Position/s

Vice-Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow
School of Biological Sciences

Biography

I am a leading vertebrate palaeontologist, specialising in the taxonomic circumscription and phylogenetic analyses of fossil birds of the Australasia - Pacific region with occasional forays into amphibia, reptilia and mammalia. A New Zealander, I have about 29 years research experience in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific, beginning work in the Museum of New Zealand and then was a private investigator for many years funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology, NZ. In late 2005, I moved to Australia to Adelaide University and obtained a PhD. I then had postdoctoral positions in Sydney (2009-2011) and Adelaide (2012) before moving to Flinders University in 2013. To date I have published more than 150 peer-reviewed papers, 5 books and numerous other technical publications, and been involved as a consultant in several television documentaries.

Qualifications

  • DSc 2011, Contributions to understanding the avifauna ofthe southwest Pacific. TheFaculty of Science and Engineering, The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, graduated 2 May 2011.
  • PhD 2008, Tertiary fossil waterfowl (Aves:Anseriformes) of Australiaand New Zealand. Environmental Biology, School of Earthand Environmental Sciences, The Universityof Adelaide, South Australia, 22 Dec. 2008.
  • MSc 1986 - Graduated 20 October, fossil frogs, Victoria University,Wellington.
  • MSc 1981 - Graduated 9 April, limnology, The University of Waikato, Hamilton.
  • BSc 1978 – Graduated 14 April, Science, The University of Waikato, Hamilton , NZ

Honours, awards and grants

  • 2012, Elected President of the Society AvianPaleontology and Evolution.
  • 2010, Meritorius Service Award from OrnithologicalSociety of New Zealand
  • 2010 & 2011, University of New South WalesGoldstar awards, $40,000 pa for the Projects: The drowning of Zealandia: therole of dispersal in shaping New Zealand's fauna; PS19070, PS22963.
  • 2009 - continuing, Member of the Editorial Board,Journ. Vertebrate Paleontology.
  • 2008, Elected Vice President of the Society AvianPaleontology and Evolution.
  • 2005, Elected as a Corresponding Fellow of theAmerican Ornithologists' Union for sustained research effort.
  • 2003, Awarded the D.L. Serventy Medal with R.N.Holdaway, by Birds Australia (Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union) forsustained research effort.
  • 2002-2007, Member of the Notornis Editorial Board.
  • 2001 - continuing, Member of the Checklist Committee,Ornithological Society of New Zealand.
  • 2001-2008, Member of the Editorial Advisory Board,Journal Royal Society of NZ.
  • 1989 – present, Honorary Research Associate in:Vertebrate Fossil Department, Museum of New Zealand.

GRANTS

  • Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Research Level C) School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Flinders University. 2013-2015.
  • ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award 2013 – DECRA DE130101133, Evolution, breeding biology, and extinction of giant fowl in Australia and the Southwest Pacific, $375,000 (2013-2015).
  • ARC Discovery Project DP120100486 (T Worthy, S Hand, S.W. Salisbury, R.P. Scofield, A.J.D. Tennyson), Determining the relative roles of dispersal and vicariance in the assembly of the New Zealand fauna $369,000 (2012-2014).
  • UNSW 2011 & 2010 Goldstar award, $40,000/yr for the Project:The drowning of Zealandia: the role of dispersal in shaping New Zealand’s fauna; PS22963 & PS19070.
  • ARC Post-Doctoral Fellowship on Linkage project LP0989969 (S Hand, M Archer, S Hocknull, T Worthy, J Woodhead, D Cendon, J Zhao, I Graham, J Scanlon, G Price, A Chivas, Environmental change in Cenozoic northern Australia: a multidisciplinary approach $900,000 (2009-2011).

Research expertise

  • Archaeology
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Other earth sciences
  • Zoology

Research interests

Vertebrate faunas of Australia, the Pacific, and New Zealand, in particular the taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships of birds and their Tertiary and Quaternary evolutionary history, and how faunal composition responded to changes in climate and vegetation patterns over time.

