Scott Hocknull

Scott Hucknull of Queensland Museum

Dr Scott Hocknull is a vertebrate palaeoecologist, passionate science communicator and 3D 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. He started at 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.

Realising that most museum collections are hidden from public view, Scott 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 3D 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.

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


Current Projects

  • Geoheritage and Regional / Remote Community Relationships.
  • Project PAST (Prehistoric Australia Saving Tomorrow)
  • Gondwanan Inheritance
  • Australia: as an island

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