I am a vertebrate palaeontologist, comparative anatomist, and National Geographic Explorer, with a background in the bio- and geosciences, a PhD in vertebrate palaeontology from Ireland's leading medical school, and extensive research and teaching experience. I am also a TED Fellow (several TED videos, >1 million views), and a research associate with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (Pittsburgh, USA).

My current research interests include vertebrate morphology and evolution, Mesozoic chronostratigraphy, and bioinformatics. Over the last decade I have led several palaeontological expeditions to Africa's Sahara Desert, in search of some of the most enigmatic fossil assemblages. This research – which includes the description of ancient flying reptiles, abundant dinosaur tracks, and the first semi-aquatic dinosaur – has been featured in Nature, Science, National Geographic, The New York Times, Discover Magazine, and many other high-impact publications.

I am passionate about the public understanding of science. Over the last decade, I have reached millions of people around the globe, using a multitude of formats, including high-profile speaking tours, documentary films, exhibits, educational videos, and books. I am a speaker with the renowned National Geographic Speakers Bureau (Washington D.C., USA).


I am a Senior Lecturer in Palaeontology. I have wide-ranging interests in vertebrate anatomy, palaeontology, and evolution. I am particularly interested in Mesozoic vertebrate assemblages from Africa. Much of my current research is devoted to crocodyliforms, pterosaurs, and dinosaurs.

I received my BSc (Joint Honours Degree in Geology and Biology) from the University of Bristol (UK), and my PhD from University College Dublin's School of Medicine and Medical Science (Ireland).

From 2011-2015 I was a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Chicago's Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy.

Starting in 2015 I began my work with the National Geographic Speakers Bureau.

In 2016, I became a Research Associate with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and a Visiting Researcher with the University of Portsmouth.

In 2018 I was appointed a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Biology at the University of Detroit Mercy (Michigan, USA), with teaching responsibilities in Human Anatomy, Comparative Anatomy, and Evolution.

I was appointed as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Portsmouth in 2020.

Research Interests

  • Palaeontology: Evolutionary history, palaeoecology, and palaeobiogeography of fossil taxa e.g., Ibrahim et al., 2010, 2014b, 2016; Klein et al. 2017).
  • Vertebrate anatomy and functional morphology: Anatomy and biomechanics (e.g., Ibrahim et al., 2014a; Martill and Ibrahim, 2015; Ibrahim et al. 2016; Ibrahim et al. 2020b).
  • Chronostratigraphy and palaeoenvironments: Precision stratigraphy, depositional settings, and taphonomy of fossil bearing sequences, with special emphasis on Mesozoic systems (e.g., Martill, Ibrahim et al., 2011; Ibrahim et al., 2014b; Ibrahim et al. 2020a).
  • Bioinformatics: Making anatomical descriptions computer-readable and linking them to other bio-ontologies (e.g., Cui et al., 2015; Midford et al. 2013; Dahdul et al., 2018).

Awards and Recognition

  • 2020 Top 10 Dinosaur Discoveries of 2020 (Smithsonian Magazine)
  • 2020 Top 10 (non-pandemic) Science Stories of 2020 (Discover Magazine)
  • 2020 8 Descobertas científicas que marcaram 2020 (Mega Curisoso)
  • 2020 10 coolest Dinosaur Findings of 2020 (Live Science)
  • 2020 Five best dinosaur stories of 2020 (Science Times)
  • 2020 Five Most Popular articles ever published in ZooKeys (#2), (ZooKeys/Altmetric)
  • 2020 Five Most Popular Scientific articles worldwide (#2), April 2020, (Nature/Altmetric)
  • 2019 Top 20 Scientific Discoveries of the Decade (National Geographic)
  • 2019 Guest of honor, opening of Egypt’s first paleontology center (Mansoura University)
  • 2018 Rising Stars in Engineering and Science, Dean’s selection (Univ. of Detroit Mercy)
  • 2016 Finalist in the 2016 Rolex Awards for Enterprise (Rolex)
  • 2015 Chicago’s 40 under 40 (Crain’s Chicago Business)
  • 2015 Speaker, National Geographic Speakers Bureau (ongoing, National Geographic)
  • 2015 TED Fellowship (TED conferences, several TED talks/videos – > 1 million views)
  • 2014 Top 10 Science Stories of 2014 (Discover Magazine)
  • 2014 National Geographic Emerging Explorer Award (National Geographic Society)
  • 2007 Ad Astra Research Scholarship (University College Dublin)

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