Dean Lomax is a young palaeontologist from Doncaster, England. He has been interested and involved in all things palaeontology since a very young age volunteering and working alongside museums and specialists since his early teens. He has taken (and still takes) part in several palaeontological projects across the world.
Dean is currently Assistant Curator of Palaeontology (CIRCA Project) at Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery. He is also a visiting scientist at the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, The University of Manchester.
Palaeontological consulting & Outreach
As a palaeontological consultant, Dean works on a freelance contract basis, visiting museum collections, identifying specimens, cataloguing, and researching material available. Additionally, Dean holds lectures, book signings, fossil events and presentations in museums & institutes, schools, clubs and more; he also leads fossil hunting trips to the Whitby coastline. Aside from this he interacts with the media and is currently a consultant for the BBC Natural History Unit.
If you are interested in learning more about any of the above, or have a question/query please contact Dean at the e-mail provided:- skalidis7(at)hotmail(dot)com
Above: Dean Lomax conducting research at the Yorkshire Museum, York. Picture: 2011.
Above: Dean with a huge sauropod femur probably from a Camarasaurus found on one of the dig sites at the Wyoming Dinosaur Center. Picture: 2009.
Brief History -
Having strongly been focused to make a career in palaeontology in the future, during his early teen years Dean began to make contact with palaeontologists, amongst contact with numerous fossil collectors and museums across the world. Based on advice given by several palaeo workers it became quite apparent that palaeontology was an immensely difficult area to break into. There is only two options open for would-be palaeontologists: either studying for a degree in palaeontology (or similar discipline) at University, or to become an autodidact (self taught) palaeontologist. Having taken the decision during his mid teens to focus on an autodidact career, Dean decided to hold off University for later in life and focus primarily on a self taught career in palaeontology, thus enabling him to gain some professional experience, before making any rash decisions about University. The initial idea of spending 6 months experiencing palaeontology completely changed his life. Dean opened more and more doors and it has now been over 7 years that he has been actively involved in palaeontology, with both 2011 and 2012 being the most important and productive years so far as a palaeontologist; although 2013 is shaping up to be quite exciting!
“My ideas were to look at palaeontology first hand to gain solid experience, thus I could look at several areas including: field work (more than just collecting fossils), preparation, research, exhibition work, moulding & casting, education, funding, media and more. Thus allowing me to have a far broader understanding of what palaeontology has to offer, and more importantly what I could offer to palaeontology”.
Currently Dean is a self employed palaeontologist working (and collaborating) on numerous palaeontological projects across the world. The projects Dean has worked with, or working on, have been made possible through sheer determination, help from family and close friends (all of which Dean is thankful), and tremendously hard work and dedication. This has enabled him to achieve his goals in palaeontology, to get where he is now, and to continue aiming high.
"My career as a palaeontologist has taken off the ground, although having decided to hold off on University, I plan to attend in the future, but only when doors are no longer open to me; and thus feel the need to progress myself with a degree. However, up to press I’ve worked on such fascinating and life changing projects from work with youngsters interested in fossils to working with 6 of the original Archaeopteryx specimens".
Some of Dean's projects are discussed. Dean has been affiliated with Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery in Yorkshire, England since 2008. Here he rediscovered a highly important and old palaeontology collection (100+ years old). Work conducted has included collection research, exhibition creation and much more. He has also spent many months working in the USA in both Wyoming and Montana; this has included extensive work with the Wyoming Dinosaur Center (www.wyodino.org). Amongst this Dean has spent time working in France and a short, but important stint in Germany. All of the projects Dean has been able to work with have allowed him to thoroughly experience several key areas of palaeontology.
Dean currently does not specialise, and prefers to keep as a generalist (for now), but slowly he is becoming more obsessed with ichthyosaurs. He researches several areas in palaeontology and publishes work(s) in palaeontology related magazines and scientific journals, including peer, and non-peer reviewed works. A recent publication is the book: Fossils of the Whitby Coast. A new book is set for release late this year, co-authored with Nobumichi Tamura: Dinosaurs of the British Isles. Through such works as those discussed, the media (including newspapers, radio and TV) have expressed interest in following Dean’s adventures and have watched his career unfold. Dean is frequently in contact with some of the world’s leading palaeontologists discussing research and collaborating on projects.
“It is true that in any area of work, or indeed in life, you must be different to stand out. I decided to take a somewhat risky chance with my career in palaeontology. However, for me I thoroughly stand by the decisions I have taken in palaeontology, after all we need to find our own way in life, and our own niche, it doesn't always have to be the 'mainstream'. Hopefully with my continued work and research, I can continue to push harder and achieve further, giving all that I can to help progress the science of palaeontology”.