Dr Ken Winkel is a Senior Research Fellow within the School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne and Honorary Fellow of the University’s Medical History Museum. A leading Australian toxicologist, he was the Director of the Australian Venom Research Unit (AVRU) 1999-2015. He is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine (ACTM) and a member of the Biodiversity Committee of the Doctors for the Environment Australia. He co-co-ordinates the University’s new ‘Our Planet, Our Health’ interdisciplinary breadth subject and co-ordinates the School’s teaching in the postgraduate MD course. He also teaches ‘Medicine, Natural History and Design’ at the University’s School of Design.
His favourite animal is the Southern Marsupial Mole (Notoryctes typhlops), known as Itjari-itjari by the local Aboriginal peoples, which was also the subject of his first research paper (whilst a UQ medical student. This enigmatic creature, found in western central Australia, was first described in 1889 by an Australian physician naturalist, and one-time director of the South Australian Museum, Dr Edward Stirling. It has been rarely sighted ever since and remains a mysterious ’living ghost’.