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03. Scott Hocknull - Dinosaur Man

GEOSCIENTISTS AT QUEENSLAND MUSEUM

Dr Scott Hocknull

Dr Scott Hocknull

Dr Scott Hocknull. Image: Queensland Museum.

Most young children are fascinated by dinosaurs. Some of them never grow out of it. Dr Scott Hocknull, Senior Curator in Geosciences at Queensland Museum is one such person.

His boyhood dream of studying palaeontology came true when he was appointed Assistant Curator of Geosciences in 2000. At the age of 22 he was the youngest curator in any Australian Museum.

Further details about Scott can be viewed at the following link.

Dr Scott Hocknull

Dr Alex Cook

Dr Alex Cook is another Senior Curator in Geosciences at Queensland Museum. Alex is involved in dinosaur projects in western Queensland alongside partners the Australian Age of Dinosaurs and the Outback Gondwana Foundation. Alex has been involved in unearthing dinosaur fossils from the Winton Formation in western Queensland.

Further details about Alex can be viewed at the following link.

Dr Alex Cook

SCOTT’S RESEARCH PROJECTS

Scott’s current research projects include:

  • The evolution of Australian rainforest animals and their responses to past climate change
  • Megafaunal Extinction and responses of Quaternary vertebrates to past climate change
  • Mesozoic fauna from Queensland, in particular the fossil faunas from the Winton Formation
  • Evolution of Australopapuan agamid (dragon) lizards
  • Fossil record of varanid (giant monitor) lizards

Climate change

Understanding the effects of climate change on animals and plants is important when developing conservation strategies for the future. Queensland Museum (QM) palaeontologists study the fossil record. They do this to understand how animals and plants in the past have reacted to global climate change, especially the most recent climate events of geological time.

Ancient rainforests

QM palaeontologists are working on Australia’s only Pleistocene rainforest fossil record. These studies are showing how climate change has affected our most fragile environments, and why they are so diverse.

Dinosaurs

QM scientists explore, excavate and research the amazing world of Australian dinosaurs, including the largest dinosaurs found in Australia.

Megafauna

Long after the extinction of dinosaurs, giant animals called megafauna roamed Australia. Examples of the megafauna include: giant flightless birds; hippo-sized diprotodonts; and the world’s largest ever land-dwelling lizards. These all became extinct about 30, 000 – 50,000 years ago. QM scientists are discovering new species of megafauna and documenting the reasons for their extinction.