Research website of Dr Gilbert Price


Dr Gilbert Price

Welcome to my research homepage. My name is Dr Gilbert Price and I am a vertebrate palaeoecologist at The University of Queensland, Australia. Often when I give the job title of being a “palaeoecologist”, it’s been my experience that it is a term unfamiliar to most people (especially my parents!). Many would be aware that ecology is the study of the interaction of life. The term ‘palaeo’ is derived from the ancient Greek work ‘palaios’ meaning ‘old’. So basically, palaeoecology is the study of prehistoric ecology. The ‘vertebrate’ part of my research title alludes to my focus of the palaeoecology of back-boned animals.

What I am really interested in though, is change. Why do ecosystems change? How do they change? How do we use the information about past ecosystems, their response to environmental perturbations, climate change and anthropogenic disturbance, to inform and educate us about present ecosystems? And most importantly, how we can use our understanding of past change to help predict where we might be heading in the future.

Without a doubt, the bulk of my research has been focused on the evolution, extinction and emergence of ecosystems throughout the Quaternary- the last 2.6 million years in the history of the planet. One of my primary research areas has been centered around developing the key datasets critical for testing hypotheses surrounding the timing and causes of extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna – the giant land mammals, birds, turtles, lizards and snakes that ruled Australia little more than 40 thousand years ago. I have also investigated the evolution and ecological significance of numerous small-bodied land faunas such as frogs, bandicoots and koalas and their response to past climatic change. I am also interested in understanding long-term ecological changes and anthropogenic impacts of coral reefs both in Australia and in the South China Sea.

Diprotodon skull

I am the genus and species author of the extinct, enigmatic Invincible koala (Invictokoala monticola), an unusual rainforest-adapted species recorded from middle Pleistocene deposits of central eastern Queensland. I also described Sobbe’s long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles sobbei), a late Pleistocene species from the Darling Downs in southeastern Queensland. My other systematic work has also addressed numerous questions about the taxonomy of the extinct megafaunal Diprotodon– the largest land marsupial that the Earth has ever seen… and also the namesake of this website!

My own fieldwork is centred mostly in Australia, with key fossil sites on the Darling Downs, Mt Etna region, Chillagoe, Broken River, Mitchell-Palmer, and Floraville. Fieldwork with collaborators has taken me to places as diverse as the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, Lake Victoria in Kenya, and the western Nefud Desert of Saudi Arabia, among other destinations.

In addition to fieldwork, I am also trained in Uranium-series dating, both on the thermal ionization mass spectrometer (TIMS) and multi-collector inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS). My research also involves both radiocarbon (14C) and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating.

When I am not researching, you might find me teaching the first year course ERTH1000 ‘Planet Earth: The Big Picture’ and second year course ERTH2002 ‘Palaeobiology’ at The University of Queensland. Both classes are very much hands-on, with the prac component including tons of interesting rocks and fossils to study, along with fieldtrips to some pretty spectacular places including a visit to a World-class Triassic plant fossil site just west of Brisbane. Check out the YouTube video below!

I am also the coordinator of The University of Queensland’s Palaeo Research Group and am an Associate Editor of Alcheringa, Australia’s only palaeontology-specific peer-reviewed journal.

I hope that you enjoy browsing my website and please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly or make comments on my blog posts. It would be great to hear from you.

You can find me here:
Twitter- @TheFatWombat
Google Scholar- Gilbert Price on Google Scholar
ResearchGate- Gilbert Price on ResearchGate Gilbert Price on
ORCID- Gilbert Price on ORCID