Dr Scott Hocknull


2009 PhD, University of New South Wales "Late Cainozoic rainforest vertebrates from Australopapua: evolution, biogeography and extinction."

2000 B.Sc. Geology & Zoology, Honors 1A, University of Queensland "Phylogenetics and fossil record of the Australopapuan dragon lizards (Squamata: Agamidae)."

Biography Dr Scott Hocknull

Scott is a vertebrate palaeoecologist, passionate science communicator and 3-D digitisation and virtual technology advocate and practitioner in the museum community. He has over 20 years of experience in palaeontology having published his first paper aged 16, at the time Australia’s youngest scientific author. Scott developed his love for natural history at a very young age growing up in the Northern Territory. He started at the Queensland Museum in 1990 as a 12 year old volunteer, working in the palaeontology and geology department, and then landing his first job as a Queensland Museum Interpretation Officer, aged 17. In 2000 his dream job as a palaeontologist for Queensland Museum came true, making him then the youngest museum curator in Australia at age 22. Among other honours, Scott was awarded the Young Australian of the Year in 2002, which provided him a unique platform to develop and promoted Australian vertebrate palaeontology research and community engagement, whilst leading a wide range of new areas of exploration, discovery and research.

Dr Scott Hocknull

Realising that most of museum collections are hidden from public view, Scot has become a strong advocate for bringing the behind-the-scenes of museum collections and science to the public. Scott is passionate about applying new technologies to museum collections so that we can better interpret and demonstrate our natural and geo-heritage. He is currently working on new 3-D digital and virtual ways to better capture our fossil heritage in digital perpetuity whilst using this same technology to do robust research and engage the public by providing more in depth experiences with Australia’s vast fossil heritage. Scott is an advocate for strong regional and remote connections between museums, especially new and developing museums that house important fossil and geological collections. Scott has developed numerous multifaceted projects that bring together industry, philanthropy, multidisciplinary science and local communities to form long-term projects in palaeontology.

Scott also mentors and supervises undergraduate and postgraduate students through Honours, Masters, PhD and volunteer programs. Please contact Geosciences if you would like to discuss volunteering, postgraduate research projects available with Geosciences.

National Recognition:

2008 Australia 2020 Summiteer / 2003 Centenary Medalist / 2002 Young Australian of the Year

State Recognition:

2015 Rising Stars of Queensland Science / 2015 10 Best of the Best of Queensland’s 50 Top Thinkers 2009 Queensland’s 50 Best and Brightest / 2002 Young Queenslander of the Year / 2002 National Career Achiever / 2002 Queensland Career Achiever / 2002 Queensland Science & Technology Achiever

Science Communication and Research Awards:

2010 Highly Commended Presentation AAA / 2009 Riversleigh Medal Riversleigh Society / 2005 Neville Stephens Medal Geological Society of Australia. /2007 Finalist, Eve Powell Award / 2003 Finalist Eureka Awards / 1998 Golden Key National Honour Society / 1997 Student presentation Award CAVEPS 1997


From Dig to digital - breaking the 'rules' of museum


Geebung Fossil Discovery


ABC Splash TV



Queensland Dinosaurs




Recreating Lark Quarry Footprints


Social Media

Twitter: @Aussiedinosaurs

LinkedIn: https://au.linkedin.com/pub/scott-hocknull/61/655/b12

Academia: https://independent.academia.edu/ScottHocknull

Adjunct Position

Adjunct Associate Professor, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Griffith University.

Current Projects

From Dig to Digital
3D digitising the Queensland Museum collection from dig site to display. Creating new opportunities for research, scientific communication, open-access collections, displays and curation. Long-term monitoring of collections, including preservation practices and repair (e.g. 3D augmented reality, 3D printing).

Capturing and protecting QLD’s State Geoheritage for future generations. Using 3D technology to capture, interpret and disseminate Queensland’s State Geoheritage in high detailed 3D. Long term digitisation and monitoring of heritage sites and specimens for impact and conservation assessments.

Scientific communication through animation and virtual reality (e.g. QUT DinoZoo).

Geoheritage and Regional / Remote Community Relationships

Tropical Megafauna - BHP Mitsui Coal, South Walker Creek Mine. The largest systematic excavation of tropical megafauna ever undertaken in Australia. Working with: BHP Mitsui Coal mining operations at South Walker Creek Mine, Nebo, Queensland, along with local landholders and traditional owners.

Capricorn Caves Fossil Sites. New Quaternary-aged fossil fauna from within the Capricorn Caves, central Queensland. Working with: Capricorn Cave owner and managers to record, collect, preserve and research unique fossil deposits throughout their cavernous limestone sites.

Mt. Etna (Mine) National Park. Protection and preservation of internationally significant Quaternary-aged vertebrate fossil deposits, removed and stockpiled at Mt. Etna Mine (now National Parks) in perpetuity. Working with: National Parks and Wildlife, Cement Australia (former owner), Central Speleological Society.

Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History. Board Director, researcher and long term regional collection supporter / advisor.

Eromanga Natural History Museum. Researcher on new dinosaur and megafauna fossils/sites. Long term regional collection supporter / advisor.

