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Steven Bird is conducting social and technological experiments in the future evolution of the world's languages. Together with his students and colleagues, he is developing scalable methods for preserving disappearing words and worldviews for future generations of speakers and scholars. He is collaborating with speech communities in diasporas and ancestral homelands to design new approaches to language maintenance and revitalisation.

Steven studied computer science at the University of Melbourne before completing a PhD in computational linguistics at the University of Edinburgh. He has conducted fieldwork on endangered languages in West Africa, South America, Central Asia, Melanesia, and Australia. He has held academic positions at the Universities of Edinburgh, Pennsylvania, Melbourne, and UC Berkeley. He holds a secondary appointment as Senior Research Scientist at the International Computer Science Institute, UC Berkeley. He serves as Linguist at the Nawarddeken Academy in West Arnhem.


  • 2017–present
    Professor, Charles Darwin University
  • 2002–2017
    Associate Professor, University of Melbourne
  • 1998–2002
    Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1991–1998
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh


  • 1991 
    University of Edinburgh, PhD
  • 1987 
    University of Melbourne, MSc
  • 1985 
    University of Melbourne, BSc(hons)