8 February 2024

Winter Lecture: Mary Anning and the Sea Dragons

Join palaeontologist, author and TV host, Dr Dean Lomax, for February’s Winter Lecture as he explores the life of palaeontologist Mary Anning and the remarkable discovery of the ‘Rutland Sea Dragon’.

Mary Anning was an extraordinary pioneering palaeontologist who discovered the first ichthyosaurs, or ‘sea dragons’, brought to the attention of science. Dr Dean Lomax, palaeontologist, author and world expert on ichthyosaurs, has spent his career following in the footsteps of Mary Anning and has examined all of the known ichthyosaurs she ever found. In this fascinating talk, Lomax will provide a background into some of Mary’s major finds and how they helped to fuel a scientific revolution.

In the second part of his talk, Dr Lomax will discuss how he’s identified new species, travelled the world examining thousands of fossils and how he recently led the excavation of the ‘Rutland Sea Dragon’, a 10-metre-long giant ichthyosaur found in Rutland – hailed as one of the greatest finds in British palaeontological history.

Signed copies of Dr Lomax’s latest book ‘Locked in Time’ are available to purchase when booking a ticket to the Winter Lecture. In-person orders will be available for collection on the night. Online orders include a packaging and postage fee, books will be posted after the lecture. A selection of Dr Lomax’s other books will also be signed and available for purchase on the night.

Speaker: Dr Dean Lomax is an internationally recognised multi-award-winning palaeontologist, author and presenter. He travels across the world excavating and researching dinosaurs and other ancient animals, discovering and naming new species, and regularly appears on TV as an expert and presenter, notably co-hosting the primetime TV series Dinosaur Britain. He is the author of multiple books and many academic papers, is a leading authority on ichthyosaurs, and won a gold medal for science communication at the Houses of Parliament.

Dean earned his PhD at The University of Manchester where he is currently an Honorary Research Fellow and is also an 1851 Research Fellow at The University of Bristol. — In 2021, he led the excavation of the ‘Rutland Sea Dragon’, the most complete skeleton of a large prehistoric reptile ever found in the UK. Watch his TED talk about this sensational discovery.


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How to take part

Thanks to the generous sponsorship from the Friends of Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives , this season’s Winter Lectures will be held in person at M Shed and online via Zoom.

If you are attending in-person, please arrive 15 minutes before the advertised start time to take your seat. Parking in the area can be difficult so you may want to allow extra time to find a space if you are driving to the venue.

If you are attending online, this lecture will take place over Zoom. Details of how to join the session will be in your registration email.

About the Winter Lectures

Bristol Museums have delivered a Winter Lecture Series between October and April every year since 1948. Past speakers have included many of the leading experts of their time and some famous faces.

Today, the Winter Lectures are sponsored by the Friends of Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives and are free and open to all. Lectures are all connected in some way to Bristol Museum’s amazing collections and cover a range of subjects including geology, natural history, archaeology, art and world cultures.