Espen is the Senior Curator of Palaeontology at JCU and the Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville. He has a special interest in the diversity, evolution and ecology of Mesozoic reptiles, such as ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and dinosaurs. Current projects, involving fieldwork throughout Australia, aim to fill significant gaps in our knowledge and understanding of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous vertebrate fauna in the southern hemisphere. See fnqpaleo.wordpress.com for project updates.

Previously Espen has been involved in pioneering work on Jurassic and Cretaceous marine faunas of the High Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, and in fieldwork in The Netherlands (Triassic) and USA (Cretaceous).

  • EA3120: The Fossil Record: Dinosaurs and Vertebrates Through Time (Level 3; TSV)
  • EA5120: The Fossil Record: Dinosaurs and Vertebrates Through Time (Level 5; TSV)
  • Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, Palaeontology, Vertebrates, Dinosaurs, Marine Reptiles, Arctic, Biogeography, Australia, Biodiversity, Evolution
  • 2008 to 2012 - PhD, University of Oslo (Norway)
  • 2005 to 2007 - MSc, University of Oslo (Norway)
  • 2002 to 2005 - BSc, University of Oslo (Norway)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives

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Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering - Australian Synchrotron Access Program

Digital preparation and constituent analysis of rare vertebrate remains from the Jurassic rocks of Western Australia rocks of Western Australia.

Indicative Funding
Our current record of Jurassic (201?145mya) Australian terrestrial vertebrates is very scanty, comprising of a handful of specimens. Recently collected material from Western Australia, including a dinosaur tail vertebra, consists of single elements preserved mainly as natural casts. That is, cavities left behind by dissolved bones subsequently filled by sedimentary rock, such as sandstone. These natural casts were preserved in sandstone and consist of sand grains supported by a gossanous matrix. Synchrotron data may aid in the digital removal of the surrounding sandstone from the natural casts, and also to delineate the constituents of the casts themselves.
Espen Knutsen (College of Science & Engineering)
Jurassic; Tetrapod; Palaeontology; Synchrotron; Dinosaur; Fossil

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These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Palaeoenvironment and palaeovalley gold provenance of the Lefroy Palaeodrainage System, Western Australia and its implications for future placer gold exploration. (Masters , Primary Advisor)
  • Reconstructing the Mesozoic of Eastern Australia, with emphasis on establishing the tectonic evolution, geochronology and sedimentary provenance of its basins. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

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  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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