Megan Jacobs is a palaeontologist and PhD student at the University of Portsmouth. In May 2023, Megan and her colleague Professor David Martill, whilst visiting Abingdon Museum to research the ichthyosaur skeleton on display, discovered an enormous backbone in a drawer at Abingdon County Hall Museum belonging to a creature that swam in the seas that covered Oxfordshire 150 million years ago. After speaking to museum staff, it was discovered there were 3 more in the museum stores!
After looking at all the bones with Dr Steve Etches MBE, the team realised their suspicions were correct, these huge bones were vertebrate from a pliosaur – a marine reptile that could have been twice the size of a killer whale. These were found during excavations at Warren Farm in the River Thames Valley in Oxfordshire. Megan will talk to us about the discovery and about her ongoing palaeontology research of the marine reptiles in the Abingdon Collection.
Professor John Tregoning
Professor John Tregoning is Professor in Vaccine Immunology at Imperial College London where his group aims to understand what prevents symptomatic respiratory infections, focussing on the immune response.
John blogs about science and academic careers and has written for Nature, Science, Times Higher Education and The Guardian. During the COVID19 lockdown, he wrote a weekly diary for the Nature Career Column.