Marilyn Renfree

AO, FAA, FAIBiol, PhD, D.Sc. D.Sc (Hon.)(Murdoch) LLD (Hon.)( Monash)

Ian Potter Chair of Zoology and Laureate Professor of the University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
Vice President of the Australian Academy of Science. Email:

Marilyn’s research has focussed almost entirely on marsupials because of their intrinsic interest and for the opportunities they provide as biomedical models for understanding mammalian reproduction and development (although elephants, women, sheep and mice have also had a look-in). Her laboratory is known internationally for its study of the reproduction and development of marsupials that have resulted in a number of discoveries that challenged the accepted dogma including early mammalian development, control of embryonic diapause, sexual differentiation, virilisation and genomic imprinting. She has also been involved in genome studies of the platypus and the tammar wallaby. Marilyn has held NHMRC, ARC, Fulbright, Ford Foundation and Royal Society fellowships. She was a foundation member of staff at Murdoch University. After a sojurn in Edinburgh and then Monash University, she became Head of Department of Zoology at The University of Melbourne from 1991-2003, an ARC Federation Fellow 2003-8, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Kangaroo Genomics from 2008-10 and was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia on Australia Day 2013. She is a Laureate Professor of the University of Melbourne and presently holds the positions of Secretary, Biological Sciences and Vice President of the Australian Academy of Science.