Our Supporters

Tracy Chevalier

Tracy Chevalier is the author of nine novels, including the international bestseller Girl with a Pearl Earring, as well as Remarkable Creatures, a novel about Mary Anning. She grew up in Washington DC and in 1984 moved to London, where she lives with her husband and son. Tracy is a Trustee of the British Library and President of the Royal Literary Fund, and a Patron of the Lyme Regis Museum.

‘Mary Anning is an inspiring example of how an ordinary person can do extraordinary things. She found fossils others didn’t know existed, and she persisted when it was unheard of for someone of her gender and class to take part in scientific discovery. I would love to see a statue of her in Lyme Regis. She is a heroine to us all.’

Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough is a broadcaster and naturalist. After studying natural sciences at Cambridge, he began his career as a producer at the BBC. He was made controller of BBC 2 in 1965 and later its director of programming. During his tenure he was instrumental in expanding its natural history content.

Attenborough begin writing and producing various series, including the smash hit Life on Earth, which set the standards for the modern nature documentary. Since then Attenborough has written, produced, hosted and narrated countless award winning, nature-focused programs and has devoted his life to celebrating and preserving wildlife.

"Dear Evie, Thank you for your letter, Mary Anning certainly deserves a statue. Do please add my name to the list of those supporting your campaign to erect a statue to Mary, and thank you very much for the tiny ammonite. It is now the smallest in my collection." 

Professor Alice Roberts

Professor Alice Roberts

Professor Alice Roberts is an academic, writer and broadcaster, interested in the structure of humans, how we function, and our place in the wider environment. Alice makes programmes and writes books about human anatomy, physiology, evolution, archaeology and history. She passionately believes that universities are about generating and spreading knowledge to the widest possible audience.

Alice is a medical doctor, and went on to become a university lecturer. Alice has also been Professor of Public Engagement with Science at the University of Birmingham since 2012.

"Mary Anning, an outsider in the male-dominated sphere of nineteenth century science, is one of the most important pioneers in British palaeontology. From ichthyosaurs to plesiosaurs, pterosaurs to prehistoric sharks, Mary Anning unearthed a huge wealth of fossils, casting light on the wonderful range of ancient life entombed in the rocks of her home town, Lyme Regis. A statue of Mary Anning would help to redress the balance, recognising her contribution to science.” 

Professor Alice Roberts

Dr Dean Lomax

Dr Dean Lomax is an internationally recognised multi-award-winning palaeontologist, presenter and author. He has travelled the globe and worked on many fascinating projects from excavating dinosaurs in the American West, to describing new species of extinct marine reptiles, and winning a gold medal for excellence in science. Dean is passionate about communicating palaeontology with the public and regularly appears on TV & radio. He is the author of several books, numerous scientific papers, and many popular articles. In 2015, he named a new species of ichthyosaur after Mary Anning – Ichthyosaurus anningae – the first ichthyosaur named in her honour and it only took 200 years!  

‘Mary Anning has been a hero of mine for as long as I can remember. From the books I read or museums I visited as a child, I was captivated by the story of a young, brilliant and ‘uneducated’ woman who had made remarkable fossil discoveries – discoveries that would change the world. Mary’s story further inspired me to follow my dreams of becoming a palaeontologist.'

Today, I’ve been working as a palaeontologist for over a decade and much of my research has been retracing Mary’s footsteps by examining the many hundreds of ichthyosaurs (extinct sea-going reptiles) that she discovered. Mary’s story means so much to me that I named a new species in her honour – Ichthyosaurus anningae. This was the first (and only) ichthyosaur species named after Mary despite her being the first person to bring ichthyosaurs to the attention of the scientific world. I like to think that a statue, dedicated to the mother of palaeontology, will inspire generations of scientists and give this brilliant woman the recognition she so duly deserves.’

Professor Alice Roberts

Dr Anjana Khatwa 

Dr Anjana Khatwa is an Earth Scientist specialising in bringing stories about the origins and formation of natural landscapes to life for a wide range of audiences. She is an established learning professional and has a highly regarded international reputation as an expert on Earth Science and World Heritage education. She has published numerous papers on science education, glacial geology and was the recipient (with her team) of the Geographical Award from the RGS-IBG in recognition of her services for education about the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.  She has overcome significant barriers in her personal and professional life to achieve huge impact in the field of Earth Sciences and ensuring this is accessible for all audiences.

“As a woman of colour working in the Earth Sciences, I have faced numerous obstacles and barriers in my personal and professional life to follow my chosen career. For me, Mary Anning is an iconic figure who sought to achieve recognition and justice for her contributions to science. When I walk through the doors of Burlington House, home to the Geological Society of London, I look at her portrait on my left as I enter and give her my silent thanks. It is because of her discoveries, her self-belief and ultimately her fight for recognition that I am able to walk through those doors with my head held high as a woman of science”.    

Professor Hugh S. Torrens

Professor Hugh S. Torrens is a British historian of geology and palaeontology, and Emeritus Professor of Palaeontology at Keele University. Torrens received a bachelor's degree from the University of Oxford and a PhD from the University of Leicester. He was president of the Society for the History of Natural History from 2012 to 2015. Widely acknowledge as the expert on the life and works of Mary Anning and a book about Anning’s life by Torrens is widely anticipated. 

‘Mary Anning 1799 to 1847 of Lyme; ‘the greatest fossilist the world ever knew’ 

Trowel Blazers

TrowelBlazers is an organisation dedicated to outreach activities aimed at encouraging participation of women and underrepresented groups in archaeological, geological, and palaeontological science. Created by the founding four Brenna Hasset a bioarchaeologist who is especially interested in studying child health in the past - Victoria Herridge a palaeobiologist who’s specialist topic is the evolution of ice age dwarf elephants - Suzanne Pilaar Birch who combines archaeology with biochemisty to investigate how humans adapted to climate change in prehistory and Rebecca Wragg Sykes is a Palaeolithic archaeologist who especially finds Neanderthals fascinating.  

 The Geologists’ Association 

The Geologists' Association is a British association concerned with the study of geology. The GA was founded in 1858. It is a charitable organisation for all geologists and earth scientists, whether of professional or amateur status.

We are so thrilled to be supported by The Geologists Association and to be the recipients of an award of funds from The Curry Fund to help us raise a statue for Mary Anning. For more information about The Geologists' Association please click here https://geologistsassociation.org.uk

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