Kailah Thorn
  • The University of Western Australia (M004), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


My passion for palaeontology stemmed from my first experience learning about skeletal form and function as an undergraduate, here at UWA in 2010. A few pracs in and I added a Geology major and an extra year to my degree, went on to do a research year with the Western Australian Museum, and then a PhD at Flinders University.

I returned to UWA as Museum Curator of the Edward de Courcy Clarke Earth Science Museum in February 2020.

Research interests

My research speciality is in the taxonomy of Australian fossil scincids, primarily the blue-tongued lizards and their nearest kin in the subfamily Egerniinae. I'm working on descriptions of their extinct relatives and deciphering the evolutionary tree of this group in order to answer bigger questions about where they came from, when they got to Australia and how they have changed since they arrived.

I have been involved in a great deal of fieldwork and collaborations with other palaeontogists working on Cenozoic birds and mammals. Together, these teams are working on palaeoecological interpretations of past Australian environments and the cause and effects of megafaunal extinctions.

Community engagement

My role as Curator of the Edward de Courcy Clarke Earth Science Museum involves engaging school children, local community groups, interest groups and societies with the earth sciences. 
I reguarly present interactive, hands-on workshops and activities with children and adults. From micrometeorites to fossil plants, mineral curation, earthquakes, and soft sediment cores - there's an activity to suit all interests and experience levels.

Groups interested in visiting the museum, or booking in for an activity session can contact me directly, or check out the Museum's webpage.

Education/Academic qualification

Palaeontology, Philosophical Doctorate, Flinders University

7 Jan 20164 Jun 2020

Award Date: 27 Aug 2020

Research expertise keywords

  • Palaeontology
  • Herpetology
  • Palaeoecology
  • Taxonomy


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