  1. Oligo-Miocene avifaunas of Australia - taxonomy and phylogenetics. Current research will focus on the landfowl radiation in Australia and the Pacific.
  2. Miocene fauna of New Zealand – description of the terrestrial vertebrates from the St Bathans Fauna, Otago, New Zealand, including frogs, squamates, birds, and mammals with several collaborators. Begun in 2001 in New Zealand and continued in Australia under various ARC Discovery projects, this research is the first major investigation of the terrestrial Miocene vertebrate faunas of NZ. Collaborating Investigators include Dr Suzanne Hand and Professor Michael Archer (University of NSW), Dr Steven Salisbury (University of Queensland), Alan Tennyson at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, and Dr Paul Scofield at Canterbury Museum, Christchurch.
  3. The Quaternary avifauna of New Zealand, and how this relates to climate/vegetation, with emphases on palaeoecology and taxonomic issues. This involves collaborations with several researchers re work on moa and other birds. e.g., Drs Jamie Wood & Janet Wilmshurst, Lincoln University, Lincoln, Canterbury, New Zealand, and Prof. Alan Cooper and Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, Adelaide University, SA, and Dr Nicolas Rawlence, Otago University on molecular-based phylogenetic studies of moas.
  4. Pacific palaeofaunas. Current projects include New Caledonia, Vanuatu, and Austral Islands, to determine the original prehuman faunal composition. Work to describe these faunas and the new taxa represented is in progress with several collaborators. The New Caledonian work is part of a project on the prehistoric colonisation of the Central Pacific directed by Prof. A. J. Anderson, Australian National University. The Vanuatu work on turtles and birds is with Dr Stuart Bedford and Professor Matthew Spriggs of ANU.

Supervisory interests

  • Birds
  • Geological and fossil heritage

RHD research supervision

Current

Principal supervisor : Fossil birds (2) ;

Associate supervisor : Fossil birds (1) ;

