Marc Tennant, AM

Winthrop Professor, BDSc PhD W.Aust., FRACDS(GDP) FICD FADI

  • The University of Western Australia (M315), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from PlumX

Personal profile


I have a lifetime commitment to The University of Western Australia. I was a student here in the 1980s, and then an academic for nearly three decades.  I have been an employee at all levels, having experienced life as a casual staff member, right through to full Professor; I know what academics face, having experienced it personally over 30 years. I am committed to the long haul within the local community, and over my lifetime has always been focused on UWAs goals and values.  I am focused on the traditions of a university community of kindness, fairness, and collegiality as primary drivers of excellence, with a 25-year commitment to student experience, and building the experience based on great traditional academic values. I have received many awards for this commitment to the UWA, WA, and the wider Australian community with a strong focus on equity and justice. Culminating in 2022 with my appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia by the Governor General of Australia.

I was Director (and Founder) of Centre for Rural and Remote Oral Health for a decade then the International Research Collaborative - Oral Health and Equity for the most recent decade. The Collaborative (for over 20 years now) is a global leader in driving reform particularly focused on marginalisation and addressing health inequality.

I has a lifetime focus on addressing issues of equity and justice with a strong focus on closing the gap for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Our team are acknowledged as the founding driving force in the sub-discipline of rural, remote and Indigenous oral health with national and international awards for my commitment and innovations in the field. To now, two decades later, see this as a thriving area of innovation in Australia bring the team great joy.

I have received many awards acknowledging this lifetime commitment to the reform agenda; and had a café at UWA named in honour to our services to UWA and its students. I have lead the development of the Collaborative that is strongly focused on enhancing the leadership base in R&D globally; influence stretching from the Middle East through the sub-continent to Asia and out into the Pacific and the Collaborative has more than 120 Fellows and 50 graduate students and 50-100 other students.

I am a highly-ranked researcher in my discipline (with some 250+ peer-reviewed publications and millions in R&D income).  Also supporting many current graduate students and having taught thousands of UWA's students over a lifetime of award-winning education. I have a strong commitment to outstanding student-centric education and good education governance. I have received numerous awards from student groups and universities across Australia and beyond for this commitment to students and learning, I have also been elected a life member of the Dental Student Society for supporting students.

Our team is now recognised globally as the leading oral health R&D group in Western Australia and in 2015 and 2016 I was the most published Australian in dentistry and continues to this day to be in the top couple. I remain in the top half dozen dental academics in Australia for impact (h-factor) with 250+ publications and $20million in R&D funding over his career. Our team hold 8 of the top dozen most cited articles in dentistry in Western Australian history. In collaboration with my team we publish 20-30 peer review publications each year and this is one of the leading publishers in health in WA and one of the top handful in my discipline in Australasia.

I am a sort-after advisor to governments and institutions across Australia and Internationally and has been at the forefront of structural reform in universities (and oral health) for nearly two decades.

For 60 years, Australia had only five city-based dental schools, however, in the last two decades four new dental schools have come into operation. I have played key roles in the development of all of these, as foundation leader of the program for the first two and as principle dental consultant for in the later two. I have been the driving force in development and implementation of the teaching and learning experiences (ie curriculum) in each of these new schools. They have all received positive outcomes from the professional accreditation body. My passion to bring these schools about was the critically perilous state dental workforce had got its-self into in the early 2000’s. Today, some two decades later we celebrate the success of the developments with Australia, and in particular public dental systems nationally having a steady flow of high-quality graduates.

I have served in many executive leadership roles (Clinical Dean and Head of School roles) in Dental Schools both locally and interstate; managing complex stakeholder interactions, including government, universities and communities. At UWA I have held a number of senior leadership roles including being Associate Chair and Deputy Chair of Academic Board to name a few roles.  And in 2023 was elected to the Role of the Chair of Academic Board commencing in 2024.

My social media influence is substantial my X (formally Twitter) handle is the most read personal handle in dentistry in Australia and the leading handle at UWA with some 18,000+ followers and millions of impressions a year.  It was ranked in the 6 most read personal handles in the world in dentistry.

I have taught across the disciplines of biology, anatomy, histology and para-clinical sciences for more than 30 years. This teaching has been to a wide range of students from recent school leavers through to specialist registrars.

I have developed a series of YouTube channels focused on the anatomy of the head and neck. These freely available teaching resources have 350,000 viewers from some 125 countries globally. One of the world's most viewed Anatomy for dental professionals on-line learning resources.

Intertwining a love of data systems/evidence-based decision making with an innovative streak I have undertaken lead roles in universities and continue my lifelong efforts towards reducing social disadvantage and marginalisation.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research expertise keywords

  • Dental public health
  • Health services research
  • Oral health in rural and remote communities
  • Workforce and oral health


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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