Dr Adam S. Smith
Curator of Natural Sciences,
Nottingham Natural History Museum,
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My research focuses on the anatomy and evolution of Mesozoic marine reptiles, particularly plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs. In 2003 I completed an MSc project at the University of Bristol dedicated to plesiosaur phylogeny and in 2007 I completed a PhD at the National University of Ireland investigating the anatomy and relationships of rhomaleosaurid plesiosaurs. This led to a variety of research projects on fossil marine reptiles from the Pliensbachian of Denmark, Toarcian of Portugal, Kimmeridgian of Greenland and the UK, and Lower Jurassic of the UK. I've published several technical articles based on my research and have co-named several new plesiosaurs including Meyerasaurus (Smith and Vincent, 2010), Lusonectes (Smith et al., 2012), three species of Pliosaurus (P. kevani, P. westburyensis, and P. carpenteri) (Benson et al., 2013), and Atychodracon (Smith, 2015). See my publications page for a full list of my peer-reviewed papers and other articles. I'm currently conducting research into the interesting question of how plesiosaurs swam and I'm working on descriptions of several plesiosaur specimens housed in British and German collections.
All of my publications and theses are listed on my publications page, with PDFs available to download where possible.
Curator of Natural Sciences, Nottingham Natural History Museum, Wollaton Hall. (Aug. 2012 - present). A wide variety of curatorial duties.
Digitisation Technician, British Geological Survey (May 2012 - Aug. 2012). 3D scanning and photographing fossils.
Natural science curator, Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum (Aug. 2010 - Dec. 2011). Various collection and exhibition duties.
Documentation assistant, Natural History Divison, National Museum of Ireland (March 2009 - Aug. 2010). Part of a team dedicated to documenting and databasing the Natural History collections.
Object researcher, Natural Science, Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum. (Feb 2009 - March 2009).
Education and curatorial assistant, Geoschol Project, Trinity College, Dublin. (October 2007 - Feb 2009). Production of earth science material for Irish schools - posters, leaflets, an activity book, museum exhibits and a website.
Assistant editor, Palaeontologica Electronica (April 2007 -Ongoing) (find out more...).
Demonstrator, National University of Ireland (University College Dublin). Informal teaching, group discussion, occasional lecturing. (January 2005 -Ongoing).
Web content research assistant, University of Bristol, in conjunction with the BBC, Open University, and the Natural History Museum, London. Collecting information and producing content for a website to accompany the BBC series, British Isles: A Natural History. (April 2004 - January 2005).
Scientific consultant, Qube Software. (2003 - 2005) (find out more...).
Outreach and the media
I lecture about marine reptiles at regional groups and events, such as the Shropshire Geological Society, Black Country Geological Group, Dudley Rock and Fossil Festival, Belfast Geologist's Society, and Warwickshire Geological Conservation Group. I have also given presentations at The University of Bristol; The Geologisk Museum, Coenhagen; The Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm; Trinity College, Dublin; University College Dublin; and GEAL Museu, Lourinha, Portugal. I provided input as a consultant for the BBC series Planet Dinosaur, advised on marine reptile figures produced by toy company Safari Ltd, and had the pleasure of being a guest on the sceptical podcast MonsterTalk to discuss plesiosaurs and Nessie (download the plesiosaur episode in mp3 format here).
I was born and raised in Coventry, UK. I was always fascinated by prehistoric animals and this passion led me to university where I completed a BSc in Palaeobiology and Evolution (Portsmouth), an MSc in Palaeobiology (Bristol), and evenually a PhD on the topic of plesiosaurs (UCD, Dublin). I've participated in palaeontological excavations in Montana and Portugal, and I'm a keen palaeoartist and webmaster - I also run The Dinosaur Toy Blog and Forum at dinotoyblog.com, and The Animal Toy Forum at animaltoyforum.com. Feel free to follow my plesiosaur and other ramblings on twitter