Publications

  • Brook, B., Bradshaw, C., Cooper, A., Johnson, C., Worthy, T.H., Bird, M., et al. (2013). Letter - Lack of chronological support for stepwise pre-human extinctions of Australian megafauna. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(36) pp. E3368.
    [10.1073/pnas.1309226110]
  • Worthy, T.H. (2012). Book Review: Extinct Birds, by J. P. Hume and M. Walters. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, pp. 179-180.
  • Worthy, T.H., Worthy, J., Tennyson, A., Salisbury, S., Hand, S. and Scofield, R. (2013). Miocene fossils show that kiwi (Apteryx, Apterygidae) are probably not phyletic dwarves. In UB Göhlich & A Kroh, ed. Paleornithological Research 2013 - Proceedings of the 8th International Meeting of the Society of Avian Paleontology and Evolution. Vienna, Austria: Naturhistorisches Museum Wein. 8th International Meeting Society of Avian Paleontology and Evolution. Vienna, Austria. Jun 2012, pp. 63-80.
    [Web Link]
  • Nguyen, J., Worthy, T.H., Boles, W., Hand, S. and Archer, M. (2014). New specimens of the logrunner Orthonyx kaldowinyeri (Passeriformes: Orthonychidae) from the Oligo-Miocene of Australia. Alcheringa, 38(2) pp. 245-255.
    [10.1080/03115518.2014.861732]
  • Worthy, T.H., Hand, S. and Archer, M. (2014). Phylogenetic relationships of the Australian Oligo-Miocene ratite Emuarius gidju Casuariidae. Integrative Zoology, 9 pp. 148-166.
  • Collins, C., Rawlence, N., Worthy, T.H., Scofield, R., Tennyson, A., Smith, I., et al. (2014). Pre-human New Zealand sea lion (Phocarctos hookeri) rookeries on mainland New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 44(1) pp. 1-16.
    [10.1080/03036758.2013.828761]
  • Lalas, C., Hamel, J., Tennyson, A. and Worthy, T. (2014). Southern extensions for Holocene records of Australian pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) and New Zealand musk duck (Biziura delautouri) in New Zealand. NOTORNIS, 61 pp. 106-108.
  • Mitchell, K., Llamas, B., Soubrier, J., Rawlence, N., Worthy, T., Wood, J., et al. (2014). Ancient DNA reveals elephant birds and kiwi are sister taxa and clarifies ratite bird evolution. Science, 344 pp. 898-900.
  • Worthy, T.H., Anderson, A. and Sand, C. (2013). An extinct Austral snipe Aves: Coenocorypha from New Caledonia. Emu, 113(4) pp. 383-393.
    [10.1071/MU13019]
  • Worthy, T.H., Tennyson, A., Scofield, R. and Hand, S. (2013). Early Miocene fossil frogs (Anura: Leiopelmatidae) from New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 43(4) pp. 211-230.
    [10.1080/03036758.2013.825300]
  • Wood, J., Wilmshurst, J., Richardson, S., Rawlence, N., Wagstaff, S., Worthy, T.H., et al. (2013). Resolving lost herbivore community structure using coprolites of four sympatric moa species (Aves: Dinornithiformes). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(42) pp. 16910-16915.
    [10.1073/pnas.1307700110]
  • Wood, J., Wilmshurst, J., Rawlence, N., Bonner, K., Worthy, T.H., Kinsella, J., et al. (2013). A megafauna's microfauna: gastrointestinal parasites of New Zealand's extinct moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes) PLoS One, 8(2) pp. e57315.
    [10.1371/journal.pone.0057315]
  • Nguyen, J., Worthy, T.H., Boles, W., Hand, S. and Archer, M. (2013). A new cracticid (Passeriformes: Cracticidae) from the Early Miocene of Australia. Emu, 107(113) pp. 374-382.
    [10.1071/MU13017]
  • Worthy, T.H., Worthy, J.P., Tennyson, A. and Scofield, R. (2013). A bittern (Aves: Ardeidae) from the Early Miocene of New Zealand. PALEONTOLOGICAL JOURNAL, 47(11) pp. 1331-1343.
    [10.1134/S0031030113110154]
  • Chambers, G. and Worthy, T.H. (2013). Our evolving view of the kakapo (Strigops habroptilus) and its allies. NOTORNIS, 60(3) pp. 197-200.
    [Scopus] [Web Link]
  • Hand, S., Worthy, T.H., Archer, M., Worthy, J., Tennyson, A. and Scofield, R. (2013). Miocene mystacinids (Chiroptera, Noctilionoidea) indicate a long history for endemic bats in New Zealand. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 33(6) pp. 1442-1448.
    [10.1080/02724634.2013.775950]
