EGU Blogs

My year in 2013

Inspired by Martin Eve (link), I decided to make a documentation of academic-related stuff I’ve achieved in 2013. The last year was mostly occupado by the first year of my PhD, but other academic-ish stuff too as complimentary activities to research. This is kinda like a personal diary of ‘achievements’, as well as a documentation of the extent of work-procrastination. As such, please feel free not to share this with my supervisor 😉

Primary Research

  • Entered 369 papers into the Paleobiology Database, as part of developing the core data for my research
  • Traveled to Munich, Berlin, Barcelona, Bucharest, Lyon, and New York for primary assessment of atoposaurid crocodylomorph fossils (see blog post here)
  • Attended workshop in Bristol on quantitative palaeontology using PAST and  (current skill ranking: eejit)
  • Have first paper on ruminant snouts ready for submission (see below), as well as others on: 1) reviewing the Jurassic/Cretaceous (J/K) interval (near-completion); 2) crocodylomorph diversity dynamics at the J/K boundary (about two-thirds done); 3) extrinsic and intrinsic trait evolution of crocs at the J/K boundary (about one-third done); 4) phylogeny of Atoposauridae (about half done); 5) re-description and taxonomic revision of Alligatorellus species (near-complete)

Social Media

  • Surpassed 3000 followers on Twitter (current: 3901). Apologies to each of them.
  • Began blogging for Nature’s Scitable network (Earthbound)
  • Wrote 56 blog posts for the current EGU blog
  • Helped with production of the Palaeocast podcast (winner of best podcast in 2013 Science Seeker award)

Presentations (non-academic)

Presentations (academic)

Publications (academic)

Publications (non-academic)

Other (e.g., policy-related)

  • Represented the geological community in Parliament at the Voice of the Future event
  • Attended several open access-related events at the Royal Society, Parliament, and elsewhere in London to informally discuss the impact and role of early-career researchers
  • Successfully procured two grants for Palaeocast from the Palaeontological Society and Palaeontological Association
  • Became an F1000 specialist
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant for two modules at Imperial College London (Palaeontology, and Life and Earth History)
  • Co-organised event at Imperial College discussing opening up research data (with the Science Communication Forum)

That’s about all I can remember for now, so Happy New Year! 🙂


Jon began university life as a geologist, followed by a treacherous leap into the life sciences. He is now based at Imperial College London, investigating the extinction and biodiversity patterns of Mesozoic tetrapods – anything with four legs or flippers – to discover whether or not there is evidence for a ‘hidden’ mass extinction 145 million years ago. Alongside this, Jon researches the origins and evolution of ‘dwarf’ crocodiles called atoposaurids. Prior to this, there was a brief interlude were Jon was immersed in the world of science policy and communication, which has greatly shaped his view on the broader role that science can play, and in particular, the current ‘open’ debate. He tweets as @Protohedgehog.


  1. What a year, congratulations!

    • Thanks! Would be nice to have just one formally published paper in there though. Soon.. 🙂

      • Still a pretty impressive of achievements 😀 also thanks for introducing me to the Paleobiology database, what a wealth of information!

        • Oh yeah it’s pretty awesome! Try the new Navigator function too –

          I’ll have to write a post one day about how to extract and visualise data from it. It’s such an amazing compilation of data 🙂

          • Amazing, please do 😀

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