I’m a palaeobiologist working on the preservation of soft tissues in fossil animals. Much of my current research focuses on the preservation of colour in fossil insects and vertebrates. I am also interested in fossil preservation more broadly, including the skeletal taphonomy of fossils and the environmental and biological controls on preservation. I currently lead a team of eight researchers working on various problems related to coloration in modern and ancient animals.

I teach undergraduate modules GL2016 (Dingle field trip), BL3002 (Evolution), GL3007 (Evolution for geologists) and GL4024 (Exceptional glimpses of ancient life), and encourage undergraduates to use quantitative techniques in their own research projects and to attend literature discussion groups.

I am committed to sharing my enthusiasm for geoscience to the broader public and run a strong outreach programme based around exhibits at major regional and national science exhibitions, in addition to participating in public engagement initiatives such as Culture Night and Learning Neighbourhoods.



Prof. Maria McNamara

Contact Details:


Senior Lecturer

Research Area:

palaeobiology, fossil preservation, fossil colour, lake sediments



School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

An Scoil Eolaíochtaí Bitheolaíocha, Domhaneolaíocha agus Comhshaoil

University College Cork, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, Ireland T23 N73K