Espen Knutsen

Espen Knutsen of Museum of Tropical Queensland

Dr Espen Knutsen is the Senior Scientist and Curator Palaeontology at the Queensland Museum, based at the Queensland Museum Tropics in Townsville. His position is co-appointed with the College of Science and Engineering at James Cook University.

He is a vertebrate palaeontologist, that over the past 15 years has done fieldwork and excavations in Australia, the Arctic, Europe, USA, and the Falkland Islands.

He has a special interest in the diversity, evolution, and ecology of Mesozoic vertebrates, such as amphibians, marine reptiles and dinosaurs, leading, so far, to the description of five new species of Jurassic marine reptiles. He is also interested in understanding the changing environments these animals were living in and is therefore collaborating with other researchers on interpreting the palaeoflora and geology of the fossil bearing rocks.

Current projects involve fieldwork throughout Australia and interpreting fossils using geochemical analysis, CT scanning, 3D modelling and Artificial Intelligence, with the aim to fill significant gaps in our knowledge and understanding of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous vertebrate faunas in the southern hemisphere.


  • Extinction-recovery ecosystems of Triassic Australia

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