Owen Atkin obtained his BSc (Hons) in 1987 (ANU) and his PhD in 1993 (Toronto). From 1993-1995 he held an EU Post Doctoral Fellowship (Utrecht).
From 1996-1999 he held an ARC Post Doctoral Fellowship at the ANU. Thereafter, he moved to UK to take up a faculty position in the Biology Dept at the University of York (1999-2008). He then returned to the ANU in 2008 and was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship in 2009. A major focus of his research is assessing the impact of environmental gradients on plant physiological processes, particularly respiration. He has been an Editor for New Phytologist since 2007.
In 2019, he was appointed as Vice Chancellor's Entrepreneurial Professor at ANU, and became the Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology (CEAT) - a collaboration between ANU and CSIRO, with investment from the ACT Government.