Craig Chapman, Central and East of England leader
As the founder of UKAFH I am very proud of all we have achieved in such a short amount of time. We've become one of the biggest amateur fossil groups in the country! Now we've teamed up with UKGE things can only get better and better.
It's still hard to believe people come to me for advice about fossils. Five years ago, I wouldn't have known a great deal. Everything I know has been self taught and through experience out in the field. It's a fascinating hobby and my vision for the future is to make fossil hunting an accessible and enjoyable hobby for everyone. I am looking forward to seeing you all at some of our up and coming fossil hunts.
Steve Snowball, Deputy Head and South of England leader.
My interest in fossils began from about the age of seven and it's turned out to be an interest, (along with playing guitar!) that has stayed with me for most of my life. As a teacher training student, the Jurassic Coast of Dorset was right on my doorstep. It's still my favourite spot and I'm fortunate to now be living back there, after working in Sussex for over 30 years. The Dorset coastline and scenery are stunning! As a recently retired headteacher, I joined UKAFH as a mere hobby group but here I am, involved to both help run the organisation and lead field trips for others. It's great fun and UKAFH hunts are very family friendly and highly recommended!
Aidan Philpott, Central and East of England leader
Fossil mad. I have been since my grandparents hid fossils in their back garden for me to find at the age of 7.
Since then I have traveled all over the UK and abroad in search of prehistory.
I love the hunt, the adventure of it all!! UKAFH is great because it allows the as adventure to be shared with other fossil lunatics - and has exposed me to so many new localities across the UK.
Chris Tait: South of England leader.
Like many, I caught the fossil bug quite early on having been taken to Lyme Regis by my Grandma as a 7 year old and my interest in ancient life has grown along with me.
In 2008 I took the plunge and went back to university (Portsmouth) and in 2011 I graduated in Palaeobiology and Evolution. During this, I had field trips in Spain, Wales and Germany as well as numerous trips to Barton, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.
I began a PhD investigating some new Coelacanth remains from Kimmeridge bay in Dorset, and despite learning lots, personal circumstances prevented me from completing those studies. Since then I have twice travelled to Morocco to search for dinosaurs and buy a few fossils. I am a total fossil nerd and love nothing more than a good hunt for ancient treasure!
I am delighted to join UKAFH and very much look forward to meeting some like-minded people, having some fun whilst learning a bit and finding some cool fossils. :D
Dan Slidel, South of England leader.
Like most geologists my fascination with rocks started early on, from a young age I could normally be found looking for new and interesting rocks. This led to academic studies in geology at A-level and on to Royal Holloway, University of London where I gained my MSci.
During my studies at Royal Holloway I participated in many different field trips, ranging from the volcanic systems of Tenerife, the wet and windy slopes of the Scotish Highlands to my six week mapping project in the Italian Alps. I also joined CASP as a field assistant, collecting geological data, in the Canadian High Arctic Islands on a summer trip. This trip focused on understanding the geological evolution of the Franklinian and Sverdrup basins and involved collecting many geological samples and fossils.
From my studies at Royal Holloway I went on to join Neftex in 2011 as part of a team working on the regional geology of the Arctic. I worked as a Geoscientist on the North American Arctic, Eastern Former Soviet Union regions, with a focus on the Western Eurasia region. With a particular interest in the geology and evolution of the Barents Sea. Landmark Software and Services, a Halliburton business line, acquired Neftex in June 2014. Shortly before this I joined the Play Analysis team and presently work as a Geoscientist with a focus on collating and utilising Field, Lead and Play information.
With more than ten years of experience in geology, five of which spent as a professional geologist, I am very much looking forward to working with you, running hunts and sharing in the excitement of learning about our geological history. Hope to see you soon!
Lizzie Hingley, South West of England leader
Kellie Vernon, North of England leader
I am Kellie and my passion for dinosaurs began pretty much
as soon as my son Euan was born – they are his greatest obsession and I have
had to continually learn to keep pace!
We have both been involved with UKAFH for a number of years and go on as many hunts as possible. Of course I have my own paleontologist for company!
Outside of my two jobs I am also as PhD student studying the Scott
Expedition to the South Pole in 1910-13 ( and yes- they found the first fossils there in 1912!) I am hoping to help with some hunts here in
the North West and look forward to seeing you !
Andrew Eaves, North West leader
I've bee a rock head for many more years than I'm prepared to share. I'm married with a 25 year old jazz singing daughter. I wanted an evolutionary biologist, but you can't have everything.
My collecting interests are: Lancashire crinoids, Kentish sharks' teeth and Lancashire Coal Measure plants. I'm a bit of a maniac, when it comes to British Classic Fossils, however, and so can be found on chalk beaches, the North East coast of Yorkshire and anywhere else where I might find something.
Other interests are: Napoleonic re-enacting, late 80s/early90s Indie music, collecting Victorian Palaeontological books and setting up as close a facsimile, as I can, to Darwin's study in Down House.
My wife clearly has a lot to put up with.
I'm an incredibly experienced( old) primary school teacher and run sessions up at Manchester University for the PGCE students. I also do talks on various subjects, well Napoleon and fossils, for local societies.
Thank you for your kind attention, Andrew
Katherine Combe, North of England leader
As a child, I have a memory of the Mount St Helens eruption, this started my obsession with everything volcanic, which then turned into a love of everything geological after completing an A ‘level in Geology in 2003. Having completed a Global Hazard Geology Degree at the University of Derby in 2008, and then starting a MSC in Earth Science at the Open University in 2014, the passion for geology never wavered. I have a fulltime job as a nurse which I find rewarding and enjoyable, but my heart is shared with geology, I have an extensive collection of fossils and rocks of all types and from world- wide locations. From an early age I have included my children in fossil hunting within the UK and recently involved my mother and I now have change to inspire others and help find, collect and preserved the best of the fossils within the UK.
Simon Parkes, North of England leader
Lee-anne Collins, West of England and Wales leader
Andrew Bayliss, West of England and Wales leader
From an early age I was interested in fossils and Dinosaurs, my interest was renewed when I moved to Faringdon, Oxfordshire. The reason being that I kept finding pieces of fossil sponge in my garden, what I did not know was that Faringdon is famous the world over for its fossils. Being close to Wicklesham Quarry many a Saturday I could be found head down trying to find more fossils for my ever growing collection. My best find was a Plesiosaur Vert which was found on top of a small spoil heap, still my best find to date.
My aim is to bring the joy of finding fossils to more people, favorite place besides Wicklesham Quarry is Seatown in Dorset and there is a nice pub right next to the beach.