Róchelle is a palaeontologist specialising in fossil preparation and digital conservation within the Geosciences Project DIG team. She received a Bachelor Degree in Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology with Palaeontology from the University of New England. Róchelle has been working with the Queensland Museum since 2009 and is professionally trained in fossil preparation and conservation. Her fine skills in technical work have allowed her to develop new techniques for the collection, preparation and study of fossils, particularly those that a very small and fragile, requiring specialised imaging. This work has blended into the testing and development of new methods for integrating digital technologies into the conservation of Queensland Museum’s vast fossil collection, our natural heritage. Together, the Project DIG team aims to integrate this work within a range of digital platforms allowing the Queensland Museum to better interpret and visualise the fascinating ancient life of Queensland for everyone to explore.

Róchelle has worked in cultural heritage, natural history museums and palaeotourism with a number of organisations across Queensland. She works on fossils ranging from the Cretaceous through the Tertiary and Quaternary Periods, studying the evolution and extinction of Australia’s unique fauna. Her focus is on tropical Ice Age megafauna and small fauna representing a variety of biodiverse living groups such as marsupial gliders and possums. Róchelle has coordinated palaeontological excavations, assisted with salvage operations and taken part in many newly discovered sites in Queensland from Pleistocene microfauna sites within ancient springs and caves to dinosaurs and their trackways.

Research publications supported by Project DIG:

Hocknull, S.A., Lewis, R., Arnold, L.J., Pietsh, T., Joannes-Boyau, R., Price, G.J., Moss, P., Wood, R., Dosseto, A., Louys, J., Olley, J., & Lawrence, R.A. Extinction of eastern Sahul megafauna coincides with sustained environmental deterioration. Nat Commun 112250 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15785-w

Lawrence, R.A., Hocknull, S.A. & Cramb, J. (2019). ‘Lost in Space and Time: new Quaternary small vertebrate records from the Fitzroy River Basin of tropical Queensland, Australia’, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2019, p.139.

Hocknull, S.A., Lawrence, R.A., Cramb, J., Tierney, P., Wilkinson, J., Spring, K., Sands, N. (2019). ‘Time is of the essence: three studies from Queensland, Australia, demonstrating responses to fossil site loss through mining and development over differing time scales’, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2019, p.118.

Hocknull, S.A., Wilkinson, M., Lawrence, R.A., Newman, N., Mackenzie, R. (2019). ‘On the shoulders of titans: introducing new Cretaceous dinosaur fossil fields from southwest Queensland, Australia, and demonstrating the utility of scanning (surface and CT) in taphonomic and ichnofossil interpretation’, Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, Program and Abstracts, 2019, p.119.

Blog posts written by Róchelle:

What are megafauna?

A crime scene of the past - investigating tropical Ice Age megafauna

Discovering the world's largest kangaroo - Part 1: In the field

Discovering the world's largest kangaroo - Part 2: In the lab


Learn more about Róchelle Lawrence