Tom Kemp was Curator of the Zoological Collections in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, where he lectured on vertebrate biology and palaeobiology. Since his retirement in 2009, he has been Emeritus Research Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford and Honorary Research Associate of the Museum. His research is primarily on the origin of mammals, and also on the general question of how major new taxa evolve. In addition to his numerous papers, he is the author of Mammal-like reptiles and the origin of mammals (1982); Fossils and evolution (1999); The origin and evolution of mammals (2005); and The origin of higher taxa: palaeobiological, developmental, and ecological perspectives (2015). His most recent book, due out in September 2017, is Mammals: a very short introduction (Oxford University Press).