Dr Penny Berents

As Australia’s peak professional body for marine scientists from all disciplines and for over 60 years has promoted all aspects of marine science in Australia. AMSA operates with a membership network of individuals and corporate affiliates as a not-for-profit organisation.

Councillor: 2022 –
Immediate Past President: 2020 – 2022
President: 2018 – 2020

Secretary: 2015 – 2018
Councillor: 2014 – 2015


Dr Penny Berents is a Senior Fellow at the Australian Museum and an Honorary Life Member of AMSA. She has extensive experience in all aspects of museum biodiversity collections and research and her current research is on the systematics of cerapodine amphipods. Dr Berents was the Head of Natural Sciences at the Australian Museum. In this role she managed a Branch of 60 research scientists and collection management staff who worked on zoological, mineralogical and palaeontological collections and was a member of the Museum Executive Management team. Dr Berents was also the AM Diving Officer and in this capacity prepared submissions about scientific diving and was responsible for AM diving procedures and compliance. Penny has extensive field experience and has worked on deep sea expeditions, coral reefs and extensively along the NSW coast. She was also responsible for the Collection Informatics Unit which managed the collections database which delivers Australian Museum data to data portals such as ALA, OZCAM, OBIS and GBIF. Dr Berents has represented the Australian Museum on many national and international committees and was Chair of the Council of Heads of Australian Faunal Collections and was a foundation member of the Management Committee for the Atlas of Living Australia. She is a Trustee of the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation and a member of the LIRRF Science Committee. Penny has been a member of the NSW Council of AMSA for 5 years and has assisted with assessing student prizes and preparing submissions, including recent submissions about Biodiversity Offsets and Approval Bilateral Agreements.



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