The Queensland Natural History Award for 2020 was presented to Dr Andrew Baker by Mrs Sally Johnsen.
Dr Andrew Baker is Senior Lecturer in Ecology and Environmental Science at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), and Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Vertebrate Zoology at the Queensland Museum.
Andrew Baker graduated from QUT with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons) in Biology in 1993, and received his PhD in Evolutionary Biology (QUT) in 1999.
For more than 2 decades Andrew has undertaken natural history research on Queensland mammals. In the last 6 years he has discovered 6 new antechinus species, with two of the four species occurring in Queensland being endangered.
Andrew Baker is an educator and conservation biologist, actively teaching more than 600 university students annually about the importance of Australian fauna. He is the recipient of many teaching awards from QUT, has been nominated by QUT for a National Carrick Award for Teaching Excellence, and he achieved international recognition for teaching, being made a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). In 2016 Andrew received the Australian Whitely Medal for outstanding natural history publication.
Andrew Baker has authored more than 65 scientific publications, and has written more than 30 popular science articles. His popular publications and books focus on engendering public understanding of natural history, especially concerning Queensland and Australian mammals.
Andrew is a committee member with the Australian Mammal Society, and member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature where he is an expert on Queensland and Australia’s threatened carnivorous marsupials.
He is co-editor of the Field Companion to the Mammals of Australia, Australia’s only species-level mammal identification key for each state and territory, where he has contributed many scientific illustrations.
Andrew was author of the Dasyurid chapter (a family of marsupials native to Australia and Papua New Guinea) in Handbook of Mammals of the World (which won the 2016 Australian Whitely Medal for outstanding natural history publication), is principal co-author of both Secret Lives of Carnivorous Marsupials and Strahan’s Mammals of Australia 4th Ed., and is the author of a book about the philosophy of science, Questions of Science: 3rd Ed.
Andrew’s primary contribution to the natural history of Queensland lies in communicating and fostering a deeper appreciation and understanding of Queensland’s mammal diversity to a large audience of scientists, amateur naturalists, laypersons and the general public.