Steve Salisbury

Dr Steve Salisbury

Palaeontologist & Glaciologist

Steve is a vertebrate paleontologist at The University of Queensland, where he divides his time between teaching and research as a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences. He is also a Research Associate at Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and an Associate Editor for the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Steve’s research focuses on the evolution of Gondwanan continental vertebrates, in particular dinosaurs and crocodilians. He is also interested in vertebrate biomechanics and using living animals to better understand the anatomy, behaviour and evolution of extinct ones. Steve has led multiple paleontological expeditions to remote parts of Queensland and the west Kimberley region of Western Australia. He is also involved in field-based research in New Zealand and in Antarctica as a member of the Antarctic Peninsula Paleontology Project (AP3). In 2016, the AP3 team spent over two months searching for and collecting fossils in the Weddell Sea area, with Steve camped on Vega Island for over 5 weeks. Research on material collected during this expedition is still in progress.

Some of Steve’s research highlights include the description of Isisfordia duncani, the world’s most primitive modern crocodilian, the recognition of an avian infectious disease in Tyrannosaurus rex, and an iconoclastic reboot of Australia’s dinosaur ‘stampede’ at Lark Quarry (most of them were swimming!). In the Kimberley, he works closely with local indigenous groups, and in 2011 his research there helped secure National Heritage Listing for the dinosaurian tracksites of the Dampier Peninsula, and subsequently contributed to the collapse of a $40+ billion LNG development at Walmadany (James Price Point), 50 km north of Broome. The results of Steve’s team’s six-year study of the dinosaurian tracks of the Walmadany area were published in the 2016 Memoir of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Steve is a proud dad of two young kids and lives in Ipswich, west of Brisbane. He is a keen swimmer and rock-climber, and when he has time, likes to carve wooden spoons and weave baskets.