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Ms Vicky Coules

Ms Vicky Coules

Ms Vicky Coules

Area of research

VISUALISING THE DINOSAUR: Putting Flesh onto Fossils in early 19th century America. Supervisors: Dr Lucy Donkin (History of Art); Professor Mike Benton (Palaeobiology Research Group).

65 Woodland Rd,
Bristol, BS8 1UL
(See a map)


Images of dinosaurs have proliferated since their discovery in the 19th century and, more than any other science, palaeontology relies on the visual arts to depict its new discoveries. Yet dinosaurs are so popular that ever since the first dinosaurs were displayed to the public, a tension arose between two opposing needs – that of entertainment and marketing, and scientific accuracy. My research focusses on late 19th and early 20th century America, enquiring how scientists used artists to understand their own discoveries, visualise their living animals and promote their work to the public, and how much visual artists interacted with palaeontologists to authenticate their images.



I come to the PhD from a twenty-year period of writing voice-over scripts, proposals and stories for science and natural history documentaries, and the PhD is part time as I am still involved in the media.

I have a diverse background, including my MA in ‘Art, Media and Design (Fine Art)’ from UWE, Bristol, which, although practice (painting) led, involved theoretical aspects of cultural studies, critical theory and history of art.

Prior to my media work, I took a PGCE in teaching maths with physics, then spent 12 years teaching maths to not-always-very-receptive teenagers. My first degree is a B.Sc. in Communications Engineering and I worked as an engineer before taking up teaching.

I am an author of published books, including popular science and local history, and I occasionally work as a storyboard artists and copy writer. I am still a practising artist and my artwork can be seen at


  • dinosaur
  • palaeoart
  • palaeomedia
  • fantasy
  • media
  • science documentary
  • monster
  • prehistoric
  • primeval



Department of History of Art (Historical Studies)

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