Education and outreach.

Our book on the fossils of the Chatham Islands.
Published by Cambridge Scholars, Oct, 2020.
Rise of the Toxic Slime, published by Scientific American. Artist: Victor O. Leshyk,
A geology and fossil tour for the local school children and their families on Pitt Island, south Pacific (with Chava Rodriguez, Jesse Vitacca and Cameron McKenzie).
Public outreach program Forskarfnatt at the Swedish Museum of Natural History (with Cissi Larsson).
Collecting plant fossils from Clarence Valley, New Zealand, for a National Geographic expedition (with David Cantrill, John Simes, Pedro Viegas, and Liz Kennedy).
The Cosmic Tea Party Podcast.
Press release for the National Geographic expedition to the Cretaceous south polar forests of the Chatham Islands (with Jeffrey Stilwell).
Undergraduate field excursion to coastal outcrops in Victoria, Australia.

Communication is as integral to science as the scientific method.

Educator roles

Lecturer (2022-), University College Cork. Undergraduate lecturer and module coordinator in palaeontology, evolutionary biology, palaeoclimatology and Earth system science.

Masters Course Lecturer (2020, 2021), joint program by Stockholm University and the Swedish Museum of Natural History. Topics: palaeobotany, fossil preservation, history and philosophy of palaeontology.

Public Workshop Series Originator, Coordinator and Presenter of ‘Fossil Fridays’ (2018), Swedish Museum of Natural History. Topics: history and philosophy of palaeontology, mass extinctions, palaeoclimates.

Associate Lecturer (2012–2017), Monash University, School of Earth, Atmosphere & Environment. Topics: palaeobotany, palaeobiology, palynology, environmental science, field geology, sedimentary geology, stratigraphy, petrography.

Postgraduate Short Course Developer and Coordinator of ‘Sedimentary Basin Evolution’ (2014), Monash University, School of Earth, Atmosphere & Environment. Topics: sedimentary geology, stratigraphy, petrography.

Content Developer and Consultant for science education apps ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’, BBC Earth, and ‘MWorld’, Monash University (2011–2014). Topics: palaeobotany, palaeobiology, geochronology, environmental science.

Podcast Presenter and Producer, Blog Author and Website Manager (2009–2015), The Cosmic Tea Party Podcast. Topics: general science, pop-culture.

Undergraduate Laboratory and Field Trip Demonstrator (2008–2011), Monash University, School of Geosciences. Topics: Palaeobiology, stratigraphy, sedimentary geology.

Science Educator (2008–2011), Victorian Space Science Education Centre. Topics: geology, astronomy, planetary science.

Mays, C., Vajda, V., McLoughlin, S., 2022. Rise of the toxic slime. Scientific American, July 1st :56–63.

Mays, C. (2021). Virtual palaeontology: Revealing the microcosmos within fossils. The Australian Age of Dinosaurs, Winton, Australia, issue 18, pp. 48–53.

McLoughlin, S., Vajda, V. & Mays, C. (2021). Death and destruction in the Sydney Basin. The Australian Age of Dinosaurs, Winton, Australia, issue 18, pp. 37–47.

Mays, C. (2021). Naturhistoriska riksmuseet Instagram guest researcher. @naturhistoriska.

Stilwell, J.D. & Mays, C. (2020). Lost World of Rēkohu: Ancient ‘Zealandian’ Animals and Plants of the Remote Chatham Islands. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K., 311 pp.

Mays, C. & Slater, S.M. (2020). Burning back the tree of life during the end-Permian mass extinction. Nature Ecology & Evolution Community.

Slater, S.M. & Mays, C. (2020). Charcoal in the fossil record. Nature Ecology & Evolution Community.

Mays, C. & McLoughlin, S. (2019). Caught between mass extinctions—the rise and fall of Dicroidium. Deposits, Suffolk, UK, issue 59, pp. 43–47.

Mays, C. (2015). Blindspots in the hand lens. In: Armitage, D. (Editor), True Tales of the Chatham Islands. The Chatham Heritage and Restoration Trust, Waitangi, New Zealand, pp. 150–153.

Mays, C. (2015). Frozen in stone: the polar forests of Zealandia. The Australian Age of Dinosaurs, Winton, Australia, issue 12, pp. 52–65.

Press highlights

Earth’s largest extinction event saw toxic algal blooms at CO2 concentrations observed today. EcoWatch, Manhasset, USA (2021).

A warning sign of a mass extinction event is on the rise, scientists say. Vice News, Brooklyn, USA (2021).

Australia’s Black Summer had further-reaching impacts than we thought. AusSMC, Adelaide, Australia (2021).

Varför brinner det i Australien? [Why is it burning in Australia?]. Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden (2020).

Scientists find 2 mating flies trapped in prehistoric amber. The New York Times, New York, USA (2020).

Om Fossil [About Fossils]: The NRM Public Workshops “Fossil Fridays”. Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden (2019).

Global greenhouse event millions of years ago led to fire-adapted trees. Australian Geographic, Sydney, Australia (2017).

New Zealand’s prehistoric polar forests. Radio New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand (2016).

Fossilised forest provides glimpse of early polar life. The Courier, Sydney, Australia (2012).


“When you make the finding yourself – even if you’re the last person on Earth to see the light – you’ll never forget it.”

Carl Sagan (1934–1996)


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