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University of Sheffield, UK (1994-1999); University of Manchester, UK (1991-1993); University of Leicester, UK (1985-1988), Nene College of Higher Education (1985-1988).


PhD. Palaeobiology & biomechanics (1994-1999); MSc. Palaeoecology (1991-1993); BSc (Hons). Earth Sciences Major (Combined Studies) (1985-1988), Dip. HE. (1985-1988).

Chair of Natural History

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester.

Director (and Founding Director) of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Ancient Life (ICAL). Teaching undergraduate classes and helping deliver the ICAL postgraduate programme (both MPhil and PhD’s). Developing research-led teaching programmes in both the classroom and field. Working to strengthen the teaching and research profile of the University through grant funding and publishing in high-impact peer-reviewed journals. Mentoring students and colleagues to achieve the University of Manchester’s strategic objectives. Develop public outreach programmes to engage wide audiences on the public understanding of science. 


Membership of Professional Society/Body

Fellow, The Geological Society (London, UK); Fellow (International) of the Explorers Club (New York, USA); Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (London, UK); Member of the Palaeontological Association (UK); Member of the European Geosciences Unit (Austria), Member of the Museum's Association (UK). 

Applicable Honorary and Visiting appointments

Committee Member, Geological Society London, External Relations Committee (2021- present)

Board Member, Oxford Cambridge and RSA (OCR) Examination Board, OCR Natural History GCSE Strategic Advisory Board (2021 – present)

President, Earth Science Teachers' Association, UK. (September 2023-present).

Research contributions (H-index 40)

My goal is to lead and pursue interdisciplinary research whilst maintaining a diverse global research programme focused upon robust science. I have ensured that my research benefits from the application of new techniques and technologies borrowed from physics, biology, chemistry, engineering, and computational science. I was the founding director of ICAL that grew from the cross-faculty research being undertaken by our team. 


Peer reviewed publications

  • 94 papers published in peer-reviewed journals (including: Science, Nature Communications, PNAS, Geology, Proc. Roy. Soc. B., etc.).

  • 87 Peer-reviewed published abstracts for international meetings and symposia (including: Geological Society of America, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, etc.).

  • 6 books published, both for adult and children (Publishers include: Kingfisher Books, Penguin Books, National Geographic Books).

Outreach and public engagement

I have sustained a successful career, both as a scientist and an active communicator of the science that my team and I generate. The public engagement of science has never been a bolt-on activity to my research, but a central philosophy that has guided and complemented my research. Integrating the latest scientific discoveries in my public lectures, exhibits and outreach activities. 

Highlights of Outreach and Public Engagement activities include: being selected to present at The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition three times (2012, 2014 & 2020[&2021]); delivering 20-30 public lectures/outreach events every year; Presenting UoM research on television in the UK and internationally, presenting documentaries for National Geographic, BBC (radio and television) and other international media; In 2015 I contributed (on screen) to the film that was awarded the Emmy for Outstanding Science and Technology Programming.  

Awards & Honours

  1. Selected to exhibit at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in 2012, 2014 and 2021 (awarded on the basis that the 2020 exhibit was cancelled due to Covid19) in London (UK).

  2. Sorby Medal by The Yorkshire Geological Society (UK), awarded in December 2020, presented in 2021.

  3. Publication (Manning et al., 2019, Nature Comms) selected by Diamond Light Source (UK) as an invited Research Highlight in their Annual Review 2020/2021.

  4. Emmy for Outstanding Science and Technology Programming at the 36th Annual News and Documentary Awards held in New York. Dr. Manning was a contributor to the documentary (

  5. American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Distinguished Lecturer (2014/2015). 

  6. Elected an International Fellow International of the Explorer’s Club, New York (USA) in 2014. 

  7. Queens Anniversary Prize (November 2013,) I was part of the team that help write the application for the award, integrating science and outreach that my team had undertaken that contributed to the award being made to the University.

  8. La Recherche Magazine, senior author for one of their Top 10 Scientific Discoveries of 2011.

  9. Appointed as an Honorary Scientist, Zhucheng Museum, Shandong Province, China.

  10. Discover Magazine Award, first author for one of the Top 50 Scientific Discoveries of 2009, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.).

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