Hilary has a BA in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford. She completed a PhD at the University of Cambridge on plesiosaurs, carrying out collections-based research in museums around the world. She has done palaeontological fieldwork in the UK, USA and South Africa.
After her PhD, Hilary gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester. She has worked in national, independent and university museums including the Natural History Museum, London, the Cambridge Museum of Technology, the Sedgwick Museum and the Museum of Zoology in Cambridge. She moved back to Oxford in 2013. After a short period working for NERC as a Science Programme Officer, she joined Oxford University Museum of Natural History in 2014.
Hilary has appeared on the Channel 4 series 'Walking Through Time' and BBC Four's 'Beach Live' programme, talking about plesiosaurs.
She is on the Committee of the Geological Curators' Group.