Skip to content
Curtin University


Dr Kate Trinajstic

BSc (Hons) PhD (UWA)

Position Associate Professor
Faculty Faculty of Science and Engineering
School School of Science
Department Department of Environment and Agriculture
Campus Bentley Campus
Location 311.117
Phone 08 9266 2492

Brief Summary

Kate is a vertebrate palaeontologist and joined Curtin University as a Curtin Research Fellow in 2009. She was subsequently was awarded an ARC QEII Fellowship “Fleshing out the fossil record’ in 2011 to investigate the development of the skeleton and specialised musculature in early vertebrates. Her current research project is an ARC DP (2014) “The origins of electroreception and nocturnality in the earliest known jawed vertebrates” Prior to her arrival at Curtin University, Kate held a research fellowship in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Western Australia (2000-2008). She has an Honours degree in Biology from Murdoch University and was awarded a PhD in Geology from University of Western Australia, (2000) for her thesis on "Microvertebrates from the Gneudna Formation".

Research Interests

Kate's expertise primarily lies in vertebrate palaeontology. Her current work focuses on how the early vertebrates evolved novel morphology such as an internal skeleton and complex musculature. In particular she is studying the role of internal fertilization and how this impacted on the diversification and radiation of early fishes. Kate is an accomplished in a variety of micro-analytical techniques, including the application of micro- CT and synchrotron scanning for fossil materials. Kate’s other research interests encompass a variety of topics such as biostratigraphy using conodonts and the teeth and scales from sharks to date rocks, the mechanism of soft tissue preservation and the evolution of electroreception. Her primary field work is in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and has recently worked on sites in Morocco and South Africa. 

Back to top



Journal Articles (Research)


Journal Articles (Research)


Journal Articles (Research)

Conference Articles (Research)


Journal Articles (Research)


Journal Articles (Research)


Journal Articles (Research)


Book Chapters (Research)

Journal Articles (Research)


Journal Articles (Research)


Journal Articles (Research)


Journal Articles (Research)

Back to top


*2011Finalist Eureka Prize

Research and Innovation presented by Australian Museum NSW

*2010 Malcolm McIntosh Award for Physical Science

Presented as one of the Prime Ministers Prizes for Science for Early Career Research

*2009 Top Ten Species Award.

Presented by the International Institute for Species Exploration.

*2007 Whitley Award (highly commended) technical writing.

Presented by the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales.

*2003 Dorothy Hill Award.

Presented by the Australian Academy of Sciences.

Back to top Back to directory