  • Schwarzhans, W., Scofield, R., Tennyson, A., Worthy, J. and Worthy, T.H. (2012). Fish remains, mostly otoliths, from the non-marine Early Miocene of Otago, New Zealand. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 57(2) pp. 319-350.
    [10.4202/app.2010.0127] [Scopus]
  • Rawlence, N.J., Metcalf, J.L., Wood, J., Worthy, T.H., Austin, J. and Cooper, A. (2012). The effect of climate and environmental change on the megafaunal moa of New Zealand in the absence of humans. Quaternary Science Reviews, 50 pp. 141-153.
    [10.1016/j.quascirev.2012.07.004] [Scopus]
  • Lee, M. and Worthy, T.H. (2012). Likelihood reinstates Archaeopteryx as a primitive bird. Biology Letters, 8(2) pp. 308-311.
    [10.1098/rsbl.2011.0884] [Scopus]
  • Gillespie, R., Camens, A., Worthy, T.H., Rawlence, N., Reid, C., Bertuch, F., et al. (2012). Man and megafauna in Tasmania: closing the gap. Quaternary Science Reviews, 37 pp. 38-47.
    [10.1016/j.quascirev.2012.01.013] [Scopus]
  • Fitzgerald, E., Park, T. and Worthy, T.H. (2012). First giant bony-toothed bird (Pelagornithidae) from Australia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 32(4) pp. 971-974.
    [10.1080/02724634.2012.664596] [Scopus]
  • Shepherd, L., Worthy, T.H., Tennyson, A., Scofield, R., Ramstad, K. and Lambert, D. (2012). Ancient DNA Analyses Reveal Contrasting Phylogeographic Patterns amongst Kiwi (Apteryx spp.) and a Recently Extinct Lineage of Spotted Kiwi. PLoS One, 7(8) pp. e42384.
    [10.1371/journal.pone.0042384] [Scopus]
  • Worthy, T.H. and Scofield, R. (2012). Twenty-first century advances in knowledge of the biology of moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes): a new morphological analysis and diagnoses revised. New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 39(2) pp. 87-153.
    [10.1080/03014223.2012.665060] [Scopus]
  • Worthy, T.H. (2012). A phabine pigeon (Aves : Columbidae) from Oligo-Miocene Australia. Emu, 112(1) pp. 23-31.
    [10.1071/MU11061] [Scopus]
  • Worthy, T.H. (2012). A new species of Oligo-Miocene darter (Aves: Anhingidae) from Australia. Auk, 129(1) pp. 96-104.
    [10.1525/auk.2012.11204] [Scopus]
  • Wood, J., Wilmshurst, J., Worthy, T.H., Hopzapfel, A. and Cooper, A. (2012). A lost link between a flightless parrot and a parasitic plant and the potential role of coprolites in conservation paleobiology. Conservation Biology, 26(6) pp. 1091-1099.
    [10.1111/j.1523-1739.2012.01931.x] [Scopus]
  • Wood, J., Wilmshurst, J., Worthy, T.H. and Cooper, A. (2012). First coprolite evidence for the diet of Anomalopteryx didiformis, an extinct forest ratite from New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 36(2) pp. 164-170.
    [Web Link]
  • Wood, J., Wilmshurst, J., Wagstaff, S., Worthy, T.H., Rawlence, N.J. and Cooper, A. (2012). High-resolution coproecology: using coprolites to reconstruct the habits and habitats of New Zealand's extinct upland moa (Megalapteryx didinus) PLoS One, 7(6) pp. e40025.
    [10.1371/journal.pone.0040025] [Scopus]
  • Irwin, G., Worthy, T.H., Best, S., Hawkins, S., Carpenter, J. and Matararaba, S. (2011). Further investigations at the Naigani Lapita site (VL 21/5), Fiji: Excavation, radiocarbon dating and palaeofaunal extinction. Journal of Pacific Archaeology, 2(2) pp. 66-78.
    [Web Link]
  • Rawlence, N., Scofield, R., Wood, J., Wilmshurst, J., Moar, N. and Worthy, T.H. (2011). New palaeontological data from the excavation of the Late Glacial Glencrieff miring bone deposit, North Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 41 pp. 217-236.
  • Wood, J., Wilmshurst, J., Worthy, T.H. and Cooper, A. (2011). Sporormiella as a proxy for non-mammalian herbivores in island ecosystems. Quaternary Science Reviews, 30 pp. 915-920.
  • Worthy, T.H. (2011). Descriptions and phylogenetic relationships of a new genus and two new species of Oligo-Miocene cormorants (Aves: Phalacrocoracidae) from Australia. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 163 pp. 277-314.
  • Worthy, T.H. and Boles, W. (2011). Australlus, a new genus for Gallinula disneyi (Aves: Rallidae) and a description of a new species from Oligo-Miocene deposits at Riversleigh, Northwestern Queensland, Australia. Records of The Australian Museum, 63 pp. 61-77.
