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Biographical entry Watson, Rodger Henry (1910 - 1999)

FAIAS, FASAP

Born
22 February 1910
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Died
21 April 1999
Victoria, Australia
Occupation
Agricultural scientist

Summary

Rodger Henry Watson was a world leader in animal science and made major contributions to the fields of ruminant nutrition, reproduction and neo-natal mortality of lambs. Watson was President of the World Association for Animal Production from 1968 to 1973.

Details

Graduating from the University of Queensland with first-class honours in Agriculture, Rodger Henry Watson was awarded a Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) studentship. This allowed him to train at the Sir William Dunn Institute of Biochemistry (University of Cambridge) and at the Institute of Physiology at Gottingen, Germany. He returned to Australia in 1936 and soon took up a post at the McMaster Animal Health Laboratory in Sydney. There he worked on the physiology of digestion in ruminants. To further his research in this field, Watson moved to CSIR's Adelaide Animal Nutrition Laboratory.

In 1943 Rodger Watson was seconded from CSIR to become Officer-in-charge at Melbourne's Central Wool Testing House. Three years later he transferred to the nearby Animal Health Laboratory which was run by CSIR (subsequently CSIRO - Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation). His work there, which concentrated on the reproductivity of ewes and neo-natal mortality in lambs, had a major influence on the sheep industry world-wide.

Watson left CSIRO in 1961 to join the Victorian Department of Agriculture's S.S. Cameron Animal Research Laboratory as a senior livestock research officer. Later he became Chief of the Department's Division of Animal Industry. Rodger Watson also held many external positions including Federal President of the Australian Society for Animal Production, President of the World Association for Animal Production, Advisor to the Wool Production Research Advisory Committee, Fellow of the Australian Society for Animal Production and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science. He retired in 1977, but continued his affiliation with many of the above associations and boards

Events

1932
Education - Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (BSc) completed at the University of Queensland
1936 - 1938
Career position - Research Assistant at the McMaster Animal Health Laboratory in Sydney
1938 - 1943
Career position - Researcher at the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) Animal Nutrition Laboratory in Adelaide
1943 - 1946
Career position - Officer-in-charge of the Central Wool Testing House
1944
Education - Doctor of Agricultural Science (DAgSc) received from the University of Queensland
1946 - 1961
Career position - CSIRO Animal Health Laboratory in Parkville, Victoria
1961 - c. 1969
Career position - Senior Livestock Research Officer at the S.S. Cameron Animal Research Laboratory in Werribee, Victoria
1964 - 1966
Career position - Federal President of the Australian Society for Animal Production
1968
Career position - Fellow of the Australian Society for Animal Production (FASAP)
1968 - 1973
Career position - President of the World Association for Animal Production
c. 1969 - 1977
Career position - Chief of the Division of Animal Industry in the Victorian Department of Agriculture
1972
Career position - Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science (FAIAS)
1975 - 1983
Career position - Wool Production Research Advisory Committee of the Australian Wool Corporation

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

The University of Melbourne Archives

  • Australian Society of Animal Production - Records, 1950s - 1980s, 88/117; The University of Melbourne Archives. Details

Published resources

Newspaper Articles

  • Tulloh, Norman M., 'Obituary: Dr Rodger Henry Watson, Animal Scientist', The Age, 31 May 1999. Details

Online Resources

Helen Morgan & Annette Alafaci