Dr. Robert (Bob) W Sutherst was born in 1943 to a pioneering family in Kenya and after local schooling (http://www.oldcambrians.com/) he attended Edinburgh University where he graduated in the first Honours class in Ecology. After winning an Australian Meat Research Committee Scholarship in 1967 Bob obtained his PhD at Queensland University in 1970.
He was immediately recruited by CSIRO to lead their cattle tick ecology project during a pesticide resistance crisis. He stayed with CSIRO for his whole research career, moving from ticks to biting flies. He then led the team that developed the CLIMEX (http://www.hearne.com.au/products/climex/) and DYMEX (http://www.hearne.com.au /products/dymex/) models to address biosecurity and climate change risks posed by a wide range of pests and weeds in particular. This led to two decades of research investigating risks from invasive species and climate change to Australian agriculture, natural ecosystems and public health. Bob has had a variety of broader public roles including a series of 6-year terms as consultant to the FAO-DANIDA Africa Regional tick and tick-borne disease program; membership of the Governing Council of the ICIPE (http://www.icipe.org/); and seat on the Scientific Steering Committee of the IGBP (http://www.igbp.kva.se/) Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems program.
Bob was the second recipient of the Mackerras medal of the Australian Entomological
Society and inaugural recipient of the Bancroft-Mackerras medal of the Australian
Society for Parasitology. His CLIMEX and DYMEX research team was the winner of the
2005 Information Industry Awards in the fields of agriculture and community and
received a merit award at the 2006 Annual Asia Pacific ICT awards.
Bob retired from CSIRO in 2006 and was appointed as an Honorary Reader in the
Ecology Centre to write up some past research and synthesise his ideas into text books.