Evolution of archosaurs.
My research focuses on the evolution of archosaurs, the group of reptiles that includes crocodilians, dinosaurs, pterosaurs and birds. I am particularly interested in the way these animals brace their bodies against mechanical loading and how this influences their locomotor capabilities. Looking at how different bracing systems operate and the ways in which they can be altered without compromising anatomical coherence, is one of the main means through which I like to investigate evolutionary transformations. This work involves anatomical investigations of extant animals, locomotion and kinematic studies, and the description and interpretation of fossil material, including soft-tissue reconstruction.
Current research projects:
My current postdoctoral project involves the exploration of the Lower Cretaceous Winton Formation of western Queensland. This ARC funded Linkage Project is entitled the Winton Dinosaur Project, and is being conducted in association with the Queensland Museum, Land Rover Australia, Winton Shire Council and Isisford Shire Council. Together we are working on a number of new fossil sites near the outback town of Winton and in the channel country near Isisford. Among the material I am examining from these sites are sauropods - including Elliot, Australia's largest dinosaur - theropods and dwarf crocodilians.
I am also involved in the description and interpretation of new pliosaur material from the Late Jurassic of Mexico, and dwarf crocodilian material from the Late Jurassic of Portugal.