_ After a master degree in earth science, I completed my PhD in palaeontology in 2010 at the University of Florence (Italy). From April 2011 I am a postdoc researcher at the University of Plymouth. My role in the project is to collect, analyse and interpret a range of palaeoecological data on marine fossil invertebrates of latest Permian to Cretaceous age. My work is especially focused on understanding the role of extinction events in shaping the structure of marine benthic communities across the Mesozoic. Part of the project will involve fieldwork in a number of locations in the UK and overseas. I am also interested in modern and fossil chemosynthetic ecosystems, their ecology, palaeoecology and evolution.