Prehistoric to present: pupils dig ChEd Talk from Palaetontologist Dr. Dean Lomax

From fossil-finding to tales of resilience and endeavour, CHS pupils and parents were given a fascinating insight into the world of digging for dinosaurs with a visit from Palaetontologist, Author, Communicator of Science and one of the world’s leading experts on Ichthyosaurs, Dr. Dean Lomax.

Visiting CHS for the post-pandemic return of School’s in person chEd Talk event series, Dr. Lomax shared what it is like to have a career exploring the world for fossils, and delivered a ‘Dinosaur Show & Tell’ to Junior School families bringing along his own discoveries – including millions of years old specimens which the pupils even held in their own hands!

They discovered what a ‘dinosaur’ really is and the differences between all kinds of prehistoric creatures who once walked, swam, and flew across the land. They found out that prehistoric marine life could be three double decker buses long, with creatures named after people or drawing inspiration from Latin words.

The Juniors were especially impressed with the large claw specimen of Dr. Lomax’s favourite dinosaur – the Baryonyx!


“I thought it was really interesting and fascinating, I really liked that he had lots of different types of dinosaurs, and I loved that he let us hold the fossils which were millions of years old!”Josh, Year 6
“I really enjoyed it because he brought in lots of fossils and told us all about the dinosaurs that they actually came from. I would definitely go and see him again.” – Annie, Year 5


CHS Senior School & Sixth Form families also learned about the expectation vs. reality of a career in Palaeontology. They heard about Dr. Lomax’s excavations around the world from his first expedition as a teenager in Wyoming, USA to visiting the southernmost tip of Patagonia (which was a 5-hour horse-ride!) and most recently, his experience leading the unearthing of the UK’s largest complete prehistoric reptile fossil find in Rutland.

As well as tips for their own fossil finding adventures, pupils also learned an inspiring lesson in the power of following their passions; as a boy who loved dinosaurs, even without A Level science or going to university and discouraged by his peers, Dr. Lomax eventually achieved his PhD at University of Manchester and even won a gold medal for science communication at the Houses of Parliament!

Both talks finished with an audience Q&A, also giving pupils and parents chance to get up close and personal with the fossils.

View photos of all the action in the Gallery.

CHS ChEd Talks is a series of intimate discussions on a variety of topics for the whole School community. Lead by Head, Mr Neil Smith the sessions inspire and provoke thought, debate, and positive conversation. For recent ChEd Talks CHS has welcomed International DJ, journalist and author, Dave Haslam, TV personality John Thomson, and broadcaster, businessman, football coach and former footballer, Gary Neville, among others.