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Biographical entry Pennefather, Reginald Richard (1905 - 1957)

4 May 1905
Camberwell, Victoria, Australia
2 February 1957
Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Agricultural scientist


Reginald Pennefather was an agricultural scientist who worked to find solutions to problems caused by salinity and declining soil fertility. His research into properties of soils in the Murrumbidgee irrigation area, and the infiltration of water through them, led him to formulate principles to guide irrigation techniques. Implementation of these principles prevented irreparable damage to the region's agricultural land. As foundation secretary of the CSIR's irrigation research and extension committee Pennefather was able to advocate for sustainable irrigation practices to the wider agricultural community. His extension work included regular articles published in farmers' magazines and radio broadcasts. He successfully forged closer relationships between farmers, scientists and public servants, narrowing the gap between research and its practical application.



Education - Bachelor of Agricultural Science, The University of Melbourne
c. 1927 - c. 1932
Career position - Investigating Officer and Surveyor, Prime Ministers Department, Australian Federal Government
1932 - 1940
Career position - Field Research Assistant, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Griffith, New South Wales
1940 - 1944
Career position - Foundation Secretary of the Irrigation Research and Extension Committee, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research
Career position - Research Officer-in-Charge, Soils and Irrigation Extension Service, CSIRO
1945 - 1951
Career position - Agricultural Extension Service, Department of Agriculture, New South Wales Government
1951 - 1957
Career position - Officer-in-Charge, Agricultural Research Liaison Section, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Melbourne Victoria

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Helen Cohn and Elizabeth Daniels