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Biographical entry Turner, Susan

Historian and Geologist


Susan Turner is a Geoscience Consultant, part-time Lecturer in Geoscience at Monash University in Victoria and an Honorary Research Fellow at the Queensland Museum. In this latter role Turner is involved in the fossil fish collections and preparing fossil and historical displays. Her main area of expertise is in fish vertebrate microfossils, especially those of the thelodonts (jawless fish). Another of her roles at the museum is to document its history and has so far published nine works. An avid historian, Susan Turner has also written on numerous topics including women in palaeontology in Australia; Australian women in other fields; the History of palaeontology, geology and exploration in Australia, especially in Queensland and the history of Australia's involvement in UNESCO's International Union of Geological Sciences.



Education - Bachelor of Science (BSc) completed at the University of Reading, UK
1967 - 1971
Career position - Research Curator in the Department of Geology at the University of Reading
1971 - 1980
Career position - Museum Assistant Geologist at the Hancock Museum, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1978 - 1980
Career position - Scientific Officer at the Nature Conservation Council UK
Education - Museums Diploma completed through the Museums Association UK
1980 -
Career position - Honorary Research Fellow at the Queensland Museum
1983 - 1985
Career position - Secretariat of the Council of Australian Museum Directors at the Queensland Museum
Education - Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) completed at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
1992 - 1994
Career position - Research Fellow at the Queensland Museum
1995 - 2000
Career position - Australian Research Fellow
Career position - Senior Research Fellow (part-time) at the School of Geosciences at Monash University, Victoria
2005 -
Career position - Visiting Lecturer ( part-time) at the School of Geosciences at Monash University
2005 -
Career position - Geoscience Consultant (private practice)

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Book Sections

  • Turner, S., 'Invincible But Mostly Invicilble: Australian Women's Contribution to Palaentology' in Women Geologists Contributions, Burek, C., ed. (London: Geological Society of London, 2005). Details
  • Turner, S. and Long, J.A, 'Professor Edwin Sherbon Hills: His Palaeontological Works' in A Small Collection of Informal Essays Prepared by Friends and Colleagues and Intended for Presentation to Prof. E.S. Hills on What Would have been his Eightieth Anniversary of his Birthday 31 August, 1986, Twidale, R., ed. (1986), pp. 1-14. Details
  • Turner, S. and Long, J.A, 'Professor Edwin Sherbon Hills: His Palaeontological Works' in Pathways in Geology : Essays in Honour of Edwin Sherbon Hill, Le Maitre, R.W., ed. (Melbourne: Memorial Volume Committee/Blackwoods, 1989), pp. 41-51. Details
  • Turner, S. and Wade, M.J., 'The Records in the Rocks' in A Time for a Museum. The History of the Queensland Museum 1862-1986, Mather, P., ed. (Brisbane: Queensland Museum, 1986). Details
  • Turner, Susan, 'Hooked on Fossils: Women in Palaeontology in Queensland' in History of Natural History, October 14th, Queensland Museum, Abstracts (Brisbane: Royal Society of Queensland, 1995), p. 1. Details
  • Turner, Susan, 'Mary Wade' in Brilliant Careers. Women Collectors and Illustrators in Queensland, J. Mackay, ed. (Brisbane: Queensland Museum, 1997), pp. 75-77, 80. Details
  • Turner, Susan, 'Paleontology in Australia' in Sciences of the Earth. An Encyclopedia of Events, People, and Phenomena, Good, G.A., ed. (Garland Press, 1998), pp. 662-666. Details
  • Turner, Susan, 'Women in Paleontology in Australia' in Sciences of the Earth. An Encyclopedia of Events, People, and Phenomena, Good, G.A., ed. (Garland Press, 1998), pp. 848-852. Details
  • Turner, Susan, 'Thomas Sopwith, the Miner's Friend: his Contribution to the Geological Model-making Tradition' in History of Research in Mineral Resources, Ortiz, J.E. et al, ed. (Madrid: Publicaciones del Instituto Geológico y Minero de España, 2011), pp. 177-92. Details
  • Turner, Susan and Oldroyd, David, 'Reg Sprigg and the Discovery of the Ediacara Fauna in South Australia: Its Approach to the High Table Modern Paleontology' in The Paleobiological Revolution: Essays on the Growth of Modern Paleontology, Sepkoski, David and Ruse, Michael, eds (Chicago & London: University of Chicago, 2009), pp. 254-78. Details

Conference Papers

  • Rozefelds, A. and Turner, Susan, 'Dr Mary Wade - Collector and facilitator - Queensland Field Work 1971-1992', in 14th Australian Geological Convention, Townsville, July 1998 (Queensland: Geological Society of Australia, 1998), p. 384.. Details
  • Turner, S., 'Women in Palaeontology in Australia', in Useful and Curious Geological Enquiries Beyond the World: Pacific-Asia Historical Themes: The 19th International INHIGEO Symposium, Sydney, Australia, 4-8 July, 1994 edited by D. F. Branagan and G. H. McNally (Sydney: International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences, 1994), pp. 248-250.. Details
  • Turner, S., 'Queensland Women Scientists', in Queensland Royal Historical Society (2005).. Details
  • Turner, S. and Vickers-Rich, P, 'Reg Sprigg, Martin F. Glaessner, Mary Wade and the Ediacaran Fauna', in IGCP 493 Conference, Prato Workshop, Monash University Centre. August 30-31, 2004 (2004), p. 1.. Details
  • Turner, Susan, 'A Short History of Vertebrate Palaeontology in Queensland', in British Museum N.H. Symposium on History of Palaeontology edited by Cleevely, R. (1982), p. 2.. Details

Journal Articles

  • Turner, S., 'Invincible but mostly Invisible: Australian Women's Contribution to Geology and Palaeontology', Geological Society Special Publication, 281 (2007), 165-202. Details
  • Turner, Susan, 'A Short History of Vertebrate Palaeontology in Queensland', History of Earth Sciences Journal (HESS), 5 (1986), 50-65. Details
  • Turner, Susan, 'Vertebrate Palaeontology in Queensland', Earth Sciences History, 5 (1) (1986), 50-59. Details
  • Turner, Susan, 'Charles Moore's Fossil Fish from Queensland', Geological Curator, 5 (1) (1987), 20-22. Details
  • Turner, Susan, 'Women Hooked on Fossils', Australasian Science, May (1996), 61-62. Details
  • Turner, Susan, 'Heber Albert Longman (1880-1954), Queensland Museum scientist: a new bibliography', Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 51 (1) (2005), 237-257. Details
  • Turner, Susan, 'Australia's first fossil fish is still missing!', The Geological Curator, 9 (2011), 285-90. Details


Annette Alafaci