Dr Alice Clement

Research Fellow

College of Science and Engineering

place Biological Sciences (IST 225)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

I am an evolutionary biologist and palaeontologist, most interested in early vertebrates. This means I study fish and tetrapods (the first terrestrial vertebrates), and in particular the changes that occurred in their bodies over deep geological time. This spectacular transition is arguably the greatest step in evolution, and occurred close to 400 million years ago in a time period known as the Devonian.

I enjoy working on spectacular fossils as well as studying the animals that live today to answer questions about vertebrate evolution. I use modern scanning and imaging techniques (such as CT, synchrotron and neutron imaging) to uncover deep mysteries of the past, and better understand our very own evolutionary history.

I am leading the research node in early vertebrate brain evolution (palaeoneurology) at Flinders Univeristy but also work on other vertebrate groups (birds, mammals etc), and other projects relating to the evolution of terrestriality -such as the development of limbs from fins, and the appearance of air breathing.

I am the leader of VAMP, a Flinders University initiative to set up a Virtual Australian Museum of Palaeontology, Program Secretary of the Royal Society of South Australia, and a strong advocate for Women in STEM.

For the most up-to-date information about my research and outreach activites, please see: www.draliceclement.com


B. Sc (Hons) in Zoology from the University of Melbourne, in conjunction with Museum Victoria (2007). Supervised by Prof. John Long and Dr. David Young.

Ph.D (Palaeontology) from the Australian National University, Canberra, in conjunction with Museum Victoria (2012). Supervised by Prof. John Long, Prof. Tim Senden and Dr. Gavin Young.

Honours, awards and grants
  • 2020 Flinders University CRIF Research Consortium Scheme

  • 2020 ANSTO Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering Beamtime

  • 2020* ARC Discovery Project DP200103398 “Brains Frozen in Time” (*Co-author)

  • 2019 eLife Travel Grant (2019)

  • 2019* ANSTO Australian Synchrotron Beamtime (*Co-Proposer) 

  • 2018 Flinders University Early Career Researcher Impact Seed Funding

  • 2018 ANSTO Australian Centre for Neutron Scattering Beamtime

  • 2018* ESRF European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (*Co-Proposer)

  • 2017 Flinders University Vice Chancellor’s Award for Early Career Researcher

  • 2014 Uppsala University Inez Johansson Scholarship
  • 2011 Australian National University Paterson Memorial Grant
  • 2010 Museum Victoria 1854 Scholarship
  • 2008-2012 Australian National University Australian Postgraduate Award
Teaching interests

I have Course Coordinator experience (BIOL2046 Life on Earth B at the University of South Australia), in addition to lecturing across several topics at Flinders, as well as other univerisities (e.g EMSC2019 Geobiology and the Evolution of Life on Earth at Australian National University).

Furthermore, I have worked in a Demonstrator/Tutor capacity for the following topics:

  • VISA2306 Scientific Illustration (Flinders University)
  • BIOL1102 Molecular Basis of Life (Flinders University)
  • BIOL1101 Evolution of Biological Diversity (Flinders University)
  • Vertebrate Structure and Function (The University of Melbourne)
Topic lecturer
BIOL2706 • Vertebrate Anatomy & Evolution
BIOL3703 • Vertebrate Palaeontology
BIOL2712 * Animal Diversity
BIOL7710 Honours Critical Readings
Supervisory interests
Vertebrate palaeontology
Higher degree by research supervision
Associate supervisor: Anatomy and Systematics (1), Palaeontology (1)
  • Palaeontology
Further information


I am part of the Flinders Palaeontology Group, one of the best places in Australia to study the deep history of life. This consists of the labs of the following academic staff and research fellows (and their research groups) addressing questions across all vertebrates - from fish to mammals, and the Cambrian to the Anthropocene.

The Conversation