Dr Steven Salisbury

Senior Lecturer

School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science
s.salisbury@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 58548

Overview

Dr Steve Salisbury is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at The University of Queensland, and a Research Associate at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Born in the Blue Mountains in 1972, he studied biology and geology as an undergraduate at the University of Sydney, receiving the Edgeworth David Award for Palaeontology in 1993. He then moved to the University of New South Wales, where he completed a 1st Class Honours thesis on fossil crocodilians from Murgon, south-eastern Queensland, under the supervision of Professor Mike Archer and Dr Paul Willis. 

Subsequently, while still affiliated with the University of New South Wales, Steve went to Germany and the UK to complete a PhD on crocodilian locomotor evolution under Dr Eberhard 'Dino' Frey. He returned to Australia in 2000 to pursue a life-long dream of searching for Australian dinosaurs, a dream that was fulfilled in part during 2001 with his involvement in the discovery of (at the time) Australia's largest dinosaur, Elliot the sauropod. Steve now conducts regular expeditions to Cretaceous vertebrate localities in central-western Queensland and the Dampier Peninsula in The Kimberley region of western Australia. He is also involved in field-based research on the South Island of New Zealand and on the Antarctic Peninsula.

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 extant animals to better understand the anatomy, behaviour and evolution of extinct ones.

Research Interests

  • Dinosaurs
    Australasian Cretaceous dinosaur faunas; evolution of Australasian ornithopods, thyreophorans, sauropods and theropods; Gondwanan dinosaur palaeobiogeography; dinosaur trackways
  • Crocodiles
    evolution of Australasian crocodilians; origin of modern crocodilians; crocodilian locomotor evolution; crocodilian lung ventilation; crocodilian growth dynamics
  • Biomechanics
    locomotor evolution of dinosaurs and crocodilians; vertebral bracing in archosaurs; feeding behaviour in crocodilians
  • Other research interests
    evolution of Australian Cretaceous fishes; evolution of Australian pterosaurs; geology and taphonomy of Australian Cretaceous dinosaur localities; palaeopathology in fossil archosaurs

Research Impacts

The results of Steve's research have been widely covered in the media, and he provides regular commentary on palaeontological research via the Australian Science Media Centre. His research has been the impetus for the establishment of a $1.5 million interpretive centre in the outback town of Isisford, central-western Queensland, and recently helped to secure National Heritage Listing of dinosaur tracks on the Dampier Peninsula, north of Broome, which subsequently contributed to the collapse of a $40+ billion LNG development.

Steve's honours include the Rea Postdoctoral Fellowship (2007-2009, Carnegie Museum of Natural History), an Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship (Industry) (2003-2006, The University of Queensland), an Australian Postgraduate Award (1995-1998, University of NSW), a Postgraduate Research Scholarship (1996-1998, German Academic Exchange Service) and The Banks Alecto Fellowship (1996-1997, The Royal Society, London). He has also received research funding from the Australian Research Council, the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, the Australian Geographic Society, the Linnean Society of NSW, Isisford Shire Council, Longreach Regional Council, Winton Sire Council, Queensland Museum, The Western Australian Greens, The Wilderness Society and Land Rover Australia.

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of New South Wales
  • BSc(Hons), University of New South Wales

Publications

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Supervision

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Available Projects

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Publications

Featured Publications

Book Chapter

  • Salisbury, Steven W. and Naish, Darren (2011). Crocodilians. In David Batten and Philip D. Lane (Ed.), English Wealden Fossils (pp. 305-369) Aberystwyth, Wales, U.K.: Paleontological Association.

  • Frey, E. and Salisbury, S. W. (2007). Crocodilians of the Crato Formation: evidence for enigmatic species. In Martill, D. M., Bechly, G. and Loveridge, R. F. (Ed.), The Crato Fossil Beds of Brazil - Window into an Ancient World (pp. 463-474) Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

  • Molnar, R. E. and Salisbury, S. W. (2005). Observations on Cretaceous Sauropods from Australia. In Kenneth Carpenter and Virginia Tidwell (Ed.), Thunder-Lizards: the sauropodomorph dinosaurs (pp. 454-465) Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.

  • Salisbury. S. W. and Frey, E. (2001). A biomechanical transformation model for the evolution of semi-spheroidal articulations between adjoining vertebral bodies in crocodilians. In Gordon C. Grigg, Frank Seebacher and Craig E. Franklink (Ed.), Crocodilian biology and evolution (pp. 121-148) Chipping Norton, NSW, Australia: Surrey Beatty & Sons.

  • Frey, E. and Salisbury, S. W. (2001). The kinematics of aquatic locomotion in Osteolaemus tetraspis Cope. In Gordon C. Grigg, Frank Seebacher and Craig E. Franklin (Ed.), Crocodilian biology and evolution (pp. 165-179) Chipping Norton, NSW, Australia: Surrey Beatty & Sons.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.