Department: Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Research Centres: Structure & Motion Laboratory
Peter is currently working as a postdoctoral researcher on the ERC-funded DAWNDINOS project with Prof. John Hutchinson. His research involves integrating comparative, experimental and computational biomechanics approaches with palaeontology, to address questions surrounding locomotor evolution and performance in Triassic archosaurs, including dinosaurs.
Originally from Australia, Peter has had a lifelong passion for palaeontology, geology and mathematics. He gained a BAppSc (Hons) in Geoscience from the Queensland University of Technology in 2012, and then completed his PhD in Evolutionary Biomechanics from Griffith University in 2017, having studied the biomechanics of terrestrial locomotion in theropods and its evolution of the line to modern birds. From 2007–2018, Peter also volunteered (including undertaking research and field work) at the Geosciences Program of the Queensland Museum, Brisbane, Australia.
Peter is interested in all aspects of vertebrate palaeobiology. He is particularly interested in integrating biomechanics with data from fossils and modern animals, using a rigorous, physics-based approach to understand the biology of extinct vertebrates, and to examine the adaptive significance of evolutionary changes in the vertebrate skeleton. His focus is currently directed towards locomotion and the appendicular skeleton (limbs/fins and girdles). Being at the physical interface between an organism and its environment, these types of systems are strongly influenced by the principles of physics and so are more amenable to quantitative, mechanical analysis. His extinct study species have to date ranged from stem tetrapods to giant birds, dinosaurs and lizards, but he has also conducted comparative work with modern birds and lizards.
Peter is also an Honorary Research Fellow with the Geosciences Program of the Queensland Museum, Brisbane, Australia.
Bishop, P.J., Hocknull, S.A., Clemente, C.J., Hutchinson, J.R., Farke, A.A., Barrett, R.S. and Lloyd, D.G. 2018. Cancellous bone architecture and theropod dinosaur locomotor biomechanics. Part III – reconstructing posture and locomotor biomechanics in extinct theropods, and its evolution on the line to birds. PeerJ 6: e5777.
Bishop, P.J., Hocknull, S.A., Clemente, C.J., Hutchinson, J.R. Barrett, R.S. and Lloyd, D.G. 2018. Cancellous bone architecture and theropod dinosaur locomotor biomechanics. Part II – a new approach to reconstructing posture and locomotor biomechanics in extinct tetrapod vertebrates. PeerJ 6: e5779.
Bishop, P.J., Hocknull, S.A., Clemente, C.J., Hutchinson, J.R., Farke, A.A., Beck, B.R., Barrett, R.S. and Lloyd, D.G. 2018. Cancellous bone architecture and theropod dinosaur locomotor biomechanics. Part I – the potential utility of cancellous bone, with a comparative study of cancellous bone architecture in the hindlimb bones of theropods. PeerJ 6: e5778.
Bishop, P.J., Graham, D.F., Lamas, L.P., Hutchinson, J.R., Rubenson, J., Hancock, J.A., Wilson, R.S., Hocknull, S.A., Barrett, R.S., Lloyd, D.G. and Clemente, C.J. 2018. The influence of speed and size on avian terrestrial locomotor biomechanics: Predicting locomotion in extinct theropod dinosaurs. PLOS ONE 13: e0192172.
Clemente, C.J., Bishop, P.J., Newman, N. and Hocknull, S.A. 2018. Steady bipedal locomotion with a forward situated whole-body centre of mass: the potential importance of temporally asymmetric ground reaction forces. Journal of Zoology 304: 193–201.
Bishop, P.J., Clemente, C.J., Weems, R.E., Graham, D.F., Lamas, L.P., Hutchinson, J.R., Rubenson, J., Wilson, R.S., Hocknull, S.A., Barrett, R.S. and Lloyd, D.G. 2017. Using step width to compare locomotor biomechanics between extinct, non-avian theropod dinosaurs and modern obligate bipeds. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 14: 20170276.
Bishop, P.J. 2016. A critical re-evaluation of the hindlimb myology of moa (Aves: Dinornithiformes). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 59: 187–246.
Bishop, P.J., Walmsley, C. W., Phillips, M. J., Quayle, M. R., Boisvert, C. A. and McHenry, C. R. 2015. Oldest Pathology in a Tetrapod Bone Illuminates the Origin of Terrestrial Vertebrates. PLOS ONE 10: e0125723.
Bishop, P.J. 2014. The humerus of Ossinodus pueri, a stem tetrapod from the Carboniferous of Gondwana, and the early evolution of the tetrapod forelimb. Alcheringa 38: 209–238.
Bishop, P.J. 2010. A Triassic conchostracan from near Murgon, SEQ. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 55: 8–9.
Peter greatly enjoys the opportunity to educate others, promote science and mathematics, and inspire people’s interest in the natural world. In Australia he was involved with many varied forms of public engagement activity, including public talks (some involving >1,000 people a day), specimen-based demonstrations, popular science articles and television and radio programs. In the DAWNDINOS project at the RVC, Peter has been involved in various activities showcasing palaeontology, biomechanics and science in general to school students, including both school-based and on-campus events.
“DAWNDINOS” is a five year research project studying the dawn of the age of the dinosaurs, funded by the European Research Council via an Advanced Investigator Grant to Professor Hutchinson. It focusses on form and function and combines evolutionary and biomechanical research that tests how the anatomy of extinct dinosaurs and their relatives (archosaurs; “ruling reptiles”) was related to their movement and behaviour.