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Douglass S Rovinsky

Associate research scientist, Monash University

My research interest lies at the intersection of functional ecology and palaeobiology: understanding the ecologic niche of extinct animals using the interplay of morphology and function. I use phylogenetic comparative methods, 3D digital imaging, and morphological data (3D geometric morphometrics and linear morphometrics) to investigate topics such as body size, feeding and locomotor ecology, and convergent evolution within an evolutionary framework.

I've done (and continue to do) research as a biologist on the thylacine (aka Tasmanian tiger) here in Australia, and as a palaeontologist in ancient cave sites in South Africa, including the famous Drimolen site in the UNESCO Cradle of Humankind, South Africa - a site recovering an amazing assortment of extinct and currently living animals (including three species of human ancestor!).


  • 2021–present
    Research Assistant, Monash University


  • 2020 
    Monash University, PhD / Biology
  • 2011 
    Grand Valley State University, BSc / Biology


  • 2021
    Functional ecological convergence between the thylacine and small-prey focused canids., BMC Ecology and Evolution
  • 2020
    Did the thylacine violate the costs of carnivory? Body mass and sexual dimorphism of an iconic Australian marsupial., Proceedings of the Royal Society: B
  • 2019
    The pre-Pleistocene fossil thylacinids (Dasyuromorphia: Thylacinidae) and the evolutionary context of the modern thylacine., PeerJ
  • 2016
    Macromammalian faunas, biochronology, and palaeochronology of the early Pleistocene Main Quarry hominin-bearing deposits of the Drimolen Palaeocave System, South Africa., PeerJ
  • 2015
    First description of in situ primate and faunal remains from the Plio-Pleistocene Drimolen Makondo palaeocave infill, Gauteng, South Africa., Palaeontologia Electronica