Susannah Maidment is a dinosaur researcher and the curator of fossil archosaurs at the Natural History Museum, London. Her research centres on the palaeobiology of the bird-hipped herbivorous dinosaurs, with a particular focus on the stegosaurs. Susannah has published more than 50 papers in the international peer-reviewed literature, on subjects ranging from the evolution of four-legged locomotion in dinosaurs to diversity change over time, and she has named several dinosaur species. Susannah makes regular appearances on TV and radio talking about dinosaurs and their world, and has been a guest on CBBC’s Blue Peter, and Radio 4’s The Infinite Monkey Cage and The Life Scientific. She was awarded the Hodson Award of the Palaeontological Association in 2016 and the Lyell Fund of the Geological Society in 2017, both for notable contributions by an early career researcher.
When Gideon Mantell discovered some large fossilized teeth in the rocks of Cuckfield, Sussex, he immediately recognised them as something unknown to science: they were reptilian, but far larger than the teeth of any reptile alive today. He concluded that a giant, now extinct reptile must have once lived in the area. Mantell’s discoveries, along with others from Sussex and Oxford, eventually prompted Richard Owen, the founder of London’s Natural History Museum, to name these giant reptiles the “Dinosauria”.
In Dr Maidment’s talk, she’ll discuss the dinosaurs of the Weald, the state of knowledge today, and the methods and techniques being used to put flesh on the bones of these historic discoveries.