Macleay Miklouho-Maclay Fellowship

Supporting research based in the Macleay Collections
This fellowship celebrates the work of science and anthropology through our collections.
A specimen of Dendrolagus dorianus

Type specimen of Dendrolagus dorianus, Ramsay, 1883, collected in Port Moresby, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea

From his arrival in Sydney, Russian ethnographer and biologist, Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay was supported by William John Macleay because of their shared investment in the natural sciences.

The fellowship was established in 1988 with funds raised by the Macleay Museum and the Miklouho-Maclay Society to enable a research fellow to work with the Macleay Collections in the fields of interest of Sir William Macleay (1820–91) and Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay (1846–88).

Funding is available up to $12,000 to support research based with the Macleay Collections full time for a minimum of three months or part-time equivalent.

Recent fellows

Thérèse Harrison was awarded the 2020 Macleay Miklouho Maclay Fellowship for analytical spectrographic work on resins, building on recent exhibition consultations with Aboriginal communities.

Prof Ángel L. Viloria arrived in July 2023 to take up his Macleay Miklouho-Maclay Fellowship work on type specimens of North, Central and South American butterflies described by Dru Drury (1725-1804) and Johan Christian Fabricius (1745-1808) in the Macleay entomological collections. 

Applications are now open

Candidates should submit their research proposal (including a timeline), a sample of reviewed or published work, together with a curriculum vitae to the Senior Curator, Macleay Collections below:

+61 2 9036 6486


Please note, applications close Friday 1 March 2024 and applicants will be contacted in April on the status of their proposal.

The fellowship is awarded under the following conditions (approved by the Academic Board on 24 April 1989):

  • The object of the fellowship shall be to promote work within the Macleay Collections principally in the areas of Cultural Heritage and Life Sciences but also in approved aspects of botany or history of science. Specific fields of study may be prescribed by the selection committee from year to year. The fellow will be encouraged to use the Macleay Collections.
  • A fellow may be appointed on a part-time or a full-time basis for a period ranging from a minimum of three months to a maximum of 12 months.
  • A fellow shall be a suitably qualified graduate of any tertiary institution approved by the Academic Board or an individual with an established scholarly reputation.
  • A fellow may be required to participate in lectures or demonstrations during the period of the appointment, at the discretion of the director of the Macleay Collections.
  • The fellow will, within three months of completion of the fellowship, provide the director of the Macleay Collections with a report on work completed during the fellowship, including copies of any publications derived in whole or in part from the support provided by the fellowship.
  • It is generally expected that a fellow’s work will result in the production of one or more scholarly articles or form part of a larger study. In any publication, the support provided by the fellowship must be suitably acknowledged.

Fellows are appointed by the Academic Board on the recommendation of a committee consisting of:

  • Director, University Museums
  • Head of the Department of Anthropology
  • Head of the School of Biological Sciences
  • Senior Curator, Macleay Collections.

The period of, and emolument for, each fellowship shall be determined by the selection committee on the basis of available funds.

The Macleay Miklouho-Maclay Fellowship began in 1988. Successful applicants are listed below along with their research topics and publication where it is related to the Fellowship. Some Fellow’s work was published online within our collections database. 

1989 Lois Tilbrook: 
Compilation of collectors and their handwriting

  • Tilbrook, L. The macleay collectors: a working notebook (1992), Macleay Museum Occasional Series 2.

1992 Daniel Tumarkin: Compilation of information on Miklouho-Maclay in Australia

  • Tumarkin, D. ‘Miklouho-Maclay and the Perception of the Peoples of New Guinea in Russia’ (1993), Pacific Studies 16(1), March: 33-42.

1993 Clemency Fisher: Partial catalogue of Macleay vertebrate collections

  • Fisher, C and Longmore, N. ‘Edgar Layard and Charles Pearce's Fijian bird types in the Macleay and Australian Museums, Sydney, with comments on specimens in museums in Britain.’ (1995) Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 115(4): 244-260.

1995 Shane Ahyong: Identification and catalogue of decapod crustacea in the Macleay Museum

  • Ng, P.K.L. and Ahyong, Shane. ‘Brachyuran type specimens (Crustacea: Decapoda) in the MacLeay Collection, University of Sydney, Australia.’ (2001).  The Raffles bulletin of zoology 49: 83-100.

1997 Graham Fulton: Review Macleay bird collections (skins, nests, eggs, skeletons)

1999 Stephen Wroe: Analysis of trophic diversity among marsupial carnivores in Australia.

  • Krajewski, Carey, Wroe, Stphen and Westerman, Michael ‘Molecular evidence for the pattern and timing of cladogenesis in dasyurid marsupials’ (2000) Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 130, 3: 375–404

2000 Mike Letnik: Pre-European trade that stretched across the nation.

  • Letnic, Mike and Keogh L. Pituri country. In Desert Channels: The impulse to conserve. Libby Robin, Chris Dickman and Mandy Martin eds. (2010). Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing.

2001 (relinquished) Jude Philp: The role of natural history in the British and Australian expansion into Torres Strait and PNG

  • Philp, Jude ‘the Royal Geographic Society Expedition to the Western Province of British New Guinea in the 1880s’ (2007) Susan Cochrane and Max Quanchi eds. Hunting the Collectors: Pacific collections in Australian Museums, art galleries and archives Cambridge Scholars Publishing: 17-31

2002 Kirk Huffman: Ni-Vanuatu collections in the Macleay, update catalogues and communicate results to National Cultural Centre, Vanuatu.

  • Huffman, Kirk (2006-), articles on the collections for MUSE and Sydney University Museum News see collection search.

2006 Susie Davies: Miklouho-Maclay’s and WJ Macleay’s ethnographic collections

  • Davies, Susie ‘In the "Land of the Rare Bird of Paradise": Three collectors in Southern New Guinea 1875-1887’ (2007) Susan Cochrane and Max Quanchi eds. Hunting the Collectors: Pacific collections in Australian Museums, art galleries and archives Cambridge Scholars Publishing: 70-97

2009 Dominic Cross: The taxonomic and Historical Biography of the Insect Collections of the Macleay Museum, pertaining to specimens collected by William Sharp Macleay during the years of his diplomatic posting in Cuba from 1825 to 1836.

  • Cross, D. and Jefferys, Elizabeth ‘Catalogue of insects collected by William Sharp Macleay in Cuba 1825-1836’. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, v.131, July (2010). 131. 27-35.

2010 Michael Shea: Identification and documentation of the Macleay Museum’s Australian and Indo-Pacific non-marine mollusc collection as a resource aid for researchers.

  • Michael Shea: Synonymies of Australian southeast coast landshells for publication on the Museum on-line database. See Collections Search.

2014 Lindsey Gray: Uncovering the hidden past of the Macleay Museum Kakapo.

  • Gray, Lindsey and Renner, Matt  ‘Botany, GIS and archives combine to assess the provenance of historical Kakapo study-skins stuffed with New Zealand bryophytes’ Emu – Austral Ornithology Vol. 116, (2016): 452-460
  • Gray, Lindsey ‘Bill trait variation in kākāpō, Strigops habroptilus (Gray): differences between contemporary and historical birds’ Notornis, Vol. 64 (2017): 1-12

2015 Harry Parnaby: Type specimen inventory: MMUS mammal collection and associated archival documentation.

Featured image (top of the page): dendrolagus dorianus, Ramsay 1883, collected in Port Moresby, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea

Jude Philp

Senior Curator, Macleay Collections