Director of the University Museum of Natural History
Professor Paul Smith is Director of Oxford University Museum of Natural History and has worked in museums throughout his career. An interest in museums was sparked during a research post at the Sedgwick Museum, University of Cambridge, and this led to a post at the national Geological Museum in Copenhagen before moving to the Lapworth Museum of Geology at the University of Birmingham, where he spent most of his career as curator and then director. After a period as head of the multidisciplinary School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences in Birmingham, Paul moved to the University of Oxford in 2012 to take up the directorship of the Museum of Natural History. His research interests range from geology into zoology, particularly the evolutionary origin of animal groups and the geology of the Arctic, and in the museums arena has a particular interest in the use of digital technologies and public engagement in science.
Paul is Co-Chair of University Museums Group UK and a Past-President of The Micropalaeontological Society. He has also been Vice-President, Secretary and Chair of the Publications Board of the Palaeontological Association. Paul is currently the chair of the Oxford University Museums Partnership, which is funded as a Major Partner Museum by Arts Council England.