Sean Tomlinson

Dr Sean Tomlinson

ARC Grant-Funded Researcher (A)

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

My role at the University of Adelaide is with the Global CHEC laboratory, seeking to use paleoecology and biogeography to understand the dynamics of population decline and extinction in the fauna of Australia and New Zealand. My primary interests currently are to construct process oriented models exploring the extinction of moa in New Zealand, and the different responses of megapodes in Australia to land use change since European settlement. Our intent is to use the insights gained to identify complex interactions of threatening processes, and hopefully to reverse these processes' impacts on extant threatened species.

More broadly, I am a conservation physiologist with an interest in how physiological traits contribute to a species' niche and distribution. Furthermore, I am interested in the implications that these limitations have for the policy and practice of conservation and ecological restoration. Prior to joining the University of Adelaide I have worked across a broad range of taxa, investigating seed biology and plant physiology, insect physiology, and the physiology, movement ecology and habitat preferences of reptiles and mammals.


Australian Research Council Linkage Grant LP200200680: Predicting seed lifespan for improved curation of conservation seed banks.

Role: Chief Investigator ($582, 084 award; 4 years)


Curtin Business Agreement: Structure and function of insect pollinator communities in the Northern Jarrah Forrest restoration by Alcoa Australia.

Role: Chief Investigator ($10,000 award; 2 years)


Company of Biologists Scientific Meeting Grant EA43: Australia and New Zealand Society for Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry 2019 Meeting.

Role: Organiser (2,000 award)


Australian Research Council Linkage Grant LP160100381: The energetic basis to seed longevity and storage.

Role: Chief Investigator ($336, 000 award; 3 years)


Australian Research Council Linkage Grant LP110200304: The spatial energetics of pollination failure in habitat restoration.

Role: Named research associate ($630, 000 award; 5 years)


Department of Environment and Conservation Environmental Community Grants: Desert Biodiversity Expedition Group

Role: Chief Investigator ($12,000 award)


Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment.

Role: Chief Investigator ($7, 000 award)


Ray Hart Memorial Trust Research Award.

Role: Chief Investigator (Short-listing)


Australian Post-Graduate Award (3 year duration)


Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment.

Role: Chief Investigator ($5, 000 award)


Pest Animal Control CRC Honours Funding Assistance.

Role: Chief Investigator


Pest Animal Control CRC Honours Scholarship

  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 - ongoing Principal Supervisor Community structure and ecophysiology of hymenopteran pollinators in restored Jarrah forests Curtin University Master Emily Tudor
    2018 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Threat assessment and recovery strategies for the Western Spiny-tailed Skink (Egernia stokesii badia) Curtin University Doctorate Holly Bradley
    2017 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Thermal and droughting tolerance of seed germination as drivers of rarity and endemism Curtin University Doctorate Subhashi Rajapakshe
    2016 - 2020 Co-Supervisor Behavioural responses of Varanid lizards to mine site restoration Curtin University Doctorate Sophie Cross
    2016 - 2019 Co-Supervisor The metabolic ecology of seed storage Curtin University Postdoctorate Emma Dalziell
    2014 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Implications for wind management in restoration ecology, linking ecosystem aerodynamics to physiological drivers in arid and semi-arid systems The University of Western Australia Doctorate Erica David
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2019 - 2020 Member Scientific Advisory Committee Perth Zoo Australia
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2021 - ongoing Associate Editor Conservation Physiology Society for Experimental Biology United Kingdom
  • Position: ARC Grant-Funded Researcher (A)
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Benham, floor G
  • Org Unit: School of Biological Sciences

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