Dr Tiffany Slater

I am a biologist interested in the preservation potential of soft tissues. For my PhD I am investigating the preservation potential of different types of pigmentation in feathers. This research will aid in the interpretation of fossil feathers and help inform the evolution of these epidermal structures. My previous research utilized exceptionally preserved shark fossils to study the evolution of Heterodontus, a primitive bullhead shark.


  • McNamara, M.E., Rossi, V., Slater, T.S., Rogers, C.S., Ducrest, A.-L., Dubey, S., Roulin, A., 2021. Decoding the Evolution of Melanin in Vertebrates. Trends in Ecology and Evolution36, 430-443. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2020.12.012.
  • Slater, T., Ashbrook, K., Kriwet, J., 2020. Evolutionary relationships among bullhead sharks (Chondrichthyes, Heterodontiformes). Papers in Palaeontology, 6, 425-437. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/spp2.1299. DOWNLOAD THE PDF HERE: Slater_et_al_2020_bullhead sharks.pdf
  • Slater, T.S., McNamara, M.E., Orr, P.J., Foley, T.B., Ito, S., Wakamatsu, K., 2019. Taphonomic experiments resolve controls on the preservation of melanosomes and keratinous tissues in feathers. Palaeontology63103-115. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/pala.12445.
  • 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’ Association127, 464–477. DOI: 10.1016/j.pgeola.2016.07.001.
  • Withington, L., Slater, T., 2017. The ‘Amateur’ lives on! Geoscientist27.
  • Slater, T., 2016. Sharks with question marks: Investigating the placement of a new bullhead shark fossil. Palaeontology Newsletter, 93.


  • July 2022 - present: Postdoctoral researcher at University College Cork, Ireland.
  • July 2017 – June 2022: PhD (Geology) student at University College Cork, Ireland. PhD thesis: “Taphonomy of Fossil Feathers”.
  • June 2016 – July 2016: Visiting undergraduate researcher at the University of Vienna, Austria.
  • May 2015 – July 2015: Summer intern for “At the Feet of Dinosaurs”, supervised by Mike Benton at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom.
  • September 2014 – May 2017: BSc (Hons) 1st class in Biology at University of Worcester, United Kingdom. BSc Thesis: “Sharks with question marks: Examining the intrarelationships of bullhead sharks (Chondrichthyes: Heterodontiformes)”.
  • December 2013 – May 2014: Undergraduate researcher at University of Cincinnati, USA.

Maria McNamara Research Group

Experimental and analytical taphonomy

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES), University College Cork (UCC), Butler Building, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, T23 TK30, Ireland