Sue Beardmore is the John Ellerman Project Curator, based in the Department of Natural Sciences.

Dr Beardmore studied an undergraduate degree in geology (MGeol) at the University of Leicester (1999-2003) and an MSc in Palaeobiology at the University of Bristol (2006-2007). From 2008-2012, she was based at University College Dublin, Ireland, for PhD level research on the skeletal preservation of Mesozoic marine reptiles, developing a semi-quantitative method of assessing articulation and completeness of fossilised remains. This methodology was applied, notably, to the Middle Triassic reptiles from Monte San Giorgio on the Switzerland-Italy border. Although sites on the mountain are still being excavated for fossils most of the material used in the study is housed in Paleontologische Institute und Museum der Universität, Zurich. The use of the methodology in assessing vertebrate remains, the surrounding environmental conditions at the time and the palaeoecology of specific taxa (such as the strange long-necked protorosaur Tanystropheus) have been explored in several collaborative scientific publications.

Dr Beardmore has also assisted the Fossil Museum in Meride, on Monte San Giorgio, with several public engagement projects, for example, translating and editing German text for temporary exhibitions, the museum website, audio guide scripts, and interpretive signs both inside the building and outside at points of geological interest on walking routes across the mountain.

Previous employment roles have included development of the Recognised Collection (geology) at Elgin Museum, Moray (2014-2015), and earth collection move projects at Oxford University Museum of Natural History (2017-2019). Dr Beardmore has additional collection experience as a volunteer at the Ludlow Library and Museum Resource Centre (2004-2007). She has also been a volunteer at the Natural History Museum of Utah, Salt Lake City, since 2003 and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Colorado, since 2013, annually participating in remote field work to recover vertebrates from Triassic (Berlin Ichthyosaur State Park, Nevada; Lisbon Valley, Utah) and Cretaceous (Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah; Bisti Wilderness area, New Mexico) rocks.

She is now working on a two-year John Ellerman Foundation project to investigate Natural Sciences collections in museums throughout Scotland, with an emphasis on the fossil collections.

Selected publications

  1. Beardmore, S.R., and Furrer, H., 2018. Land or water: using taphonomic models to determine the lifestyle of the Triassic protorosaur Tanystropheus (Diapsida, Archosauromorpha). Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments 98: 243-258.
  2. Beardmore, S.R., and Furrer, H., 2016. Taphonomic analysis of Saurichthys from two stratigraphic horizons in the Middle Triassic of Monte San Giorgio, Switzerland. Swiss Journal of Geosciences 109: 1-16.
  3. Orr, P.J., Adler, L.B., Beardmore, S.R., Furrer, H., McNamara, M.E., Peñalver-Mollá, E. and Redelstorff, R., 2016. “Stick ‘n’ peel”: Explaining unusual patterns of disarticulation and loss of completeness in fossil vertebrates. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 457: 380-388.
  4. Beardmore, S.R. and Furrer, H., 2016. Preservation of Pachypleurosauridae (Reptilia; Sauropterygia) from the Middle Triassic of Monte San Giorgio, Switzerland. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie-Abhandlungen 280: 221-240.
  5. Beardmore, S.R., Orr, P.J., Manzocchi, T., Furrer, H. and Johnson, C., 2012. Death, decay and disarticulation: modelling the skeletal taphonomy of marine reptiles demonstrated using Serpianosaurus (Reptilia; Sauropterygia). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 337: 1-13.
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Natural Science Collections Across Scotland

Until March 2021 we will be working with museums across Scotland to increase engagement with natural science collections, with generous funding from the John Ellerman Foundation.

Blog posts by Sue Beardmore

Join John Ellerman Project Curator Sue Beardmore as she works with museums across Scotland to increase engagement with natural science collections
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