Personal profile


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).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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