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Penny van Oosterzee

Adjunct Associate Professor James Cook University and University Fellow Charles Darwin University, James Cook University

Penny is Director of Biome5, a University Fellow at Charles Darwin University and Adjunct Associate Professor James Cook University, and a partner in an ARC research project on cost-effective restoration for biodiversity and carbon outcomes. Her research focuses on ecosystems and climate change abatement. She is currently researching policy associated with the biodiversity and ecosystem services, restoration ecology, one health approaches and climate change.

Penny is also a science writer, with several national awards including two Eureka Science Prizes. One of these books "Where World Collide: The Wallace Line" is now available as an ebook. Her book, with Mike Morwood, titled "The Discovery of the Hobbit: The Scientific Breakthrough that Changed the Face of Human History" won the inaugural John Mulvaney Award for Archaeology in 2007. Her latest book "The Natural History and Field Guide to the Top End" was recently published in August 2014.


  • 2012–present
    Senior Research Adjunct , James Cook University
  • 2012–present
    University Fellow, Charles Darwin University
  • 2005–2014
    Director, Biome5


  • 2014 
    Charles Darwin University, PhD

Grants and Contracts

  • 2009
    Identifying cost-effective reforestation approaches for biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration in the Australian wet tropics
    Linkage Partner
    Funding Source:


Eureka Science Awards 1991, 1997; Whitley Award fin Australian Zoological Literature; Whitley Award for Best Historical Zoology; Whitley Award in Science Literature 2007; John Mulvaney Award for Archaeology 2007;