    [10.3853/j.0067-1975.63.2011.1563]
  • Worthy, T.H., Tennyson, A. and Scofield, R. (2011). Fossils reveal an early Miocene presence of the aberrant gruiform Aves: Aptornithidae in New Zealand. Journal of Ornithology, 152 pp. 669-680.
  • Worthy, T.H., Tennyson, A. and Scofield, R. (2011). An Early Miocene diversity of parrots (Aves, Strigopidae, Nestorinae) from New Zealand. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 31 pp. 1102-1116.
  • Worthy, T.H. and Bollt, R. (2011). Prehistoric Birds and Bats from the Atiahara Site, Tubuai, Austral Islands, East Polynesia. Pacific Science, 65(1) pp. 69-85.
    [10.2984/65.1.069]
  • Worthy, T.H., Tennyson, A., Hand, S., Godthelp, H. and Scofield, R. (2011). Terrestrial turtle fossils from New Zealand refloat Moa's Ark. Copeia, 2011(1) pp. 72-76.
    [10.1643/CH-10-113]
  • White, A., Worthy, T.H., Hawkins, S., Bedford, S. and Spriggs, M. (2010). Megafaunal meiolaniid horned turtles survived until early human settlement in Vanuatu, Southwest Pacific. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(350) pp. 15512-15516.
  • Collins, C., Rawlence, N., Worthy, T.H., Scofield, R., Tennyson, A., Smith, I., et al. (2014). Pre-human New Zealand sea lion (Phocarctos hookeri) rookeries on mainland New Zealand. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 44(1) pp. 1-16.
    [10.1080/03036758.2013.828761]
  • Lalas, C., Hamel, J., Tennyson, A. and Worthy, T. (2014). Southern extensions for Holocene records of Australian pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) and New Zealand musk duck (Biziura delautouri) in New Zealand. NOTORNIS, 61 pp. 106-108.
  • Mitchell, K., Llamas, B., Soubrier, J., Rawlence, N., Worthy, T., Wood, J., et al. (2014). Ancient DNA reveals elephant birds and kiwi are sister taxa and clarifies ratite bird evolution. Science, 344 pp. 898-900.
  • Nguyen, J., Worthy, T.H., Boles, W., Hand, S. and Archer, M. (2014). New specimens of the logrunner Orthonyx kaldowinyeri (Passeriformes: Orthonychidae) from the Oligo-Miocene of Australia. Alcheringa, 38(2) pp. 245-255.
    [10.1080/03115518.2014.861732]
  • Worthy, T.H., Hand, S. and Archer, M. (2014). Phylogenetic relationships of the Australian Oligo-Miocene ratite Emuarius gidju Casuariidae. Integrative Zoology, 9 pp. 148-166.
  • Chambers, G. and Worthy, T.H. (2013). Our evolving view of the kakapo (Strigops habroptilus) and its allies. NOTORNIS, 60(3) pp. 197-200.
    [Scopus] [Web Link]
  • Hand, S., Worthy, T.H., Archer, M., Worthy, J., Tennyson, A. and Scofield, R. (2013). Miocene mystacinids (Chiroptera, Noctilionoidea) indicate a long history for endemic bats in New Zealand. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 33(6) pp. 1442-1448.
    [10.1080/02724634.2013.775950]
  • Nguyen, J., Worthy, T.H., Boles, W., Hand, S. and Archer, M. (2013). A new cracticid (Passeriformes: Cracticidae) from the Early Miocene of Australia. Emu, 107(113) pp. 374-382.
    [10.1071/MU13017]
  • Wood, J., Wilmshurst, J., Richardson, S., Rawlence, N., Wagstaff, S., Worthy, T.H., et al. (2013). Resolving lost herbivore community structure using coprolites of four sympatric moa species (Aves: Dinornithiformes). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110(42) pp. 16910-16915.
    [10.1073/pnas.1307700110]
  • Worthy, T.H., Worthy, J.P., Tennyson, A. and Scofield, R. (2013). A bittern (Aves: Ardeidae) from the Early Miocene of New Zealand. PALEONTOLOGICAL JOURNAL, 47(11) pp. 1331-1343.
    [10.1134/S0031030113110154]

Professional and community engagement

Am an editor for Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, and Zootaxa.
Review submitted papers for PloSOne, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, Palaeontology, Geobios, Auk, Emu, Notornis, Ibis, and many others

Contact

Add to address book
Phone: +61 8 82013461
Email:
Location: Biological Sciences (128B)
Postal address: GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Further information

My Academia page is at: flinders.academia.edu/TrevorWorthy

MACO login

inspiring achievement