolphins. My work on metriorhynchids is focused on their comparative anatomy, evolutionary relationships, large-scale evolutionary patterns and niche partitioning. My research on this group has been numerous collaborators (Marco de Andrade, Steve Brusatte, Lorna Steel, Julia Desojo, Jeff Liston, Marcello Ruta, Manabu Sakamoto, Brian Beatty and Mark Bell).

The life reconstruction is of Dakosaurus attacking Cricosaurus, very kindly made by Dmitry Bogdanov (Дмитрий Богданов).




Teleosaurid crocodylomorphs:
Teleosaurid were a closely related group to metriorhynchids. They looked superficially like living gharials, lived during the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods (~200-134 Ma). I have recently begun working on several projects on teleosaurids with Lorna Steel, Steve Brusatte, and Brian Beatty.