Dr Alice Clement


College of Science and Engineering

place Bedford Park (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


2021 E.S.Hills Medal Geological Society of Australia

2020 Young Tall Poppy Award Australian Institute of Policy and Science

2017 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Early Career ResearcherFlinders University


2022 Discovery Project Grant DP230101438 (CI) "Plastic Reptile Brains" Australian Research Council

2021 Discovery Project Grant DP220100825 (CI) “Devonian Gogo Fauna" Australian Research Council

2020 Discovery Project Grant DP200103398* “Brains Frozen in Time” Australian Research Council (*co-author)

2020 Research Consortium Funding (CI) "Virtual Australian Museum of Palaeontology" Flinders University

2018 Impact Seed Funding Flinders University

Topic coordinator
BIOL7710 Honours Critical Readings
Topic lecturer
BIOL2706 • Vertebrate Anatomy & Evolution
BIOL3703 • Vertebrate Palaeontology
BIOL2712 * Animal Diversity
BIOL7710 Honours Critical Readings
BIOL2706 Vertebrate Form and Function
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