After becoming established as a self taught artist specialising in reconstructing extinct species, I undertook a degree in palaeontology at the University of Portsmouth, followed by a PhD at the Natural History Museum, London. This provided an opportunity to not only excavate extinct species and scientifically describe them, but also to artistically reconstruct them from their fossil remains. My first book ‘Lost land of the Dodo’ co-authored with Anthony Cheke in 2008 has been critically acclaimed and allowed a merging of two disciplines, the arts and the sciences. I have since published more books includng Extinct Birds (2012, 2017) and Extinct Birds of Hawaii (2015). I have participated in many field trips, including Madagascar, Mascarenes Islands (Reunion, Mauritius, Rodrigues), Seychelles, Comoros, East and South Africa, Indonesia, Australia, along with King Island, Flinders Island, Kangaroo Island, and the Hawaiian Islands. Other media includes presenting on the BBC/Channel 4/ and Discovery channels. I am presently working on a major book project about the extinct birds of Hawaii, due 2022.
I have mainly worked on oceanic island bird faunas, particularly the study and history of the extinct dodo of Mauritius, but also the many now extinct birds that once occurred on oceanic islands throughout the world. I am presently a Research Associate at the Natural History Museum, London and Tring, where I work on subfossil remains of birds and reptiles. I have attended many conferences, public engagement programmes and special events presenting all aspects of island and faunal evolution and human-induced extinction. This has been to a broad range of audiences, from the general public to academia at the highest level.