Dr Gilbert Price
The University of Queensland
Dr Price’s research is concerned with determining the timing and causes of extinction of Australia’s prehistoric Quaternary giants – the ‘megafauna’. The megafauna, represented by nearly 70 species of enormous land animals, are the real prehistoric beasts of Dreamtime legends. ‘When’, ‘where’, ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ of megafaunal extinctions have intrigued scientists ever since the first of their fossils were discovered in the 1830’s. If we can determine why animals like the megafauna went extinct in the past – at a time of climate change and possibly human-driven environmental impacts – that information can be used to understand, identify and better evaluate the threats faced by modern populations. This approach will help us develop effective conservation strategies for living fauna as we adapt to the future.
Gilbert regularly engages with ‘popular’ media, to discuss his work in newspaper, television, radio, and online media formats. His research has also been featured in a television documentary ‘Mega Beasts’. In February 2012 he launched his website blog www.diprotodon.com, to publically communicate the results of his research. Gilbert also actively provides presentations at public science forums (e.g., Science Week, Palaeontology Week) and has given numerous talks to school and university groups, including working closely with high school students in the field excavating fossils.