Nancy Kirk was a protégée of O. T. Jones. Her early, unpublished, field studies in the Welsh Borders were an important foundation for some of the work on faunal distributions by Oxford workers in the 1960s and for regional studies by a group at Cambridge in the 1980s and 1990s. From the start, her graptolite work proved controversial but, for many people, enlivening. Interpretations (produced in conjunction with Denis Bates) based on detailed SEM examination, gave her an international reputation. As a teacher, she was noted for the care and effort that she put into stretching the minds of the brightest, while ensuring that even the weakest students had a chance. She was memorable for her dress sense (usually looking as if she had just come in from the field) and her sometimes colourful language.