Stephen Poropat


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Stephen Poropat has been passionate about palaeontology since he could pronounce the word. He has a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science from Monash University, majoring in Geography and Earth Sciences. He completed a PhD on Cretaceous ostracod crustaceans at the same institution in 2011. Two papers from his PhD were published in 2012.

From 2011–2015, Stephen worked as a postdoctoral researcher in palaeontology at Uppsala University (Sweden) with Dr Benjamin Kear. This position enabled him to study Chinese dinosaur specimens held in Sweden: notably, the sauropod Euhelopus zdanskyi (2013), isolated theropod (2013) and stegosaur (2017) specimens, and the ornithopod Tanius sinensis (2021).

During his time in Sweden, Stephen also commenced working on Australian dinosaur fossils.

A four-year postdoctoral fellowship (2017–2020) at Swinburne University of Technology (Melbourne) with Professor Patricia Vickers-Rich and Dr Thomas Rich enabled Stephen to continue his work on Australian dinosaurs, and expand his sights to include other fossil reptiles. He continues to work on both Australian and Swedish-based Chinese fossils to this day.

By far the most important influence on Stephen’s palaeontological career has been the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum (AAOD) in Winton, outback Queensland, founded by David and Judy Elliott in 2002 (David was a Churchill Fellow in 2011).

Stephen has been associated with AAOD since 2011 and has worked extensively on the fossil reptiles in the collection. Notably, with colleagues, Stephen has – • redescribed the Australian sauropod Diamantinasaurus matildae (2015)

  • named and described the Australian sauropod Savannasaurus elliottorum (2016, 2020)
  • named and described – with PhD student Adele Pentland – the Australian pterosaur Ferrodraco lentoni (2019, 2022)
  • described the first partial sauropod skull ever found in Australia (2021)
  • described the astonishing Snake Creek Tracksite (2021), which hosts fossilised tracks of sauropod, theropod and ornithopod dinosaurs alongside those of swimming crocodyliforms and turtles, and feeding traces made by lungfish and ray-finned fish. With colleagues Stephen has also worked on Victorian Cretaceous fossils.

His publications include a review of the entire Victorian Early Cretaceous fossil record (2018), a description of megaraptorid theropod fossils (2019), the report of the first ever elaphrosaurine theropod from Australia (2020), and a description of ornithopod jaws (2021, led by Honours student Ruairidh Duncan).

Stephen is currently undertaking a Master’s of Teaching (Secondary) at Federation University (Ballarat), and is on placement at Ecolinc Science and Technology Innovations Centre (Bacchus Marsh).


To explore the impact of continental drift and climate change on Southern Hemisphere dinosaur faunas

To explore the impact of continental drift and climate change on Southern Hemisphere dinosaur faunas

The Arts
Stephen Poropat

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