I am a third year CENTA NERC funded PhD researcher in the School of Earth, Environment and Ecosystems and work in the palaeoenvironmental change group.
Previously, I graduated with an MSci in Palaeobiology and Palaeoenvironments at the University of Birmingham where I worked within the palaeobotany research group. I also graduated with an MSc in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester where my research focused on plant blindness within natural history museums .
My research interests are in palaeobiology, plant morphology and the influences of taphonomic processes on morphology in the fossil record. I am also interested in the use of museum collections in facilitating such research.
For my PhD project, I will be quantifying the morphology of fern spores and vegetative structures in order to determine the morphological disparity of ferns throughout time. This will involve a morphometric study of living and fossil ferns, ranging from the Carboniferous to recent and spanning the phyletic range of ferns across Polypodiopsida.
Morphological characters from extant specimens at the herbarium at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew have been measured. This material has provided me with a morphologically diverse baseline against which to measure the patterns of morphological evolution of ferns throughout their evolutionary history.
This research will improve our understanding of morphological patterns within fern groups which will help to elucidate the comparative history of taxonomic and morphological diversity of plants through the Phanerozoic.