Patrick began at the Queensland Museum in 1984. He was initially employed in display construction and moved to the Herpetology Section in 1986 when a research assistant position became available.
He is now Curator and has an active interest in the taxonomy, ecology and conservation of Queensland's diverse reptile fauna.
Patrick has described more than thirty new species of reptiles, including five new genera. A major research focus has been the leaf-tailed geckos that inhabit rainforests and rock refugia (litho-refugia) in eastern Queensland and New South Wales.
Patrick has also participated in Queensland Government projects monitoring both feeding and breeding populations of marine turtles. Additionally, Patrick acts as a consultant to the Poisons Information Centre at Royal Children's Hospital (Herston, Brisbane) and is a member of the Red-eared Slider Taskforce (a multi-agency committee investigating control measures for a class 1 pest).
Career best publication
Couper, P.J., Sadlier, R.A., Shea, G.M and Worthington Wilmer, J. 2008. A reassessment of Saltuarius swaini (Lacertilia: Diplodactylidae) in southeastern Queensland and New South Wales; two new taxa, phylogeny, Biogeography and conservation. Records of the Australian Museum 60 (1): 87-118.
Patrick's top 10 publications
Couper, P.J., Covacevich, J.A. & Moritz, C. 1993. A review of the leaf-tailed geckos endemic to eastern Australia: a new genus, four new species, and other new information. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 34(1): 95-124.
Covacevich, J.A., Couper, P.J. & James, C. 1993. A new skink, Nangura spinosa gen. et sp. nov., from a dry rainforest of southern Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 34(1): 159-167.
Couper, P.J. & Gregson, R.A.M. 1994. Redescription of Nephrurus asper Gunther, and description of N. amyae sp. nov. and N. sheai sp. nov.. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 37(1): 53- 67
Couper, P.J., Covacevich, J.A., Marsterson, S.P. & Shea, G.M., 1996. Coggeria naufragus gen. et sp. nov., a sand-swimming skink from Fraser Island. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 39(2): 233-241
Couper, P.J., Schneider, C.J., Hoskin, C.J & Covacevich, J.A., 2000. Australian leaf-tailed geckos: phylogeny, a new genus, two new species and other new data. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 45(2): 253-265
Couper, P.J., Worthington Wilmer, J., Robert, L., Amey, A.P. & Zug, G. 2005. Skinks currently assigned to Carlia aerata (Scincidae: Lygosominae) of north-eastern Queensland: a preliminary study of cryptic diversity and two new species. Australian Journal of Zoology 53: 35-49
Couper, P.J., Keim, L. D. & Hoskin, C. J. (2007) A new Velvet Gecko (Gekkonidae: Oedura) from south-east Queensland, Australia. Zootaxa 1587: 27 - 41
Couper, P.J., Sadlier, R.A., Shea, G.M and Worthington Wilmer, J. 2008. A reassessment of Saltuarius swaini (Lacertilia: Diplodactylidae) in southeastern Queensland and New South Wales; two new taxa, phylogeny, Biogeography and conservation. Records of the Australian Museum 60(1): 87-118
Couper, P.J. & Hoskin C.J. 2008. Litho-refugia: the importance of rock landscapes for the long-term persistence of Australian rainforest fauna. Australian Zoologist 34(4): 554-560
Donnellan S. C, Couper, P.J., Saint, K.M. & Wheaton, L (2009) Systematics of the Carlia fusca complex (Reptilia: Scincidae) from northern Australia. Zootaxa 2227: 1-31
Covacevich, J.A. & Couper, P.J., 1999. Preserves of nature, an argument for museum collections (4827 KB) . Wildlife Australia vol. 36(2): 13-18.
Complete list of Publications by Patrick Couper (187 KB) available here.
A new species of Phyllurus (Lacertilia: Gekkonidae) from the Kilkivan district of south-eastern Queensland
Couper, P.J., Hamley, B. & Hoskin, C.J. 2008 04 30: A new species of Phyllurus (Lacertilia: Gekkonidae) from the Kilkivan district of south-eastern Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 52(2): 139-147. Brisbane. ISSN 0079-8835.