About Me


I am a palaeontology PhD student at the University of Southampton in the UK, known as Liz Martin-Silverstone in the real world (although more people know me as just Liz Martin). Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, I started my interest in palaeontology at a young age being surrounded by dinosaur fossils, and eventually ending up doing an undergrad in palaeo with Dr. Phil Currie on Centrosaurus apertus. After moving to the UK to do my MSc on pterosaur bone mass in Bristol, I moved to Southampton to start a PhD on the same topic. I now work on pterosaur biomechanics and mass estimation using CT scans, working with Gareth Dyke (UoS), Colin Palmer (UoS/UoB), Mike Habib (USc), and Emily Rayfield (UoB) (with some help from the imaging department in UoS from Philippe Schneider) and hoping to finish my PhD by September 2017. I’ve done several fieldwork trips focusing in Alberta with the U of A Vertebrate Paleontology group headed by Phil Currie, and Romania with the University of Southampton Vertebrate Paleontology Group.

Me examining pterosaur fossils in the American Museum of Natural History collections

You can follow me on Twitter (@gimpasaura) where I talk mostly about science, but also bits about other things that are important or interest me, especially regarding Canada and palaeontology. I also am a producer for Palaeocast, where we produce educational podcasts based on palaeontology, and share interesting palaeontology-related stories and publications. My blog is part of ScienceBorealis, a Canadian blogging community that focuses on Canadian science or science done by Canadians, where I am also a Multimedia co-editor and social media volunteer.

River site in the Hateg Basin, Romania
Awesome view from a site in northern Alberta

You can also see my profiles at the University of SouthamptonResearchGate, and Academia.edu if you’re interested in things like publication lists.

My research is funded primarily by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Graduate School of the National Oceanography Centre Southampton, with additional support from the Government of Alberta, the Geological Society of London, the Palaeontological Association, and an external funder.

I’m a big proponent of sciart and palaeoart in particular, but I’m a terrible artist myself, so I normally use images of some of my favourite palaeoartists and friends, such as Mark Witton and John Conway who both make awesome artwork, especially of pterosaurs. You should support them and check it out!

Foggydactyls Witton
Foggy pterosaurs, used with permission by Mark Witton.

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