My latest popular science book, The Earth: A Biography of Life, came out on the 22nd April, 2022, International Earth Day! Read my blog to find out more.

‘an insightful book with sparkling wit and humour that will appeal to new and seasoned readers of palaeontology’

Dr Anjana Khatwa 

My first book, Beasts Before Us: The Untold Story of Mammal Origins and Evolution, was published in 2020 by Bloomsbury Sigma. In it, I tell the tale of the part of the mammal origin story you never get to hear: our most ancient origins in the time of dinosaurs and long before.

‘smart, passionate, and seditious’

New York Times

‘beautifully written debut’

The Inquisitive Biologist

‘the author also can turn a passage of arresting beauty…If she were to write a novel, I’d want to read it’

Wall Street Journal

Published by Bloomsbury Sigma, you can find Beasts Before Us in all good bookshops. Check out #BeastsBeforeUs on twitter.

Hear an excerpt from Chapter One – see my YouTube channel for more.

I write for online and printed publications as a freelance writer, for example I’ve contributed to BBC Science Focus, and I wrote for The Guardian as part of the Lost Worlds Revisited team. My articles have focused on topics in palaeontology and evolution, including new fossils and scientific discoveries, tackling misconceptions, and diversity in science. I’ve also contributed features on modern women scientists and historical figures such as Elisabeth Anderson Grey (TrowelBlazers).

Guardian example
Read this and other articles here

Printed articles include those in The Scotsman, Fossil News, and Biological Sciences Review, an educational magazine for schools. I’ve also contributed to newsletters such as that of the Palaeontological Association and Hugh’s News.

Picture by Bob Nicholls

As well as science, I write prose and poetry. In 2019 I co-edited an anthology about landscape, palaeontology and rocks, (alongside writer and poet, Larissa Reid), called Conversations in Stone. Incorporating the winners of the hugely successful Hugh Miller Writing Competition (see below), the book brings together emerging writers from across the UK with published authors including Kenny Taylor, historians of Hugh Miller, and palaeontologists working in Scotland (including my own contribution). It is now available to buy online.

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From 2017-2020 I was a judge for the Hugh Miller Writing Competition. This biannual competition aimed to inspire new, original prose and poetry on the theme of Scotland’s geoheritage. It was named for one of Scotland’s most prolific Victorian writers, Hugh Miller (1802-1856). Winners have gone on to sign publishing deals with major publishers, and the competition was acknowledged for recognising and supporting rising writing talent.


Reading of my poem, ‘Free’. Recorded Spring 2020. (c) Elsa Panciroli
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