Research website of Dr Gilbert Price

Current projects

Project: Understanding faunal responses to climate change and environmental perturbations through the Quaternary in northeastern Australia

Summary: At a time of widespread apprehension over human and climate change impacts on Australian fauna, it has become increasingly important to consider the history of past climatic and environmental fluctuations. This project will use a multidisciplinary approach to produce a reliable geochronological and palaeoecological framework for Quaternary fossil faunal records in northeasternAustralia. It will yield objective data required for understanding how prehistoric events shaped the modern biota and for distinguishing climate and human forced impacts on the environment. The data may assist in the development of conservation strategies for our endemic faunas in an era of increased climatic and environmental variability and vulnerability.

Lead researcher: Dr Gilbert Price

Funding: ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award DE120101533


Project: Developing reliable chronologies for extinct Australian Pleistocene megafauna from museum fossil collections

Summary: The adequate development, refinement and testing of late Pleistocene extinction hypotheses can only be achieved with far more extensive, complete and reliable dating than is presently available. This project will use recently developed direct dating methods, particularly high-throughput MC-ICP-MS U-series dating, to produce reliable chronological datasets for extinct megafauna, based on fossils held in museum collections. The existing datasets will be substantially improved by the expansion of regionally extensive, diverse and well-dated faunal records. The study will provide the key chronological data that can be fed into broader studies concerning the palaeobiology, palaeoecology, evolution and extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna.

Lead researchers: Dr Gilbert Price, Dr Yue-xing Feng (UQ) and Dr Renaud Joannes-Boyau (Southern Cross University).

Funding: ARC Discovery Project DP120101752.


Project: Determining the significance of Neds Gully in the global Pleistocene megafaunal extinction debate

Summary: Failure to resolve the debate over the extinction of large-bodied Quaternary faunas (i.e., megafauna) rests in part, on a lack of the most basic data necessary to test the leading hypotheses, i.e., a comprehensive understanding of biology and ecology of the extinct forms, and accurate analytical dating of megafaunal occurrences. This project will use a multidisciplinary approach to produce a reliable geochronological and palaeoecological framework for the important, but controversial, ‘Ned’s Gully’ megafauna site of southeasternQueensland. This research is essential for developing an understanding of how prehistoric events shaped the modern biota of the region, and may help highlight what the danger signs are for the conservation of our endangered faunas and ecosystems.

Lead researchers: Dr Gilbert Price, with the assistance of Prof. Gregg Webb, Prof Jian-xin Zhao and Dr Yue-xing Feng, UQ; Andrew Murray,Aarhus University,Denmark; Dr John Hellstrom,University ofMelbourne; and Mr Ian Sobbe,Clifton).

Funding: UQ New Staff grant


Project: Establishing an AMS 14C-dated chronology for fossil faunas from Colosseum Cave, Mt Etna region, central eastern Queensland

Lead researchers: Dr Gilbert Price, Prof Jian-xin Zhao, Dr Yue-xing Feng, and Prof. Gregg Webb (UQ), and Dr Quan Hua (ANSTO)

Funding: AINSE Award


Project: Environmental change in northern Cenozoic Australia: A multidisciplinary approach

Summary: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that by 2020 to 2050,Australia will suffer significant biodiversity loss and water shortages. Our research will document and date the evolution ofAustralia’s biota through three cycles of climate change over the last 25 million years to quantify and thereby better anticipate the nature and dimension of threats facing our natural and cultural communities. We will develop innovative techniques to date prehistoric biotic and climatic events and, using a range of tracers, characterize ancient environments and groundwater. This project will assist rural and regionalAustralia through education and job creation in geotourism and natural resource interpretation and provide a mechanism to combat generational skill shortage.

Lead researchers: Dr. Sue Hand and Prof. Michael Archer (University of New South Wales), Dr. Scott Hocknull (Queensland Museum), Dr. Trevor Worthy (UNSW), Prof. Jon Woodhead (University of Melbourne), Dr. Dioni Cendon (ANSTO), Prof. Jian-xin Zhao (UQ), Dr. Ian Graham (UNSW), Dr. John Scanlon (Riversleigh Interpretative Centre), Dr. Gilbert Price (UQ), and Prof. Alan Chivas (University of Wollongong).

Funding: ARC Linkage project LP0989969


Project: Long-term biodiversity health in vulnerable dry rainforest habitat, easternAustralia.

Lead researchers: Dr Julien Louys (UQ), Dr Scott Hocknull (QueenslandMuseum) and Dr Gilbert Price (UQ).

Funding: Ian Potter Foundation.


Project: Dating late Pleistocene archaeological/palaeontological sequences in Mexico.

Lead researchers: Prof. Silvia Gonzalez (Liverpool John Moores University,UK), with Dr Gilbert Price.

Project: Extending chronologies of late Pleistocene megafaunal deposits from the World Heritage fossil deposits at Naracoorte.

Lead researchers: Dr Liz Reed, Dr Gavin Prideaux, Ms Amy Macken, with Dr Gilbert Price and Prof. Bert Roberts (University ofWollongong).


Project: Refined reservoir correction for radiocarbon dating of the southernGreat Barrier Reef based on U-series dated corals

Lead researchers: Prof. Gregg Webb and Prof. Jian-xin Zhao (UQ), Dr Luke Nothdurft (Queensland University of Technology), Dr Kefu Yu and Dr Gilbert Price (UQ), and Dr Brad Opdyke (Australian National University).

Funding: AINSE Award


Project: Quaternary palaeoecology of coral communities from the Great Barrier Reef. Lead researchers: Dr Luke Nothdurft (Queensland University of Technology), Prof Gregg Webb and Dr Gilbert Price (UQ).