My research interests focus on Mesozoic vertebrate evolution. Most of my previous work concerns the anatomy and relationships of basal theropod dinosaurs. These are an important group as the predatory theropods gave rise to birds, and have enormous potential to shed light on the evolution of avian biology. An emerging focus concerns the evolution of marine reptiles. Multiple invasions of the oceanic enviroment by land vertebrates provide independent replicates for testing evolutionary principles of adaptive zone invasion.
A major theme in my current research is how macrostratigraphic variation in rock available for fossil sampling influences our perception of diversification and extinction in deep time. This is a vital first step in understanding how physical processes in Earth's history such as climate change have influenced the history of life.