Richard Fortey studied Geology at Cambridge University and had a long career as a palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum in London. Since 1997, he has been a member of the Royal Society. He has published numerous books: The Hidden Landscape won the Natural World Book of the Year (1993), Life was short-listed for the Rhône-Poulenc Prize (1998) and Trilobite! was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize (2001). Fortey was elected President of the Geological Society of London for its bicentennial year (2007).