Ph.D.: Geology: University of Cincinnati
M.S. Earth Sciences: Waikato University (New Zealand)
B.Sc. Biology & Earth Sciences: Waikato University (New Zealand)
After obtaining his doctorate at the University of Cincinnati, Austin was a post-doctoral fellow at Yale University, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution, and Florida Museum of Natural History.
An author on numerous scientific papers, he has conducted research in many parts of the world, but especially tropical South America. There he studies the biodiversity, biogeography and paleoecology of Cenozoic mollusc faunas.
He is also interested in bioinformatics and the application of natural museum specimens and data for K-12 education.