Prof Maria McNamara, Professor of paleontology in the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at University College Cork joins me this week. Maria’s research focuses on the preservation and paleobiology of exceptionally preserved fossils with particular interests in soft tissues and fossil colour.

She speaks to me about her Granny's influence on her at a young age to explore the natural world  and how she still considers herself a 'curious child'. Maria discusses leaving academia to work as a geopark geologist in the Burren, what that experience taught her and what drew her back into academic life. 

Her passion for paleontology  is evident from the first moment you listen to this episode. She explains why she wants to extract biological information from fossils, her interest in the evolutionary functions of feathers and the importance of insect colour in communication. Maria also discusses her latest projects on melanin and how this may have implications on human health.

Finally Maria also chats about her exciting new project 'Irelands Fossil Heritage' and her passion for science communication. This episode is bursting with interesting facts and inspiring advice, I really hope you all enjoy.

This is the last episode before Christmas - Back on Jan 4th!

Follow Maria: MariaMcN_palaeo

Follow me: MeganHanlon4

This season is kindly sponsored by Bio-Sciences Ltd, now part of Thermo-Fisher Scientific.

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