I am a PhD candidate currently exploring the use of high resolution X-ray tomography to study the ultra-structure of teeth in living and fossil mammals as a record of life history. My research involves travelling to advanced synchrotron X-ray sources throughout Europe and exposing tiny fossils the size of a grain of sand to intense beams of light to create images of internal features similar to a CAT scan, but over 10 thousand times more detailed. By doing this we can trace the lives of animals that lived over 200 million years ago, and study how our oldest mammal ancestors lived and evolved.
My chief interests are thus centred on mammal evolutionary biology, specifically the evolution of the highly specialised warm-blooded (endothermic) metabolism experienced by living mammals. When and why this evolved is still heavily under debate, as typical fossils don't provide a lot of concrete evidence for metabolism. Through my own research I hope to provide new evidence and tools for tracing this evolution through the fossil record.