Marion Bamford was born and educated in Zimbabwe before enrolling at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, for a BSc degree majoring in Botany and Microbiology. She completed her BSc Honours degree in Plant Systematics and then went on to do her Masters and Doctoral research in Palaeobotany, all at the University of the Witwatersrand. After working at the Geological Survey in Pretoria, she returned to do post doctoral research at Wits on fossil woods for a diamond mining company. She lectures in Palaeobotany to Biology and Geology undergraduate students and supervises post graduate student research. Her main research interest is in fossil woods of all ages, but she is involved in a variety of plant aspects for numerous research projects in Africa. For example, she studies the fossil woods, leaves and seeds from Laetoli in Tanzania, Koobi Fora and Lukeino in Kenya, wood from Sterkfontein in South Africa, woods from southern Africa as well as charcoal and phytoliths. Marion is one of very few palaeobotanists in Africa and is at the Bernard Price Institute, the only African Palaeontology research institute. She has published over 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals, presented papers at numerous international conferences and is the editor of the scientific journal Palaeontologia africana. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa and is the chief coordinator of the Scientific Advisory Committee for PAST (Palaeontological Scientific Trust, a non-governmental funding body for the palaeosciences in Africa).