PROF Marilyn Renfree

PROF Marilyn Renfree


  • Reproduction and Development (Marsupial, reproductive physiology, endocrinology, evolution of reproduction, embryonic diapause, sexual differentiation, genomic imprinting)



  • Professor Marilyn Renfree’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. 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 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.   


Member of

  • Australian Academy of Science. Secretary B - Biological Sciences 2011 -
  • Australian Academy of Science. Vice-President 2011 -
  • The Endocrine Society of Australia. Honorary Life Membership 2004 -
  • Australian Academy of Science. Fellow 1997 -
  • Australian Institute of Biology. Fellow 1987 -
  • Society for the Study of Fertility (UK). Member (Ordinary) 1978 -
  • Society for the Study of Reproduction (USA). Member (Ordinary) 1972 -
  • Society for Reproductive Biology. Foundation member/Chair/Honorary LIfe Membership 1968 -
  • Institute of Biology (UK). Member 1977 - 2000
  • Endocrine and Reproductive Biology Society (W.A). Formerly committee member 1975 - 1981
  • Australian Biochemical Society. Member (Ordinary) 1969 - 1973


Selected publications


Investigator on


Education and training

  • LLD ( Hon), Monash University 2010
  • DSc (Hon>), Murdoch University 2007
  • DSc, The Australian National University 1988
  • PhD, The Australian National University 1972
  • BSc. (Hons.), The Australian National University 1968

Awards and honors

  • 2015 University of Technology Sydney Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers, Australian Museum, 2015
  • Officer of the Order of Australia, AO, 2013
  • The President's Medal, Australian and New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology, 2012
  • The Clarke Medal 2012, The Royal Society of NSW, 2012
  • Secretary B: Biological Sciences, Australian Academy of Science, 2011
  • Doctor of Laws (honoris causa), Monash University, 2011
  • Distinguished Scientist Award, Society for Reproduction and Fertility, United Kingdom, 2011
  • Vice-President, Australian Academy of Science, 2011
  • Australian Learning and Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, Australian Goverment, 2010
  • Doctor of Science (honoris causa), Murdoch University, 2007
  • Centenary Medal, Australian Government, 2003
  • Laureate Professor, The University of Melbourne, 2002
  • Gold Conservation Medal, Zoological Society of San Diego USA, 2000
  • Fellow of the Australian Institue of Biology, 1999
  • Mueller Medal, Aust. and N.Z Association for the Advancement of Science (ANZAAS), 1997
  • Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, 1997
  • Whitley Book Award (best textbook published in 1987), Royal Zoological Society of NSW, 1987
  • Gottschalk Medal, Australian Academy of Science, 1980
  • Bolliger Award, Australian Mammal Society, 1971
  • Commonwealth Postgraduate Scholarship, Commonwealth of Australia, 1969
  • ANU Final Honours Year Scholarship, Australian National University/Commonwealth of Australia, 1968
  • The Ramsay Prize, Australian National University, 1967
  • Canberra Scholarship, Australian National University, 1966



Available for supervision

  • Y