Dr Matt Wilkinson

Fellow, Director of Studies in Natural Sciences (Biological Part IB)
University Positions
Teaching Associate
Specialising in

Matt Wilkinson is a freelance popular science writer and speaker, voice artist, actor, and a Director of Studies in Natural Sciences.

Academic interests

Matt Wilkinson’s academic interests include:

  • Animal locomotion, especially flight
  • Vertebrate evolutionary history
  • Functional morphology
  • Comparative physiology.

Degrees obtained

  • BA Hons, Natural Sciences (Zoology), University of Cambridge.
  • MA Cantab., University of Cambridge.
  • PhD, Zoology, University of Cambridge.
  • MA, Performance, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.

Awards and prizes

  • Dance and Drama Award, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.


Matt Wilkinson was an undergraduate at Cambridge, and stayed to study for a PhD on pterodactyl flight in the Department of Zoology with Professor Charlie Ellington. He continued this research as a junior research fellow at Clare College. 

Matt then trained as an actor in London and, after a few years of treading the boards, joined the Science Factory literary agency. Now back in Cambridge, his writing and other science communication activities are broadly concerned with the evolutionary history of life on Earth, and the value of an evolutionary world view. He is also an associate artist with the Cambridge-based Corkscrew Theatre Company.

Other interests

Theatre (especially science in theatre), natural history, spiders, singing.

Publications, links and resources

  • Wilkinson, M.T. (2016) Restless Creatures: The Story of Life in Ten Movements, New York: Basic Books; London: Icon Books.
  • Wilkinson, M.T. (2008) Three-dimensional geometry of a pterosaur wing skeleton, and its implications for aerial and terrestrial locomotion. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 154, pp 27–69.
  • Wilkinson, M.T. (2007) Sailing the skies: the improbable aeronautical success of the pterosaurs. Journal of Experimental Biology 210, pp 1663-1671.
  • Wilkinson, M. T., Unwin, D. M. & Ellington, C. P. (2006) High lift function of the pteroid bone and forewing of pterosaurs. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 273, pp 119-126.

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