Dr Mark Hutchinson

Senior Research Scientist Herpetology

+61 8 8207 7461


Mark Hutchinson studied for his undergraduate and PhD degrees at La Trobe University in Melbourne before gaining postdoctoral experience at the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences and the University of Illinois.  He joined the South Australian Museum in April 1990.


Positions at Other Organisations

  • Affiliate Lecturer, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide

  • Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University


Research Interests   

Evolution, relationships, distribution and conservation of Australian reptiles.      


Current Research Projects

Conservation management of the endangered Pygmy Bluetongue Lizard.  M. Hutchinson and C. M. Bull.  2012–2016, Australian Research Council Linkage grant, $510,000.

Using an Australian endemic lizard family to understand processes of developmental change in the vertebrate body.  V. Weisbecker with M. Hutchinson.  2012–2014, University of Queensland New Staff start-up grant, $12,000. 

Conservation management of the endangered skink, Liopholis slateri.   M. Hutchinson, C. M. Bull, C. R. Pavey and S. C. Donnellan.  2011–2013, Australian Research Council Linkage grant, $132,000.


Professional Associations           

  • Member, Australian Society of Herpetologists

  • Member, Society for Vertebrate Palaeontology



  • BSc (Hons), La Trobe University, Melbourne (1977)

  • PhD, La Trobe University, Melbourne (1984)


Current Teaching Responsibilities          

Undergraduate teaching at Flinders University

  • Vertebrate Palaeontology

Undergraduate teaching at the University of Adelaide:

  • Zoology II

Supervision of Honours and PhD students at Flinders University and the University of Adelaide


 Community Engagement  

  • Chairman, Pygmy Bluetongue Lizard Recovery Team


Media Expertise

Biological background information on frogs, lizards and snakes, including venomous snakes; conservation issues involving reptiles and amphibians in South Australia; fossil history of lizards in Australia; reptile anatomy.



  1. Sistrom, M. J., Donnellan, S. C. and Hutchinson, M. N. (2013).  Delimiting species in recent radiations with low levels of morphological divergence: a case study in Australian Gehyra geckos.  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2013.03.007
  2. Hutchinson, M. N., Skinner, A., and Lee, M. S. Y. (2012). Tikiguania and the antiquity of squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes). Biology Letters 8: 665–669.  
  3. Sistrom, M. J., Edwards, D., Donnellan, S., and Hutchinson, M. (2012) Morphological differentiation correlates with ecological but not genetic divergence in a Gehyra gecko.  Molecular Ecology 25: 647–660.
  4. Bower, D. S., Hutchinson, M. N., and Georges, A. (2012) Movement and habitat use of Australia’s largest snake-necked turtle: implications for water management.  Journal of Zoology 287: 76–80. 
  5. Brennan, K.E . C., Morley, T., Hutchinson, M., and Donnellan, S. (2012) Redescription of the western desert taipan Oxyuranus temporalis (Serpentes: Elapidae) with notes on its distribution, diet and genetic variation. Australian Journal of Zoology 59: 227–235.
  6. Hugi, J., Hutchinson, M. N., Koyabu, M., and Sanchez-Villagra, M. R. (2012). Heterochronic shifts in the ossification sequences of surface- and subsurface-dwelling skinks are correlated with the degree of limb reduction. Zoology 115: 188–198.
  7. Čerňanský, A. and Hutchinson, M. N.  (2012).  A new large fossil species of Tiliqua (Squamata; Scincidae) from the Pliocene of the Wellington Caves (New South Wales, Australia)   Alcheringa doi:10.1080/03115518.2012.715326
  8. Marin, J., Donnellan, S. C., Hedges, S. B., Doughty, P., Hutchinson, M. N., Cruaud, C. , and Vidal, N. (2012). Tracing the history and biogeography of the Australian blindsnake radiation. Journal of Biogeography, doi:10.1111/jbi.12045.
  9. Hutchinson, M. N., and Hutchinson, R. G. (2011). The karyotype of the thorny devil, Moloch horridusJournal of Herpetology 45: 216–218. 
  10. Pepper, M., Doughty, P., Hutchinson, M. N., and Keogh, J. S. (2011). Ancient drainages divide cryptic species in Australia’s arid zone: morphological and multi-gene evidence for four new species of beaked geckos (Rhynchoedura). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 61: 810–822.