Michael is an antiquarian and art and garden historian. Since 2005 he has been Senior Curator of the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney. He has appeared regularly on television and radio discussing everything from the emperor Hadrian, to Lady Emma Hamilton, to ghosts in the Nicholson Museum. He is a leading expert on the figured pottery of South Italy in the 4th century BC and on the Etruscans; both of which he has written about extensively. He is currently researching the gardens and Classical sculpture of 18th century England.
Since 2012 Michael has received global recognition for his commissioned, large-scale recreations of monuments of the ancient world for the Nicholson Museum – made out of Lego. Lego Colosseum (2012) has recently finished an eighteen-month tour of museums and galleries in New South Wales; Lego Acropolis (2013) is on display in the Acropolis Museum in Athens; and Lego Pompeii (2015) is currently in the Nicholson Museum.
Michael was co-presenter of the 2012 30-part ABC series Extraordinary Curiosities and has been a featured guest on In Conversation with Richard Fidler.
In 2009 Michael was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in London and since 2014 has been a member of the English Historic Gardens Society.
In June 2016 he will be leading a tour to England that he has created for Academy Travel, entitled, ‘Gardens of a Passionate Mind: the gardens of Southern England’.