Espen Knutsen

Espen Knutsen of Museum of Tropical Queensland

Dr Espen Knutsen is the Senior Curator Palaeontology at Queensland Museum Network, based at Museum of Tropical Queensland 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 12 years has conducted pioneering fieldwork and excavations in Australia, the Arctic, The Netherlands and USA .

He has described five new species of Jurassic marine reptiles, and was part of an international multidisciplinary research team studying a newly discovered Jurassic marine ecosystem from the high-arctic archipelago of Svalbard, Norway.

The process and results of this pioneering project were featured in two TV documentaries - National Geographic's Death of a Sea Monster and History Channel/BBC's Predator X.

He has a special interest in the diversity, evolution and ecology of Mesozoic reptiles, such as ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and dinosaurs. Current projects, involving fieldwork throughout Australia for the Australian Mesozoic Tetrapod Project, aim to fill significant gaps in our knowledge and understanding of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous vertebrate fauna in the southern hemisphere.


  • Project DIG: Cretaceous marine reptiles of Queensland
  • Project DIG: Middlemount trace fossils
  • Project DIG: Revealing microscopic details using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

You might be interested in