Dr Penelope Olsen

Hon. Prof.
College of Science

Areas of expertise

  • Biogeography And Phylogeography 060302
  • Animal Systematics And Taxonomy 060301
  • Life Histories 060308
  • Plant Systematics And Taxonomy 060310
  • Behavioural Ecology 060201
  • Animal Physiology Systems 060603
  • Population Ecology 060207
  • Performance And Installation Art 190504
  • Conservation And Biodiversity 050202
  • Environmental Impact Assessment 050204
  • Ecology 0602
  • Other Biological Sciences 0699
  • Zoology 0608
  • Visual Arts And Crafts 1905


Dr Penny Olsen is an Honorary Professor in the Division of Ecology, Evolution and Genetics at The Australian National University. After a career as a field biologist and ecological consultant, she has is now mostly occupied writing books about Australian natural history and its recorders, both artistic and scientific. In 2011 she was invested as a Member of the Order of the Australia for her for ‘service to the conservation sciences through the study and documentation of Australian bird species and their history.’ Having just published a book about indigenous Australians' contributions to our understanding of Australia's fauna – Australia's First Zoologists – she is working on a bird book for children and a social history of the Budgerigar.


Current student projects

Simon Cherriman - Population status and movement ecology of rthe Wedge-tailed Eagle in Western Australia

Past student projects

Janet Gardner

Karen Ikin (nee Stagoll)

Carolyn Blackmore: The breeding biology and behaviour of the grey-crowned babbler ( Pomatostomus temporalis )

Debbie Saunders: Swift Parrot winter habitat identification

Stuart Cooney: The breeding ecology of the hooded parrot ( Psephotus dissimilis )

Robert Gosford: Ethno-biological source material for avian population histories: an assessment of material relevant to the avian populations of three central Australian Bioregions

Andrew Burton: Burton, A.M. 1991. Resource partitioning between two sympatric goshawks in the Australian wet tropics. PhD thesis, James Cook University

Mark Boulet: Boulet, M. 1997. Parental resource allocation to offspring in the Peregrine Falcon. Honours thesis, ANU

Janet Gardner: Gardner, J.L. 2002. Social behaviour and breeding biology of the Speckled Warbler. PhD thesis, ANU

Tom Aumann: Aumann, T. 1999. Riparian raptor assemblages in the Australian arid zone. PhD thesis, ANU

Paul McDonald: McDonald, P. 2003. Reproductive success, dimorphism and sex allocation in the Brown Falcon Falco berigora. PhD thesis, ANU

Jill Shephard: Shephard, J.M. 2003. A multi-scale approach to defining historical and contemporary factors responsible for the current distribution of te White-bellied Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster ( Gmelin, 1788) I Australia. PhD thesis, Griffith University



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Updated:  26 September 2021 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers