Prof Tim Flannery
Professor Tim Flannery is one of Australia's best-known scientists as well as being one of our best-selling writers. His views are often provocative, both intellectually and socially.
Tim was for a number of years the Principal Research scientist at the Australian Museum in Sydney. He started out, though, doing a degree in English. After graduating, he found a temporary job at the Museum of Victoria in their Vertebrate Paleontology department. This led him to a second degree in Earth Sciences, and from there to a doctorate with the Zoology department at UNSW.
He is renowned academically for his research into the mammals of Melanesia, publishing several acclaimed books on the subject…but he's best known by the broad public as the author of The Future Eaters, one of the best-selling non-fiction books in Australia and New Zealand. That book won a shelf-load of prizes, including the Age book of the year in 1995 and the inaugural South Australian premier's literary award in 1996. His interests aren't restricted to biology, though. Tim has a deep interest in early Australian history which has also informed his understanding of the way the Australian environment has been used, and often abused. He edited and reissued 1788, A Complete Account of the Settlement of Port Jackson, by Watkin Tench. This was first printed in 1789 and is the first published account of the earliest European settlement in Australia. Flannery's book became another bestseller. Since then he has published another about early Australian history.
Tim appears regularly on radio and is often called on as expert commentator on a wide range of environmental and social issues. He's made numerous television appearances and made a 6-part television series for ABC TV based on The Future Eaters. He has written articles for a broad range of journals from literary magazines to specialist scientific journals and mass-circulation magazines.
In 1988 he was Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University and on his return to Australia took up the position as Director of the South Australian Museum. Tim Flannery was named Australian of the Year on 25th January 2007. On 1 August 2007 he took up a new position as Professor in Division of Environmental and Life Sciences at Macquarie University in Sydney.