Tiffany Slater

Tiffany Shea Slater

Contact Details:


PhD Student


Dr Maria McNamara


I completed my undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Worcester (UK) in 2017. My final year dissertation was performed in part at the University of Vienna (Austria) and focused on evolutionary relationships among bullhead sharks, for which I received the Witcombe Award from UW as well as the Top Project Award from the Royal Society of Biology. During my degree I participated in a summer internship at the University of Bristol (UK) investigating ecological and evolutionary change throughout the Rhaetian of the Late Triassic. I began my PhD at UCC in 2017 funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant awarded to Dr Maria McNamara.




My research interests lie in the use of analytical chemical techniques to investigate the biological and geological processes leading to the preservation of organic material in fossils. For my PhD I am investigating the preservation potential of keratin and pigments in feathers, which will inform on the biochemical fidelity of fossil feathers. This research is essential to interpreting their significance in our understanding of key evolutionary events, such as the dinosaur-to-bird transition. More information on this subject can be found at




Theses, papers, abstracts, popular articles etc.



Sep 2014 – May 2017: BSc (Hons) Biology - University of Worcester, UK. BSc thesis: Sharks with question marks: Examining intrarelationships of bullhead sharks (Chondrichthyes: Heterodontiformes).


Peer-reviewed publications: 

Slater, T., Ashbrook, K., Kriwet, J. 2020. Evolutionary relationships among bullhead sharks (Chondrichthyes: Heterodontiformes). Papers in Palaeontology, available via Early View at


Slater, T., McNamara, M. E., Orr, P., Foley, T. B., Ito, S., Wakamatsu, K. 2019. Taphonomic experiments resolve controls on the preservation of melanosomes and keratinous tissues in feathers. Palaeontology, 63, 103–115.


Slater, T., Duffin, C. J., Hildebrandt, C., Davies, T. G., Benton, M. J. 2016. Microvertebrates from multiple bone beds in the Rhaetian of the M4-M5 motorway junction, South Gloucestershire, U.K. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, 127, 464–477.


Other publications:


Slater, T., Withington, L. 2017. The ‘Amateur’ Lives On! Geoscientist, 27.


Slater, T. 2016. Sharks with question marks: Investigating the placement of a new bullhead shark fossil. Palaeontology Newsletter, 93.

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