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 of Reptiles and Amphibians and has an active research interest in the taxonomy, ecology, biogeography and conservation of Queensland’s diverse reptile fauna.
Patrick has described 47 new species of reptiles and these descriptions also include six new genera. A major research focus has been the leaf-tailed geckos that inhabit rainforest and rock habitats in eastern Queensland and New South Wales. He is particularly interested in the role of rocky landscapes (lithorefugia) in allowing rainforest lineages (both vertebrates and invertebrates) to persist in areas where rainforests no longer occur.
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 Link.
- 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. & 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
- Borsboom A.C., Couper P.J., Amey A. &. Hoskin C.J. (2011) Distribution and population genetic structure of the critically endangered skink Nangura spinosa, and the implications for management. Australian Journal of Zoology 58: 369–375
- Couper, P.J . & Amey, A.P. (2010) Tips for separating Carlia rostralis from Carlia longipes – resolving the inadequacies of existing keys. Herpetofauna 40(1): 13 – 15.
- Couper, P.J. & Covacevich, J.A. (2011). Envenomation by the poorly known elapid Black- striped Snake, Cryptophis nigrostriatus. The Queensland Naturalist 49(1-3): 21 – 22.
- Shea, G., Couper, P., Worthington Wilmer, J. & Amey, A. (2011). Revision of the genus Cyrtodactylus Gray, 1827 (Squamata: Gekkonidae) in Australia. Zootaxa 3146: 1–63
- Couper, P., Amey, A. & Borsboom, A. (2012). Retro Slider, Lerista allanae (Longman, 1937) pp. 229-230 In Curtis, L.K., Dennis, A.J, McDonald, K.R., Kyne, P.M. & Debus, S.J.S. (eds) ‘Queensland’s Threatened Animals’. (CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood, Victoria) 449 pp.
- Couper, P. & Amey A. (2012).The Reptiles of Brisbane. (Queensland Museum: Brisbane) pp. 68.
- Amey, A.P., Couper, P.J. & Shea, G.M. 2012. Intellagama lesueurii (Gray, 1831) the correct bionomial combination for the Australian Eastern Water Dragon (Sauria, Agamidae). Zootaxa 3390: 65-67.
- Hoskin C. J. & Couper, P.J. (2012). Description of two new Carlia species (Reptilia: Scincidae) from north-east Australia, elevation of Carlia pectoralis inconnexa Ingram & Covacevich 1989 to full species status, and redescription of Carlia pectoralis (de Vis 1884). Zootaxa 3546: 1-28.
- Couper P., Melville, J., Emmott A. & Chapple, S.N.J. (2012). A new species of Diporiphora from the Goneaway Tablelands of western Queensland. Zootaxa 3556: 39-54
- Böhm M., … Couper P.J. et al. (2013) The Conservation Status of the World’s Reptiles. Biological Conservation. 157: 372-385
- Couper, P.J. & Hoskin, C. J. (2013) Two new subspecies of the leaf-tailed gecko Phyllurus ossa (Lacertilia: Carphodactylidae), including one from Whitsunday Island, mid-eastern Queensland. Zootaxa 3364(4): 537-553.
- Hoskin, C. J. & Couper P.J. (2013) A spectacular new leaf-tailed gecko (Carphodactylidae: Saltuarius) from the Melville Range, north-east Australia. Zootaxa 3717(4): 543-558.
- Couper, P.J. & Amey, A.P. (2013) Reptiles Pp. 276-293. In Ryan, M. (ed). The Great Barrier Reef a Queensland Museum Discovery Guide (Queensland Museum : Brisbane). 432 pp.
- Couper, P. (2014) In Field Guide to Queensland Fauna – smart phone app. Publisher: Queensland Museum Network (Google Play Store, Apple App Store). Inspiring Australia
- Hoskin, C.J & Couper, P.J. (2014) Two new skinks (Scincidae: Glaphyromorphus) from rainforest habitats in north-eastern Australia. Zootaxa 3869(1): 001-016.
- Couper, P.J. & Hoskin, C.J (2014) A new genus to accommodate three skinks currently assigned to Menetia (Lacertilia: Scincidae). Zootaxa 3884(6): 597-599.
- Oliver, P.M., Couper, P.J., Pepper, M. (2014) Independent transitions between monsoonal and arid biomes revealed by systematic revision of a complex of Australian geckos (Diplodactylus; Diplodactylidae). PloS ONE 9(12): e111895 (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0111895)
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.