Dinosaur Stampede National Monument.Research, preservation and interpretation. Working with Winton Shire Council, National Parks and Wildlife, Australian Age of Dinosaurs Natural History Museum.

Project PAST (Prehistoric Australia Saving Tomorrow)

  • Responses to past environmental change of Australia’s most vulnerable and endangered terrestrial environments: rainforests, ‘dry’ rainforests, cavernous systems, tropical Brigalow, springs and the arid zone.
  • Catchment-wide palaeoecology of the Neogene/Quaternary Rivers throughout Queensland: Fitzroy River Basin, Upper (Paroo + Condamine) Murray-Darling Basin, (Diamantina, Cooper) Lake Eyre Basin.
  • Phylogeography, palaeobiogeography, evolution and extinction of Australopapuan vertebrates.
  • Quaternary Vertebrate Geobiology

Gondwanan Inheritance

  • Understanding the evolution and ecology of Australia's dinosaurs and their contemporaries.
  • Tracks through Time. Interpretation of the diverse vertebrate and invertebrate ichnofauna from the Winton Formation, Eromanga and Winton, Queensland.
  • Titans of the past. New dinosaurs from the Winton Formation, sourthern and central Queensland.

Australia: as an island

  • New Tertiary-aged fauna from Geebung, Brisbane.



Hocknull, S. A. (2009) Late Cainozoic rainforest vertebrates from Australopapua: evolution, biogeography and extinction. University of New South Wales.
Link: http://www.unsworks.unsw.edu.au/primo_library/libweb/action/dlDisplay.do?vid=UNSWORKS&docId=unsworks_7877&fromSitemap=1&afterPDS=true

Books & Chapters

2015. Fry B.G., Scheib H, Messenger K, Tyrrell, K.L., Hocknull S, Wroe S, Sunagar K, Goldstein, EJC, Citron DM, & Jackson TNW. Chapter 25 Poisonous snakes and Komodo Dragon Weaponized Bacteria: Which is Myth and Which is Reality? In Venomous Reptiles And Their Toxins: Evolution, Pathophysiology And Biodiscovery. Oxford University Press. Pp576
Link: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199309399.do

2010. Hocknull, S.A. & Cook, A.G. Chapter 11. Dragons, Diprotodons, Dinosaurs and Dust: 150 million years of Desert Channels prehistory. (Eds) Libby Robin, Chris Dickman, Mandy Martin. In Desert Channels: The Impulse to Conserve. CSIRO Publishing. Pp 210-223.

2006. Hocknull, S.A. & Cook, A.G. Fascinating Facts about Australian Dinosaurs. Steve Parish Publishing, Brisbane. Pp 64


2015. Gilbert J. Price, Julien Louys, Jonathan Cramb, Yue-xing Feng, Jian-xin Zhao, Scott A. Hocknull, Gregory E. Webb, Ai Duc Nguyen & Renaud Joannes-Boyau. Temporal overlap of humans and giant lizards (Varanidae; Squamata) in Pleistocene Australia. Quaternary Science Reviews Volume 125, 1 October 2015, Pages 98–105.
Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277379115300809

2015. Rozefelds, A.C., Dettmann, M.E., Clifford, H.T., Hocknull, S., Newman, N., Godthelp, H., Hand, S.J., Archer M. 2013. Traditional and computed tomographic (CT) techniques link modern and Cenozoic fruits of Pleiogynium (Anacardiaceae) from Australia. Alcheringa. Vol. 39, Iss. 1.
Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03115518.2014.951916

2015. Clifford, H.T., Dettmann, M.E. & Hocknull, S.A. Numerical analysis of the interrelationships of some extinct and extant taxa of Araucariaceae. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum – Nature 59: 27–38.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.17082/j.2204-1478.59.2015.2013-04

2015. McNiven, I.J., Wright, D., Sutton, S., Weisler, M., Hocknull, S. & Stanisic, J. 2014. Midden formation and marine specialisation at Goemu village, Mabuyag, Torres Strait, before and after European contact. In I.J. McNiven and G. Hitchcock (eds), Goemulgal: Natural and Cultural Histories of the Mabuyag Islands, Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum – Culture 8(2):377-475

2015. Poropat, S.F., Mannion, P.D., Upchurch, P., Hocknull, S.A., Kear, B.P. & Elliott, D.A. Reassessment of the non-titanosaurian somphospondylan Wintonotitan wattsi (Dinosauria: Sauropoda: Titanosauriformes) from the mid-Cretaceous Winton Formation, Queensland, Australia. Papers in Palaeontology, 1: 59–106.
Link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/spp2.1004/abstract

2014. Poropat, S.F., Upchurch, P., Mannion, P.D., Hocknull, S.A., Kear, B.P., Sloan, T., Sinapius, G.H.K. & Elliott, D.A. Revision of the sauropod dinosaur Diamantinasaurus matildae Hocknull et al. 2009 from the mid-Cretaceous of Australia: Implications for Gondwanan titanosauriform dispersal. Gondwana Research Volume 27, Issue 3, April 2015, Pages 995–1033.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gr.2014.03.014

For a full list of publications please click here (331 KB) pdf document icon.


Senior Curator, Geosciences Program


BSc (Hons), PhD

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