Paul Oliver

Paul Oliver of Queensland Museum

Dr Paul Oliver is Senior Curator, Terrestrial Vertebrates in the Biodiversity & Geosciences Program at Queensland Museum.

As curator, Paul believes his most important role is to demonstrate the value of museum collections for understanding and conserving biodiversity. To do this, Paul uses a wide range of approaches (fieldwork, genetics, external morphology, CT scanning) to identify and describe new species, understand their evolutionary history and identify species and areas of conservation concern. Paul's work focuses on frogs, reptile and birds and across Australia, Melanesia and Indonesia. Paul is particularly interested in looking at ways that data on species with tiny distributions (short-range endemics) can be synthesised to ensure their conservation.

Paul has described over 60 new species and published over one hundred papers, and collaborates with researchers, managers and students from across Australia, Asia, Europe and North America.


  • Documenting and conserving the diversity of restricted-range endemic vertebrates in Australia and Melanesia – target species range across Lyrebirds, geckos and treefrogs.
  • Understanding the dynamics of biotic exchange between Australia, Melanesia and the Pacific – with a particular focus on birds (especially pigeons).
  • Project DIG: Exploring the diversity and history of Queensland's rainforests - this project uses a range of approaches to reveal the evolutionary history of Queensland diverse and highly endemic rainforests.
  • Project DIG: Diversity patterns in Brigalow Belt species - in this project we are surveying for overlooked short range endemic lizards and frogs from the open woodlands of the Brigalow Belt
  • Project DIG: Legless lizards of Queensland
  • Systematics and diversity of New Guinea treefrog - erectile noses, bird-dropping mimics, parachute and chocolate treefrog – New Guinea has it all, and with my long-term collaborator Steve Richards we are working hard to document it.

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