This volume is dedicated to Dr Angela C. Milner, to commemorate her retirement from the Department of Palaeontology, in the Natural History Museum, London. Angela has had a long and distinguished museum career and has been a stalwart of the UK vertebrate palaeontological community for nearly four decades. Her position at the museum has called upon her talents as a researcher, public communicator, teacher and manager, and over the years she has collaborated with many colleagues on projects scientific, educational and museological. Here, we present a series of articles authored by a small selection of her collaborators, including museum colleagues, research collaborators, postdoctoral researchers and her postgraduate students, to mark Angela’s transition to a research-active, and administratively vacant, retirement.
The breadth of papers in the volume ranges across the whole of tetrapod diversity, reflecting Angela’s own diverse research interests, as well as those of her collaborators. Contributions on basal tetrapods (Angela’s first area of interest) are from Per Ahlberg (early tetrapod humeri), Jennifer Clack (a new microsaur from Scotland), Andrew Milner and Sandra Sequeira (on the temnospondyl Erpetosaurus) and Marcello Ruta (phylogenetic implications of tetrapod limb material). Angela also published on many different reptile groups, most prominently on dinosaurs, and these are represented by papers from Paul Barrett and colleagues (on the ornithopod Valdosaurus), David Norman (on Wealden iguanodontians), Oliver Rauhut (on African theropods) and Emily Rayfield (on the biomechanics of theropod skulls). Other reptile papers are those by Arnau Bolet and Susan Evans (on the lizard Scandensia), Walter Joyce and colleagues (on solemydid turtles) and Hilary Ketchum and Roger Benson (on a new pliosaurid) – Angela has either worked, or advised, on all of these groups! Jerry Hooker and Allan Lawson provide the only mammal paper in the volume (on an English Late Cretaceous eutriconodont), while Stig Walsh and colleagues provide a review of palaeoneurology, a subject that has recently been close to the heart of Angela’s research programme.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the contributors for their articles and for (mostly) getting them in on schedule. We are indebted to the many referees for their time, consideration and professionalism. In particular, we thank the Publications Committee of the Palaeontological Association and their Editor-in-Chief Svend Stouge, together with Louise Robb, Senior Production Editor at Wiley-Blackwell, for their support of this volume and their help in bringing it to fruition.